Sunday, July 5, 2009

The best sushi in the world

Owase is known to have some of the freshest and best seafood in Japan, and it is of no wonder that the best sushi is also found here. We’re not talking about sushi found in the kaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi) shops, but the real stuff served in the real sushi bars.

Since ala-carte orders at such sushi bars usually come at killer prices (sometimes up to 70,000 yen for a meal), the most cost-effective choice is to go for the sushi moriawase (mixed sushi), which are usually priced from 1,000 yen for for the lowest quality and smallest portion. The top quality deals start from 3,000 yen. Extremely reasonable prices, I think. Note: “lowest quality” in Owase equates to “top quality” in many places, including the Japanese cities. Even our Japanese friend from Osaka (where conveyor belt sushi originated from) attests to the fact that sushi in Tokyo and Osaka cannot beat the ones you find in Owase’s supermarkets. As for Singapore’s case, I think “lowest quality” in Owase would be equivalent to the “highest quality” you can ever find in the city.

After trying out some of the most popular sushi bars in Owase, we've decided on our favourite – and that is Hana Zushi 華ずし. For its’ lively ambience, extremely friendly and generous owner/chef and lady boss, and its’ great value for money.

The art of making great tasting sushi requires great skills. In the most delicious sushi bars, the sushi chef dips his hands into ice cold water before shaping the rice to ensure that his body temperature does not affect the temperature and texture of the sushi. Hana Zushi is where you can find such a chef. His hands are as red as a lobster from the constant contact with the icy water, and maybe that is what you call professionalism – something that we really admire.

At Hana Zushi, we’ve tasted the best of sushi – including abalone, hon maguro/kuro maguro toro (tuna belly of black tuna, or commonly known as the original tuna and the king of fish. For the record, a black tuna is often auctioned for millions of yen in Japan), and most recently, live akaashi ebi (translated as red legged shrimp) sushi. To be honest, we had the fortune of eating these delicacies without really having to pay for them. All thanks to the wonderful owner, who seems to just want his customers to have a good time.

That’s not all. Hana Zushi serves a mean chawanmushi too – so good that to say it is gourmet is an understatement.

If you are a sushi or chawanmushi fan, come to Owase and you will understand the world of difference.

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The extremely friendly owner/ chef. 



Left: Hana Zushi branded teacup; Right: the heavenly chawanmushi.



Colourful and gourmet sushi.



Left: “Live” red legged shrimp; Right: Hon maguro toro (black tuna belly).



The TanTans and friends enjoying every bit of their “live” red legged shrimp treat.

Witness the freshness for yourself!