Sunday, 17 June 2012

Long time between sushi

As most people would know I eat very little seafood products and in fact other than the occasional Fillet O Fish from Mc Donalds I dont eat fish at all. However once upon a time I visited one of Melbourne's premier Japanese tappas style restaurant by invite from one of the very talented chefs at the restaurant Ichi Ni who was also a keen squid angler.

Wataru and Uo-Jya = Squid
It all started when I was conducting squid seminars along with Japanese Gan Craft staff Yuya Nakahira and Kotaro Kake, we had just completed a talk session at Anglers Bait World in Coburg when we met with Wataru, I had spoken with Wataru via facebook on occasions but this was the first time I had met with him. At first I was not too sure if we were going to be able to attend the restaurant with a our very tight schedule but after completing 2 days of competition fishing the guys Yuya and Kotaro agreed that we had some time to visit. It was about 2000 on a Sunday night when we made it to the packed restaurant and with a bit of name dropping we were seated in front of where Wataru was preparing sushi and sushimi for the many patrons inside. I was very impressed with the detail that these guys put into their food. I was asked the question "if I can make fish not taste like fish will you eat it?" perplexed I said "yes but only if you can make it not taste like fish" I am not sure of what stroke of genius was mustered but I awkwardly picked up the chop sticks like a knew what I was doing (clearly I did not know what I was doing) and placed a piece of the fish in my mouth. To my surprise some sort of magic had been created by Wataru and I demolished an entire plate of raw fish. We were off to a good start and the food just got better from there. If any one is looking for a place to try some authentic Japanese cuisine I can not recommend this place enough and if you do go make sure you try the JFC rolls, not sure what the real name is but will get back to you when I find out, Wataru had made a very fancy looking version of a sushi roll with a Japanese Fried chicken that was to die for just for me. It was then decided that I must take this bloke for a fish. So here we are.

I have been trying to work out a time to get out with the Sushi chef extraordinare but with his schedule and mine clashing it was going to be a tough task, that was until I managed to get an early finish in at work, a quick phone call and a time was set for us to meet at Hastings to get out for a squid session. All recent reports were concerning as the squid had not been their normal active selves in recent weeks but we can not catch squid from the couch at home so an attempt was made.

We first headed to Crib Point looking for an area that had flow as with the recent rain we were hoping to find some clean water and Westernport is known for its brown poo color after a bit of rain, the visibility was about 1 meter and a quick drift made it clear that this was not the place for us to find some decent squid so a move towards Tankerton was decided as the flow was faster and water change over is higher with the tide movement. We managed to find some clean water and started a drift, it did not take too long before we found a few squid and they just kept coming. Nothing huge but some nice food sized specimens amongst them. We had a good time while the light lasted but it was not long until the sun went to bed and I also had to go to bed having to start work at 0300 in the morning.

If any one is keen to visit Ichi Ni you can go to their website ICHI NI IZAKAYA or contact them on (03)9534 1212 they are located at 12 The Esplanade  St Kilda Victoria, you will not be disappointed with the quality of bot the service and the food at this place, dont tell em I sent you as they have no idea who I am hahahaha.

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