21 February 2005

Beware the sea urchin

My friend Harry and I went to Sakura in Glorietta for some late afternoon Japanese food. I am a self-confessed Japanese food aficionado, but that encounter put quite a dent to this craving for raw food.

It's not questioning the service of Sakura. In fact, they have gracious personnel, and the food did arrive promptly (a big bowl of ramen, a delicious rice topping of sorts, mixed sashimi, and green iced tea).

Well, aside from the familiar glint of white, pink and reds of the salmon, tuna, and shrimp on top of moulded rice, there was a distinct concoction of rice wrapped in nori (seaweed) and on top of this is a rather intriguing mass of goo. It reminded me of fish insides, actually.

I promptly called the waiter over.

"Boss, ano 'to?" (Boss, what's this?)
"Sea urchin, sir. Masarap yan!" (That's delicious!)

Staring at this strange sashimi, I can't begine to imagine how it tasted like.

"Sir, this increases your drive for ... you know ..." The waiter's smile finished the sentence for him. He promptly left to attend to other customers.

I picked up my chopsticks and took a teeny weeny bit on top, dipped it on the wasabi-coated kikkoman, and popped it into my mouth. At first it tasted like oysters. And then the taste became stronger, like a concentrated version of oysters and clams. I frowned.

The waiter said it's great with soy, calamansi (a small, citurs fruit), and wasabi! And he promptly brought me some. With Harry taking a video with his phone of this momentous event, I took another small sample. My face did a couple of contortions.

Later that afternoon, I felt my face go numb in the cheeks, and a bit scratchy here and there. Thank goodness it subsided later into the night. I was already planning to borrow medicine from Harry, who's allergic to these things.

That's the last time I'll order anything with sea urchin in it!


  1. That "thing" is actually tasty. I guess you haven't tried eating fugu. I would only eat it if a licensed fugu chef is around. And that would probably be nil locally.

  2. I also forgot to mention about Tori Sashi...now that is something...

  3. Hello jgotangco! I had the first impression that fugu meant blowfish, and a google search for that term lead me to the Destroy all monsters! site. Never mind its notorious reputation; at $100 - $200 per meal, I think I'll pass up. :-)

    And then I visited bento.com for tori sashi ... it's raw chicken served sashimi style! Banzaaaaiii!!

  4. talaga sir nick...bibilis ako magDRIVE pag kumain ako ng sea urchin? dba? sabi nung waiter eh.

  5. Anonymous10:23 pm

    Jap food! Yummy!
    But I might not try what you ate...

    Thanks for the tip.:) I know what to avoid. I know I am adventurous when it comes to food but... I don't wanna risk it.

    Anyhow, I am usually home by 9. I wuold appreciate your dear wifey's call by then:) Thanks!

  6. ey watson, that sounded nasty. at least they have good service. try the jap resto in front of figaro. lousy service! or waitress.. sobrang binge and LOOOUUUUUZZZZY!!! PWEH!

  7. yeahhhh....Tori Sashi...two thumbs up...WAYYY UPPPP.....

  8. Hello Master Chu. Tama ka, bibilis talaga ang DRIVE mo bwahahaha <-- uso ang tawang ito dun sa google group na kasama ako

    Hello eClair! Sige I'll inform my wife :-)

    Hello Dessa girl! Yeah, I have eperienced their "quality service". We waited for nearly an hour to get served! No kidding!

    Jgotangco! I can imagine your icon eating tori sashimi ...

  9. Ground Control...Krrxzzzt...I believe eating such kind of food is entirely sublime and an elevating experience otherwise they would not have been as popular. However, putting any raw food into our mouth should be done with great caution and care. I used to love that food Mr.wats0n but with your warnings, i may be careful next time. More Power to you.

  10. never enjoyed the sea urchin taste even before and I was told some do get bad allergy with it. I stick to my fav which are the spider, sashimi, dynamite and unagi...

  11. Hello! Saw your update in Pinoyblog. Too bad you're allergic to it,it's one of the most popular kind of sushi. :)

  12. Yes Major Tom, it was indeed a unique experience. I'm not afraid to try something new, especially with Japanese food, but I do it ever so carefully when they're exotic.

    Hello Cerridwen! What's the Spider and Dynamite? Hmmm.... intriguing ...

    Ohayoo Gozaimasu Sachiko chan! It's a work in progress. I used to loathe raw fish before, perhaps I'll acquire the taste of sea urchin too ... someday ...

  13. I love the sea urchin sir. First impression ko din medyo gross because of the consistency. There were certainly times when i compared it to phlegm and pus...hehehe....revolting, yes...but now I'm a convert. I LOVE Japanese food especially salmon, ikura and unagi. :)

  14. Doc Emer! Did it take some getting used to? The sea urchin, I mean? It really looks wierd :-)


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