Saturday, September 8, 2007
People must be crazy queuing for sushi before six in the morning and still need to wait for another 1 hour or more. Is it worth it? You've got to ask mum and dad. They have done it more than once so the vinegar flavored rice with a piece of raw fish is worth the wait. Dad prefers Sushi Dai 寿司大 to Sushi Daiwa 寿司大和. But then the Tsukiji market will be demolished soon, not a lot of time before he can go and compare the two again.
You hear all sort of funny comments while queuing for hours on end. The funniest perhaps was some Taiwanese man trying to impress his female companion with his vast knowledge of Japanese sushi culture and told her that these two restaurants have a long history built before the Edo period (1603-1868). All deduced from the "Edo Mae" 江戸前 sign in the shopfront. Of course this has nothing to do with the time when the restaurant was established, but the generic name for Tokyo style, hand moulded rice ball sushi and its literal meaning is seafood caught from near Tokyo bay. This form of sushi was created at the end of the Edo period (1800~) as a form of fast food for people to eat at street stalls, a far cry from the elevated status it has nowadays. Tsukiji only turned into a fish market after the Great Kando Earthquake in 1923.
You also get a great selection of fruit and other foodstuff in Tsukiji. Not only are they cheaper than the department stores, they are often fresher as well. Go before it's too late.