Sushi, is a style of cuisine first developed in Japan. It has since become widely popular all around the world. I have been lucky enough to have sushi in Japan, where as many people attest, sees sushi as a kind of art, a practice with a particular reverence. Although this is true, as I have come to learn from my most recent expeirnece, that Singapore and I assume many other Asian countries, treat sushi with the same kind of delicacy. I experienced sushi here as I seldom do, making Singapore a definite contender in the art of sushi.
Sushi is no mere roll and cut business. At least not here. Upon entering there is a protocol to follow, you are first instructed to take off your shoes and are then shown to a table that is lower than the floor so that you can sit or kneel by the table. I like to think of this as the acts of reverence towards the sushi gods...tee hee.
Once seated you puruse the menu, or, as in my case, you salivate over the multitude of pictures depicting the different dishes. The set up of the menu is quite different from what we are used to in North America. For one thing, sushi rolls are not the center of attention. Instead, each page showcases a different style of dish, sashimi or raw fish, ramen (noodle soups), tempura (fried dishes), cooked fish, soba dishes and so on.
Of all the things we ordered, only two were sushi rolls..they happened to be the most delicious rolls (soft shell crab and eel with tamago and cucumber), but so was everything else we ordered. Above are two different soups, one with beef and egg dropped into it and the other a miso soup with loads of vegetables.
The key to this type of food is the freshness and presentation of the ingredients. Most of it is simple and there is no hidding poor quality. A simple thing like a seaweed salad becomes a piece of art in itself. Sushi Tei excelled in both quality, presentation, the two most important features of good sushi.
This is a tofu dish served with a garnish of 'wood fish', which is simply a type of fish they shave so that it litteraly resembles wood shavings...it was salty and sweet.
I won't pretend like a meal of this sort and of this magnitude can be considered frugal, but I will say that I think it was worth it to experience this traditional way of eating at a sushi restaurant.
Oh and also of note, the drink of choice here in Singapore seems to be 'Tiger beer'. As you may know, I am no beer drinker, but this stuff was pretty tolerable, even for me:)