harakiri

Taking the 11.15am bus to Mitsuwa, a Japanese hypermart just across the water in Edgewater, I was on a mission to witness a performance that involved a few good men and a giant bluefin tuna. And, of course, to participate in the eating of said fish. And contrary to popular belief, the decimation of a 400+ pound bluefin tuna was not gory nor strange. It was a fish that was being dissected after all, and we know that fish, unless it was Nemo, could hardly be called cute. Also, the entire demonstration was devoid of blood and any ritualistic ceremonies that could have mystified the process.  In fact, the fishmen, with their no-nonsense attitude methodically broke down the entire fish with such economy of movement that the entire process took less than an hour, from fish to sushi. The most exciting moment came when the head fish-cutter hopped onto the table with a thin, long blade and performed harakiri on the fish. After that, it was almost anticlimatic, if not for the excited crowd taking pictures, chattering animatedly and reaching over for slabs of toro fuelling the carnival-like atmosphere.

sushi

I joined the line for sushi, a veritable steal at $9 for 7 pieces. The platter includes 3 pieces of maguro, 3 chutoro and 1 pale pink slice of otoro, well marbled and buttery soft. Just the otoro would have cost one about $10 per piece in Manhattan. Despite the fact that this was industrial sushi and should not be compared to the likes of Sushi Yasuda or other sushi palaces of $100+ omakases, the fish was of the freshest, barely off the bone quality, and molded into sushi by sushi chefs frenetically turning out pieces in order to meet the demand. Ok, there were concessions to be made, like tubed wasabi, packaged soy sauce and the near impossible task to find a table in the packed food court. But after finding a seat and digest some luscious fish, I found myself congratulating my decision to make it out to New Jersey.

Mitsuwa Marketplace, New Jersey

595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ 07020

http://www.mitsuwanj.com

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