Monday, November 22, 2010

Seattle, Sake, and Sushi

So when planning our visit to Seattle we both threw out the idea of sushi.  I hadn’t had sushi since returning to the West Coast (until Birthday Party #4) and John looks forward to it every time he ventures out here from Boston.

Since Seattle seems to have a thousand and one sushi restaurants we opted to visit one John had enjoyed on a previous business trip.  Umi Sake House in Belltown.


We mistakenly didn’t make reservations ahead of time so we had a fairly lengthy wait, but the restaurant offers a very nice bar where we sat and enjoyed a cocktail.  After a while the hostess came by and asked if we wanted to sit up at the sushi bar but we opted to wait for a table. Turned out it was only another five minutes and we were seated at a neat little low-seated table.  Our seats were more like comfy little love seats (cool…however my lower back wasn’t a big fan!).

We were immediately served complimentary edamame (I’ll apologize now for the terrible photos…it was very dark in there and even with a flash I was hard pressed to get an attractive photo of the food)…


John suggested sake…and my first reaction was “I don’t like sake”.  I promptly retracted my statement and said “actually I’ve only ever had it a few times and found it too strong and bitter”.  When our server came back I asked her if she could help us chose something smoother.

She really understood where I was coming from and recommended we order a flight of three varieties to share and that way we could make an informed decision about what we might actually like.

Such a great idea.  She recommended one unfiltered (very creamy and almost tropical tasting)(Kinkgasumi Nigori), a sparkling (slightly cloudy with a good sparkling zing)(Tsuki Usagi), and a regular popular sake (much smoother than any I’ve had before but still not my fave)(Mu Daiginjo).


While we sipped our appetizer choice arrived.  (So sad it’s a blurry picture!!).  How could we pass up the Lobster Tempura?  It was hot, buttery, melt in your mouth delicious. 


We then opted to order a bottle of the sparkling sake to share.  Yum!


We spent a lot of time haggling about which sashimi to order so in the end we decided on an assorted plate…but asked her to make sure there was Toro on the plate. 

Everything was soooo amazingly fresh and melt in your mouth fabulous.  Aside from the squid (which I gladly let John enjoy) it was a plate full of my favourites…sweet shrimp, tuna belly, salmon…all yum!!


We decided to order something a little different as our sushi roll.  It came from their special sheet…it was called something like “Big Girls Roll” and included crab, tuna, kiwi, strawberry ponzu and other crazy things I cannot for the life of me remember.

It was delicious but a tad too sweet for us.  More like dessert sushi.  We probably should have ordered a spicy tuna roll but were being adventurous.


After that John wanted something warmer and more comforting.  We were considering some sort of tempura dish but when he asked our server about these crisp prawns it was pretty clear we needed to order them.

These were awesome!  Four large prawns wrapped with egg noodle then fried…drizzled with a sweet chili lime sauce.  So deeelish…even if they were a little messy to bite into.


After all of that there was no way we were ordering dessert.  Remember we ate four large cups of chowder earlier in the day.  Oh boy. 

We did go on the hunt for one of Seattle’s little speakeasy spots.  Seems to be the new “big thing” down there…tiny little hidden gin joints.  It took a bit of scouring around and asking two different hot dog vendors to help us find it, but we did eventually find a random door in a random alleyway that turned out to be Bathtub Gin & Co.


Tiny little hole in the wall.  We enjoyed a quick Grey Goose and soda then called it a night.  Lord knows with all of that food and booze sleep was pending. Nom. zzzzzzzzzzz.

I’d like to thank Seattle for really fattening me up for the cold weather!

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