Sheridan Su

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pissed off about Mexican sashimi!!

There are just too many restaurants that try to be everything to everyone. Much more often than not, the results are a disappointing, ugly, diluted version of what the dish should be. Here is my personal philosophy for cooking: Keep it simple, stick with what you know best, and then do it better than everyone else.

For example, take this Kona Kanpachi dish (below) from a popular seafood restaurant in Santa Fe. It has a huge menu with over 200 items. The server informed me that they just added a sushi menu to their raw bar. So I review their menu: tuna, octopus, snapper, scallop, and then I see kanpachi. I ordered it: Kona Kanpachi Sashimi with a salad made up of nori, shiso, bamboo shoots, and rice. Then they confirmed my worst fear. The fish was no bueno. I should have stuck with the basics: shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, stone crab claws, etc. Now back to the kanpachi: I removed 2 pinbones from my first bite into the sashimi!! To add to the disaster, the kanpachi was barely fresh enough to serve. It was dry and the fish was pretty much hacked into. (Notice how the slices of fish on the left side are torn instead of sliced?) Then, they placed Mexican rice underneath the salad. It's not a bad thing, but the rice wasn't cooked today. Old and cold crystalized rice will never pass my test.

This was all I could take, 2 SLICES! Now, I'm a chef. I don't like returning dishes back to the kitchen, and usually try to finish off my plates. However, for the first time here in DF, I just politely asked to have it taken off the check. To give this establishment some cred, the complementary shellfish broth they served me, was delicious. This restaurant is actually one of the busier ones in town. Because of their reputation, I would like to go back to give it another shot. However, I'm going to stick with the dishes that they are known for.
This is what sashimi should look like.
(above is a great example of how sashimi should appear. courtesy of social house las vegas)


Midwesterner in Mexico said...

*cringe* regarding the crispy-old Mexican rice. :) You've probably also already observed the pervasive trend of cream cheese in every single piece sushi here, or manchego melted onto the outside. All things in moderation, Mexico sushi makers!! My husband is also a fan of Chaseki, right next to his work @ the US Embassy.

Sheridan Su said...

Hey Julie...yeah, a lot of sushi joints here shouldn't be serving what they serve. haha.

I'll have to check out Chaseki again. I only had a couple bites there my first time. However, I recently found a couple places in Condesa that do their craft very well.

Lesley said...

I think you've stumbled on the biggest drawback of eating in Mexico City restaurants: 95 percent of the time, the food is inconsistent. Or your food will show up as something different than what's written on the menu. It's totally annoying, but it does give the consistent places an automatic edge. The street, interestingly, is a whole different story -- the food there is always good.

Just stumbled on your blog through Julie's. Welcome to DF!

Sheridan Su said...

Thanks, Lesley. I'm still learning a lot about the food culture here. The journey, especially the street food, has been amazing so far.

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