When it comes to new experiences, I’m kind of conflicted.
I don’t like idea of becoming set in my ways and less willing to take chances as I grow older – but, at the same time, if I’m realistically halfway through my life I’m becoming less willing to waste time doing things that I just don’t want to do. A finite number of days left on earth means a finite amount of time in which I get to do interesting things. And a finite number of meals left to eat means I don’t want to waste them on things I don’t like.
Baked beans. Mashed potatoes. Korma.
Because, let’s be honest here: if you know me, and you know this blog, you know I’m talking about food. We all know that I love what I like, but there is a long list of things that I won’t even try. And yet, the other week, when I found myself sitting behind a plate of the freshest – and rawest – sushi I had ever seen, at the launch party for new Japanese-meets-street-food place Temaki, I picked up a piece of salmon maki, popped it into my mouth whole, and chewed.
Taste is a funny thing, isn’t it? I mean, lots of people like sushi. Love sushi, even. Lord knows Jehane, who as the friend of mine who most adores Japanese food and culture was always going to be my guest for this one, practically cleared her plate. I imagine if you are one of those people who likes sushi, you will love Temaki’s sushi. As for me? It turned out that my suspicions were correct, and I hate the stuff.
But that’s not a criticism, and lord knows there was plenty on Temaki’s perfectly pitched tasting menu to keep me happy. A full plate of edamame, cooked in a spicy kimchi sauce; some tasty custom cocktails with sake and lychee; matcha ice cream; a steaming bowl of chilli chicken ramen. And, of course, a taste of that something different Temaki is proposing to bring to Glasgow’s casual dining scene: the sushi burrito.
A sushi burrito, I hear you cry, what on earth? Well, in a way it’s exactly what it sounds like: part sushi, part burrito; packed with tasty fresh ingredients and sushi rice and rolled in seaweed like a giant sushi roll. And no need for raw fish, unless that’s your scene. The version we tried was made with tasty roasted shredded crispy duck, cucumber, cabbage, avocado, onions and hoisin sauce, and it was really, really good.
Offer me ramen and I’m unlikely to complain, particularly on a cold winter’s night: it’s not the easiest of dishes to eat, particularly if you’re prone to being a bit of a messy eater, but it’s so warming and comforting it’s hard to care. I don’t get the inclusion of a floating boiled egg, but apparently that’s authentic and it was easy enough for me to eat around. It’s not the greatest ramen in Glasgow, according to my pet Japanese food expert, but it’s pretty close.
An American friend of Stringer’s, recently moved to town, was complaining recently about the lack of decent Japanese food in Glasgow – but, with Temaki and Ramen Dayo both popping up in the last month, I suspect he won’t find it too hard to satisfy his cravings. I mean, my experience of authentic Japanese food is so minimal Jehane had to gently explain to me that no, you’re not supposed to eat the edamame whole – I’d had mange tout in a casserole the day before, okay? – so don’t take my word for it. But with its handy city centre location, Temaki might just become my new favourite spot for a lunch date.
Thanks to Temaki for the launch night invite and tasting menu – all opinions are, as I think is pretty clear, completely my own.