Anyway, the food. Well, the sets were fairly average, to be honest. The oyakodon was serviceable and while (in fairness) I detected no meat in the dish that needed to be rejected entirely, the chicken did not look the best quality. The flavour was ok, but that is about it. As for the tonkatsu, I found it very fatty for my taste, but I speak as a Westerner and I have the distinct impression that there is a far higher tolerance (or even appetite?) for fatty meat in Asia.
Two minor positive points, though: the sesame seed dressing on the small salad appetizers was simple and excellent; and the miso soup – which I normally sip once and then leave altogether as it tastes of pee in most places – was actually very palatable (or should that be potable?), and more strongly-flavoured than any I have had before. So anyway, the sets get a pass.
Our choice of sushi on the first occasion was the All Salmon, All the Time specialist sushi. This maki was very good indeed. The concept was also quite original (to a non-expert like me, anyway), as the nori wrapper was itself wrapped in grilled salmon strips, then dressed gently in what I think was a creamy lemon sauce, and finally topped with tobiko. It worked, and was in fact quite rich and heavy (perhaps due to the avocado filling, which I gather would make this technically a California roll), so we had more than enough to eat that night. Full marks for that, and a lesson to us to stick to what Standing Sushi Bar knows.
I have the distinct impression that Standing Sushi Bar isn’t the place for authenticity. But in any case, this was another successful creation, and the soft-shelled crab came as a pleasant surprise, as I had assumed the ‘crab’ sushi would involve the usual crab-stick filling. Only gripes: It’s a pity there is no way of presenting wasabi on a plate without making it look like a dollop of some toddler’s plasticene. And while I liked the way the dish looked, others might say it was so ugly it could be a modern art masterpiece (apologies to R. Lee Ermey) - not an inappropriate analogy, given that we were at SAM...
If you agree or disagree with what I said, why not leave a comment? It would be great to hear from you!
http://standingsushibar.com/ - Standing Sushi Bar’s website – no menu when you click ‘Food’, just a nice photo…
And trying to get my definitions right: