Inspiration For Your Mouth

Random Article

Posted July 21, 2011 by samuek in Food Joints

Japango Part 1 – Maki, Rolls Are For Suckers

Bluefin O-Toro

Return Factor – You’d think I was the manager
Location(s) –  122 Elizabeth St. Toronto
Atmosphere – Casual
Price – $80 a person
Notes:  20 Seats, reservation if your smart, personal chopsticks if you patron

 O Japango, Japango, wherefore art thou, Japango.  Oh yeah at Bay and Dundas.  Please, oh please, when you go to Japango do not order rolls.  This makes old ladies cry.  It makes puppies sad.  It also is kind of a waste of time.  Rolls are rolls are rolls.  They can be fun and creative and can be constructed in thousands of combinations from raw to cooked.  However, why rolls people?  Japango and a few others will take a whole live fish, take out the meat and serve the meat sashimi style alongside the body.  Rolls what?  Rolls who?  Japango, though it serves middle road dishes like California rolls, also serves up some amazing daily and weekly specials.  Go for it.  Try something different.  Learn the word “Omakase.”  Trust the chef.    

 Like I said, you will not find this on any menu and have to ask for the specials.  What presentation.  Fried Grouper, with the meat taken out and served on the fish it came from.  Connect the eater with source of the food.  Isn’t that just peachy keen?

Their “Omakase” sashimi plate.  Again the Aji or Spanish Mackerel, has had the meat removed and served with the fish it was taken from.  Menus suck!!!  You must note that Japango is a tiny place with some old decor but this is something that should be embraced.  The small space is very Japanese and if you think about the undertaking of ensuring high quality, fresh fish served raw, you do not want a large restaurant.  Large restaurants serving raw fish scare me.  Restaurants in general serving any food have a hard enough time with noodles let alone raw fish.  If a place reeks of Japan and they serve Japanese food, then you are probably good.  

This is the Japango Chef in the 3rd person.  

“Man what a long day.  I got some obscenely fresh fish from my fishmonger, ensured the ones that were alive were transported properly to my restaurant to keep the subtle flavours and some guy orders California rolls.  I am not mad just confused as to why they won’t try the real stuff.  I should remove the menu all together.  Maybe not.  I gutted a huge monkfish today also, used the meat for a fried dish and harvested the livers.  I ground the livers down to a paste and formed them into a roll, wrapped it in plastic wrap, then set them in the fridge to form.  I created this insane yuzu gelatin to go garnish it, yet someone orders Teriyaki in a bento box.  I slave over perfecting rice, I make my own soya sauce and infuse it with things like dashi and sometimes kombu and yet tempura shrimp is the most popular.  You know no one has bought me a beer during their meal in at least a week.  I love it when grateful customers do that.  Anyway, got to go get the freshest fish, still alive from the back, meticulously separate the meat from the bones, cut around blood lines and convert it into a perfect dish.  Hopefully someone notices today and says thank you.  I am sure glad my sous chef does the rolls and not me…oh boy.”

Japango on Urbanspoon




Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response