Sushi and other fish dishes rely on getting very fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean. We here on the Pacific Rim are quite spoiled. Japanese restaurants are quite fantastic here. So what do you do when traveling in the UK and Ireland and your fav cuisine is a bit elusive? Keep trying. Most Japanese restaurants have adapted to working off the Atlantic Ocean, using fish found there for the sushi and traditional fish stews, after all, dashi is usually shaved bonito which is freeze dried and easy to transport. But you won’t see Yellowtail (Hamachi) or other fish from the Pacific. Or if you do, it’s not fresh, it’s frozen and you can taste that difference. So when you are in the UK, you may just have to settle for chicken or beef dishes.
My second day in Glasgow and I wanted Japanese. I looked up a restaurant on Yelp and hoped for the best. The sushi Nigiri list had much to be desired, so I tried a traditional dinner instead, more comfort food, Nanakusa was pretty good overall. But then I was on a quest. Well, what happens when you get an unsatisfactory taste sensation? You seek out better choices. The next Japanese I tried was off the Buchanan Mall area and up some stairs, Ichiban. Out of the way a bit, but their Japanese curry was good. I lamented with the Japanese wait staff over finding good Nigiri in Scotland. I then chatted with them about getting a menu to catered to the Atlantic v. Pacific fish market. There was a degree of sadness felt, a commiseration. But if you look you can still find some good Japanese if not great fusion, if you are willing to seek it out.
In Edinburgh I tried out a Japanese that was a fusion restaurant. Eh, it left a bit to be desired and well, I had to really get attention to get attention. Oh, when ordering Sake, make sure you tell them hot. Don’t assume they will know. Restaurants in the UK tend to default to room temp or cold. Also, their flasks aren’t as large as in the US. Just a tip.