Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Timers Guide to Sushi

So after a a brief blogging hiatus we're back with all of the Japanese dining information you could ever need. Has this blog sparked your interest about Japanese food? Do you have more questions that you want answered? Head over to Toshi-Izakaya's Facebook page and drop us a note. We'd be more than happy to answer any question you may have!

Today's blog post is going to be a first timers guide to sushi. So first of all, congratulations! You've worked up the courage and made the decision to dive into the world of raw fish, fresh rice, and seaweed. Believe me, once you try this, you'll wonder what took you so long.

Before you get your first taste of sushi, I suggest that you go back and refresh your self on they Keywords to Navigating a Japanese Restaurant. This guide will give you an idea of what you're ordering before it even gets to your table. Of course everyone's tastes vary, so you should take our advice with a grain of salt and consider what types of food you normally enjoy. Do you like cooked salmon? Try it as raw now! Not a fan of cream cheese? Avoid the philadelphia roll.

At Toshi-Izakaya a first timer has it easy. All you have to do is order the Omakase, which is the Chef's choice. Give them your budget and what you think you may like/dislike and they'll start preparing the platter for you! By doing this you'll get a good mix of sashimi, sushi and rolls. Is there a specific special roll that has caught your eye on the menu? Go ahead and order that too. You can consider it your appetizer!

If you're new to the world of sushi let us know how your first experience was! Are you a veteran sushi eater? What advice would you give to your friends and family who are just starting to try it? Leave a comment or head on over to our Facebook page to let us know!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cooked Japanese Seafood

We recently published a blog post on what to order at a Japanese Restaurant if you don’t like seafood. Today we’re going to examine Toshi-Izakaya's menu to find options for those who enjoy seafood, but prefer it cooked. This is a very common preference, and there are a variety of Japanese dishes that will satisfy your “sea-tooth”.

For a light but adventurous appetizer, try the calamari salad. A cold, cooked squid salad with a spicy ginger twist is a great way to start off your meal. If you’re looking for something more substantial, or a hot plate, you can try the shrimp shumai (a steamed dumpling), fried oysters, fried calamari, or the saku saku, a fried seafood spring roll.

For dinner why not try a variety of maki rolls and sushi? You heard me right! There are plenty of cooked seafood options for you even when it comes to sushi. One big tip for you is to try eel and shrimp and see if you like them . Eel and shrimp will always be cooked. If you decide you like it, try it in a roll, a hand roll, or on top of a bed of rice as sushi.

Do you want to be a bit more adventurous? Order some of Toshi-Izakaya’s signature rolls such as the Spider Roll which has soft shell crab, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo and eel sauce. Are you a shrimp lover? You can have that as a roll or sushi, but why not try the Tempura Roll? It’s has fried shrimp, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo and eel sauce. The Crunchy Dragon Roll consists of eel, mango, avocado and crunchy tempura flakes. The mango creates a great balance of salty and sweet, and the tempura flakes add an unexpected texture. To read the descriptions of all of Toshi-Izakaya’s specialty rolls, go to the Menu Tab on our Facebook Page.

If you’d prefer a meal from the kitchen, order the shrimp or salmon teriyaki. This traditional marinade pairs great with seafood. For the carb-lovers there is always the spicy seafood ramen!

If you love fresh seafood you have to try Japanese food. Japanese food is much more than raw fish, and you’ll see that on Toshi-Izakaya’s menu. Find what you like on the menu, try it, love it and come back. It’s as easy as that!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Keywords to Navigate a Japanese Restaurant Menu

One reason that we like to dine at Japanese Restaurants is to try foreign and exotic food. The flavors, preparation and presentation of food at Japanese Restaurants is usually much different than anything Mom used to whip up in the kitchen. However, it can get confusing when the menu at Japanese Restaurants is full of words in Japanese. This post will give you a beginners dictionary to help navigate a Japanese Restaurant menu.

Teriyaki: A cooking technique where meat or seafood is grilled in a soy sauce marinade. A good combination of sweet and savory.

Tempura: Vegetables, seafood, or meat are covered in a special Japanese batter and then deep fried. Unlike normal fried food, the tempura batter results in a light and crispy coating.

Katsu: Breaded and fried meat.

Udon: A thick, wheat-flour noodle.

Soba: A thin noodle made of buckwheat.

Yakisoba: Pan-fried noodles made of wheat-flour.

Ramen: Thin wheat-flour noodles in a broth

Sushi: A piece of raw fish or other seafood placed on top of rice. Served cool.

Sashimi: A thin sliced piece of raw fish served without rice

Unaju/Unagi: Cooked eel.

Sansyoku: A trio of salmon, tuna and yellowtail fish

Tekka don: Tuna sashimi

Chirashi: A variety of different sashimi

Maki: A Japanese roll. Fish, seafood, vegetables or meat wrapped in rice, seaweed or rice paper. There are a wide variety of ways to prepare maki rolls.

Omakase: Chef’s choice. Provide the chef with your likes, dislikes and price point, then let the chef prepare an entire meal for you.

Izakaya: A bar and restaurant

Print out this helpful guide next time you go to a Japanese Restaurant and you’ll look like a pro when it comes time to order your meal! If you have any questions, the waiters, waitresses and chefs at Toshi-Izakaya in Avon, CT are glad to help out.

**Please note: Toshi-Izakaya does not own these images.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Non-Seafood Japanese Foods

Although most people’s minds automatically jump to sushi and raw fish when they think about Japanese food, there are so many non-seafood Japanese foods. This post will guide you through Toshi’s menu and help you create the perfect Japanese seafood free meal!

To start off you could play it safe with a house salad. It is a basic salad, but it iis dressed with Toshi-Izakaya’s signature Japanese ginger dressing. If you were looking for something a bit more substantial, why not try the yakitori, which is grilled chicken or steak on a stick. Another option is the beef negamaki, beef and scallions pinwheeled into small medallions with a delicious teriyaki sauce on top. Some other choices included vegetable tempura (fried veggies) and pan fried dumplings.

Now, if you didn’t already fill yourself up on all of your non-seafood Japanese appetizers, it’s time to order your main meal. Again, if you browse through Toshi-Izakaya’s menu, you’ll find that you have a myriad of options for dinner. Some of your options are under the Teriyaki menu heading, where you can choose from chicken, steak, beef tenderloin and beef negimaki. Another option is the chicken and vegetable tempura. That’s right, you can get fried chicken at a Japanese restaurant! If you’re craving carbohydrates you should flip directly to the noodle and fried rice options.

Everyone knows that sushi rolls are typical Japanese food, so why don’t you try one of those! Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you eat seafood (what would be the point of this blog?!) and rest assured, the meat is fully cooked! So then what sushi roll and I talking about? Toshi-Izakaya’s special roll, the Spicy Chicken Tempura roll. This roll has chicken tempura, spicy mayonaise, avocado and cucumber all held together with rice. Now that’s the kind of sushi you’re talking about!

If you’ve left room for dessert why not indulge in the fried ice cream or banana tempura with ice cream? It’s a sweet and delicious way to end your non-seafood Japanese meal!