Monday, July 7, 2008

Bee bop bop

Last night I enjoyed dinner with Brice and Cathy. We went to one of those sushi bars with the conveyor belts. I am a huge sushi person, but had never experienced one of these restaurants before. I thought it was definitely time to give it a go. Overall, the whole experience was great. Cathy insisted on sitting next to the conveyor belt and being my very enthusiastic sushi liaison. For a half-hour, I shouted the names of rolls that struck my fancy, and Cathy delivered them to my place setting with smiles galore. When I jokingly suggested she get a job at the restaurant, she said: "I got an application already!", with a look of glee on her face. Before we even finished eating our first course, Brice had his eyes set on desert. I suggested the tiramisu or the chocolate mousses that looked very appealing. But just as we were about to grab a very unfitting desert for a Japanese restaurant, a small plate caught Brice's eye. 

Behold, Mochi

To the naked eye, these little critters are harmless, small, round, often pastel-colored cakes made of pounded glutenous rice. They're pretty much adorable. Unable to contain our excitement over our teeny, exotic deserts, we opened the lid to the Mochi and decided they needed to be consumed before our shrimp tempura rolls. Brice was first. However, as soon as he laid a finger on the Mochi, he made the strangest face I have ever seen. If only I had taken my camera out at that very moment, I would've been able to capture the face of ultimate horror. "Baby skin!", he shouted. "BAY-BEE. SKIN." Cathy and I wiped our puzzled looks off our faces, and picked up our own individual cakes. Brice was right. Against my fingertips, our desert felt like soft, heavily baby-powdered, toddler flesh. I wish there was a less grotesque way of describing the Mochi's texture. Now that I was intensely grossed out by the Mochi's feel, it was time for a taste test. We voted Brice first again. As he bit into his little sea foam green cake, I cringed. He didn't seem too displeased though and Cathy and I inched our mouths closer to our tiny treats. Against my lips, the Mochi was powdery and soft, but I could not seem to rid the image of horrid cannibalism and the consumption of human flesh, from my mind. The bite was fine once I punctured through the layer of rice with my teeth. Little did I know, there was an ooey-gooey surprise waiting further in. A second bite ensued and behold, sweet red bean paste. That second chew lasted a mere nanosecond before I yanked my napkin off my lap and spat the masticated blob of pink mush and maroon mush into it. Now, I rarely ever spit out a mouthful of food at meals and particularly at restaurants, but I found the urge hard to fight off after that taste. 

A look at the inner depths of a red bean Mochi:


But overall dinner was quite good. Excellent company, fair sushi, and a memorable experience. We will certainly return. However, I think we'd all be down with a slice of New York cheesecake on our next visit.  

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