677 Sainte-Catherine O.
Complexe Les Ailes
Bus: STM 15, 24, 61, 107, 125, 168, 420, 715
Visit: February 1, 2013
One of the recurring threads of 2013 so far is the fact that I’m ending up in places or situations that I don’t plan on. One of those places happens to be a shopping center sushi shop known as Sushiman. With 11 locations in the province of Quebec, they are now part of lunches every day. My visit was not expected, but one that I’m glad I made.
Before we get into the topic of sushi, I have to explain how I ended up here. On this very day, I had dinner reservations at a restaurant later that evening. One of the people who was joining me for my reservation was Heizenberg, a former colleague who likes his Asian food.
We had a few hours to spare and I was just happy enough to just find a place with Wi-Fi to sit. Well, while we were on the metro, Heizenberg tells me that he wanted a snack. With reservations just 2 hours away, I found it a tad bit suspect. We circled the Eaton Center food court for something to eat. He wanted to actually buy a full meal. Well, we found our place at Complexe Les Ailes.
For those who aren’t aware of the history of Complexe Les Ailes, this used to be the home of the Eaton department store for so many years. In recent times, certain stores have been having issues trying to survive, especially in a tougher economy. This shopping center was a big part of my university career with all the time I spent walking the underground network.
Now, I know that I’m not going to get mind-blowing sushi over here, that’s not the purpose of this post. The point of it all was to try sushi for the first time. Yes, you read that right, I’ve never had proper sushi. For those wondering, the only time I had sushi was from a suspect Chinese buffet. So, as Heizenberg was getting ready to order, I asked him if I could try a piece, to which he obliged.
To further understand Heizenberg a little more, after eating the sushi he ordered, he want to the neighboring coffee shop, where he got something to eat and drink. Again, I was wondering if he would be able to eat his entire dinner meal in just a few hours. He made sure to ensure his dedication to eating everything that night.
Sushiman is your typical mall restaurant. The quality of food in these places is usually hit or miss. I’m not going to tell anyone that this is the best ever. All I’m going to do is recount my first real experience with sushi.
Like most shopping center places, you line up at a counter, make your order, and wait for what you’re about to eat. Once you receive your food, you go to a table to enjoy what you chose. For a set of 6 pieces of sushi, it came out to about 5 dollars. I had the chance to try a few pieces.
All you need for sushi.
The sushi that you see here is a salmon roll. I’m going to leave it at that since I’m still quite a novice when it comes to the subject.
The soy sauce.
What I got from eating the piece of sushi, I was quite happy with my first experience. The addition of the soy sauce to the sushi was key to make sure you got the full flavour. The crunchiness of the rice was also another addition that made it interesting. Just based on this, I’m looking forward to trying sushi again.
Now, it wouldn’t be a good story without a word about something stupid that I did. This is a glob of wasabi, which came standard with the box. We all know that wasabi can be quite unbearable if you’re not ready for it.
A few years back, at another suspect Chinese buffet, I accompanied two colleagues to see how the food was. One of the colleagues came back with a glob of wasabi, not knowing what it was. At the time, I didn’t know too much about it, but enough to know not to have it. Well, he took most of the wasabi straight up and paid for it. For the next few months, he wouldn’t let me forget it.
If we fast forward to present day 2013, I decided to consciously make the biggest mistake of the day, to try some wasabi. The heat doesn’t hit you immediately. After a split second, there it is, with full intensity. It comes out your mouth and your nose. It was the most intense heat I ever had in 30 years. Luckily, I had a bottle of water right by me, or it would have been worse. At least I can cross that off my stupidity bucket list.
Sushiman is your typical shopping center food counter. In the end, I was happy with my first ever real experience trying sushi. I was so happy that I won’t close the door on another attempt, though wasabi won’t be invited to any of my future gatherings.