My team was invited out for Japanese food in Suzhou last night. I was told it would be sushi, and there was some sushi, but most of the food was stuff I’ve never had before served in a style called Yakatori. Basically, if they can put it on a stick, we ate it. So aside from the chicken livers, hearts and other odd bits. I ate a whole bunch of stuff that was new to me, like a dish they called chicken bones. I’m not sure where the meat came from, it might have been comb, or parts of the chicken feet, but it was a chewy mess. Good though, but hard on the teeth. It was like eating chicken flavored soft rocks.
I also tried Yukke, which is raw sliced beef. It was served chilled with a raw egg mixture for dipping. The texture and flavor were perfect, but I could not see eating it in large quantities. There is something about eating raw beef that I find unsettling.
Another interesting meal combination was grilled fish (Yakizakana) stuffed with roe. You eat it head and all. It was delicious, but different enough that I had to stifle a gage response at the initial smell. We also had a eight inch long fist that looked a little like a small mackerel cooked whole. You had to pull the meat out in long strips so that the bones were gently peeled away from the meat. I enjoyed this dish. I’ll post a picture of it when I am able.
We drank a tall bottle of sake and a few beers each. The ritualized toasts are still hard to understand, but after a few bottles of hot sake it no longer mattered. My team looks a little the worse for wear this morning, plus we must do it all over again tonight. Travel is hell.