On our last trip to Japan we, of course, visited my mother. We offered to take my mother and her two sisters (my aunts) out for lunch, but she said it was easier and more relaxing if we just stayed in and had the get-together at the house. My mother then produced a flyer she had just received from a chain sushi restaurant called "Kaisen-maru" 海鮮丸. Although she had not tried them before, she suggested that we order a sushi platter for our “aunts’ luncheon party. Just one phone call and a few hours later, a very polite and professional young man appeared at the front door with a large sushi platter and an order of chawanmushi 茶碗蒸し(still warm). (The choice of '”side” was miso soup or chawanmushi). He collected the money (a very reasonable price) and said "please leave the empty sushi-oke and bowls outside the front door when you finish". He added that he would come back later and collect them; which he did--they quietly disappeared soon after we put them out. The degree of service was just amazing (the sushi came in real "sushi-oke" 寿司桶 not a disposable plastic plate and the chawanmushi came in real porcelain bowls). My mother made miso soup using baby clams which happened to be one of my Aunt’s absolute favorite. The quality of sushi was pretty good considering it was a delivery from a chain sushi restaurant. We had a quite a feast and a very relaxing good time.
March is a busy birthday month for us with 3 to celebrate including our best friends. Using the Aunt’s party as a prototype my wife suggested we order a sushi platter from our Tako Grill for a “March Birthday” party. To “increase my enjoyment and relaxation” my wife forbade me from cooking for the occasion. So we ordered a sushi platter from Tako Grill.
Since one of the guests was a vegetarian, I asked Mr Segawa of Tako Grill to include more vegetable rolls than usual.
It was very nicely presented and even the "gari" ginger was arranged like a yellow rose. California roll in the front and "kankyou" maki かんぴょう巻き (vegetarian) in the back (above picture).
As you can see, sushi included tuna, yellow tail, flounder, eel, mackerel, salmon roe, California roll and few interesting vegetarian rolls. In addition to the sushi platter, we also asked Mr. Segawa to prepare Japanese-style appetizers.
The above is konnyaku dengaku (vegetarian) こんにゃくの田楽; the darker one are with peanuts sauce and the lighter ones (right) is more traditional miso sauce.
In the back, these are very nice and crispy chicken kara-age 鳥の唐揚げ, the front right are pork and onion kushiage 串揚げ and the front left are grilled marinated cubed steak サイコロステーキの串焼き. Mr Segawa also gave us asparagus dressed in tofu dressing (vegetarian) アスパラの白和え, which I forgot to take a picture.
As a desert, my wife ordered a dozen cupcakes on the internet from Georgetown Cupcake for pick-up at the Bethesda store. I am not sure why cupcakes are so popular now-a-days but Georgetown cupcake appears to have started this trend. My wife said she has even seen a pink truck labeled Curb-side cupcakes selling cupcakes in downtown DC and people line up on the side walk to buy them. When we arrived at the store for pick-up, the line extended out of the store and half-way down the block. This was despite a very heavy rain.
Everything was wonderful. The chicken, pork and steak were flavorful—the chicken especially crispy. The vegetarian rolls were creative and plentiful. Even the non-vegetarians were satisfied. We all had a wonderful time and was indeed the best birthday party ever.
Disclaimer: Although Tako Grill has its party platters including sushi, rolls, and appetizers, the platter shown here included some personal modifications Mr. Segawa made for us that may not be available on the usual menu.