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November 25, 2016

A Feast for the Eyes

By Stuart Turner

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="264" caption="sushi bridge"]sushi bridge[/caption]

I have said before that eating in Japan is not just about sensational flavours and textures – your food needs to look fantastic as well.

There is a long tradition of elaborate tableware to serve and present sushi which adds to the dining experience without the need of a human model to eat it off.

Diners in sushi restaurants are often treated to a feast of different sushi rolls, pickles and delicacies, served on a range of interesting and unique tableware.

Boat shaped serving dishes of various sizes are often used to serve sushi and sashimi. They are made of light wood, varnished or lacquered to be easy to clean. The boat connection is fairly obvious as fresh fish and shellfish are at the heart of the finest sushi rolls and nigiri and many of the serving dishes are based on traditional-style fishing boats.

Another popular design is a bridge, often in a traditional shape like the old wooden style bridges or Nihonbashi (literally translated as Japan Bridge). Nihonibashi is also a district of Tokyo which has grown from a bridge of the same name. A wooden bridge was first constructed in 1603 and a stone bridge now stands on the same site.

Way back when the bridge was first constructed in Japan’s Edo period, Nihonbashi was a major commercial district and the site of the all-important fish market. The fish market was destroyed in a major earthquake in 1923 and was relocated to the Tsukiji district which is now the biggest fish market in the world with more than 400 different types of seafood traded and sold by hundreds of independent wholesale vendors.

The bridge serving dishes look very much like the original Nihonbashi bridge with its steep curve and detailed wooden railings. And your food does look fabulous arranged on the middle of the bridge which has space at each end for wasabi and pickled ginger.

If you like to entertain your guests at a sushi party, a unique serving dish is a great way to add the wow factor if they are not already impressed with your excellent cooking.


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