Written by RENT the Broadway Tour Company Members: Greg Bober (Sound) and Tracy McDowell (Ms. Cohen)
While in Tokyo my epicurean equal and I discovered a new food fetish. Deadly Delicatessen. Foods that if not prepared properly could kill you.
First we decided to tackle the poisonous blowfish Fugu! While Tracy first learned about Fugu from Anthony Bordain on the travel channel, I first learned about it from Homer Simpson, and if its good enough for Homer, its good enough for me. Lucky for us there was a restaurant specializing in this deadly fish between our hotel and the theatre. “Fugu me!” We kicked off our shoes and slipped into our private Fugu chamber, not really sure how to make this happen. We hoped the chef was in a good mood and not hungover like the rest of us, and presented our coupon for a 4 course plus all-you-can drink meal.
First we had Fugu fin hot sake. The Waitress brought it out in a square cup inside a square coaster covered by a small lid. She lit a match, lifted the cover and set the sake ablaze! After a few minutes we took off the lid and out poured the stench of hot feet in seal tank! If the smell wasn’t bad enough, the taste was even worse, plus there was a grilled fin in our sake. But we drank it fast and moved on to the skin and scallion salad. The blowfish skin was chewy, almost the texture of a stale gummy worm, but tasted really good. Tracy swears her mouth started tingling from the salad, which we had heard could happen, so we ordered cold sake. Next was the Fugu sashimi, super thin sliced blowfish meat accompanied by scallions, radish, and a vinegar soy sauce. Umi! More sake.Next heaven on a plate was served; beautiful golden brown southern fried side of blowfish. It was the most amazing, perfectly fried piece of fish we had ever had. Sake and beer. Then the main course! A hot pot was placed on the burner in the middle of the table and a brine was set to boil. Served on a platter with tofu and various vegetables came meaty chunks of the body, mouth and cheeks topped off by a piece that was still fluttering! Tracy asked if the pulsing piece was the heart still pumping and the waitress replied “No, it’s the brain.” She added all of the ingredients into the pot and Tracy said that if anything was still moving when it came out of the pot that I had to eat it. We ate the contents of the pot, cheeks and all, with a sweet soy sauce and of course more sake and beer.
Finally when the waitress came to clear the table she also said that she would bring us dessert. We asked what blowfish dessert consisted of and she said “marrow.” We briefly tried to figure out how they were going to serve marrow, but were surprised when she returned with two plates of melon. Damn language barrier! While we sat and continued on our seemingly endless supply of sake and beer, we were pretty sure we heard someone whispering Tracy’s name. Are we hallucinating? Is this the first step in losing our battle with the Fugu? No. We are winners. Then the door opened and in walked Justin Johnston. Turns out we weren’t the only ones interested in tempting fate that night. So we ordered him the sashimi and fried fish. He loved it! And as quickly and mysteriously as he had arrived, like a ninja, he snuck away into the night. More sake and beer.In the end we left with full stomachs, a good buzz, and a win in our first battle with deadly delicatessen.