Once in a while we are privileged enough to have a dining experience we will always remember. It may be a combination of outstanding food, an exciting atmosphere, but mostly its the person you’re with:shy smiles as you catch each others eye, the tender touch on the other’s hand across the table, a conversation that makes you connect with each other like never before.
It is my and my partner’s anniversary, and moments like these make me truly happy. I know our spark is still alive and well. To celebrate this day, on which we first met so long ago, we decided to go for sushi at Etsu Izakaya in Mermaid Beach.
Finding the door to the restaurant is like finding the door to a secret society. It is humbly camoflaged into the side of a building in what appears to be a drab office district. We had to ask for help finding it from the person working in the store next door. She led us out of her store to the wall right beside it. It looked like a barn wall with peeling baby blue paint. She slid open one of the panels to the wall and inside was a wonderland. A Japanese whiskey stocked bar stretched to the back of the restaurant where a group table wrapped around a tree with Christmas lights on it, and more tables spread out all around. The walls were covered in black and white posters illuminated by strange fluorescent signs: the “bang bang” in the picture. This place caught my love.
Even better than the atmosphere, the food. We started off with the Kingfish Carpaccio and a bottle of warm sake. The firm texture of the Kingfish, blended with flavours of the jalapeno and cilantro, left my mouth aching for more. Next, skewered shitake mushrooms tasted like barbecued steak so succulent it changed the way I think of mushrooms.
The Oyster Trio (above) was the single most delicious bite I have ever tasted in my entire life. The flavours of it transformed every second it was in my mouth. The taste was an experience. It was $18 for three pieces and it was worth it. Enough said.
A live blues band began to play as we finished off our meal and washed it down with the rest of the sake. I felt the warm tingle of true happiness coursing through my body, and as the sweet sounds of the harmonica mingled with the guitar I blinked away the beginnings of tears in my eyes.
Warm sake, sweet love, savory food, sexy blues. That indescribable feeling we get when we first fall in love-I had the privilege of experiencing that tonight.