It had been a year since I had raw fish, and I was looking for a small and affordable treat for a job well done at work. “This is the best sushi place I know in this part of town,” a colleague suggested.
So off I went, in search for raw fish.
There’s a vast difference between American and Japanese sushi (as these few blogs explain). While the latter is considered original, American-styled sushi has its own place in the culinary world. What’s the main discernible difference between the two? Fanciness. Japanese sushi is subtle and simple, American sushi is striking and strong. Japanese sushi is about a very simple product done to perfection – vinegar rice and good sliced raw fish with the rice acting as a carbohydrate and accompaniment to the quality of the fish. American sushi is about a fancy product with strong flavours and large sizes and is not subtle.
I wasn’t too concerned about what sort of sushi I would get, I just wanted to get some raw fish. So off I went to Esa Sushibar. It looked empty from the outside, but boy was I in for a surprise.
Located at the edge of Vasatan and St Eriksplan Esa Sushi is popular with locals for their offerings and the queues are a clear testament to that.
Run by East/Central Asian (they weren’t speaking Japanese, that much I know), the restaurant is a sushi bar that serves American-styled sushi. The sushi bar is small so not much space for dining in. It’s not a great place ambience for a date, but it a great place for a group to grab tasty Japanese food.
I ordered the Esa Special, which was a sushi roll with salmon, cucumber, crabmeat, avacado, deep fried shallots and mayonaise served with a side of preserved sweet ginger and onions.
The sushi roll was rich and but the serving of salmon was generous and fatty so the rich flavour of the accompanying complements did not obscure the flavour of the fish. Any other fish less fatty in flavour would not have worked. This set me back about a 99 SEK, less than 10 Euros and came with free flow of green tea and miso soup. Quite a goof price I must say. It’s not classical Japanese, but its hearty and it made me happy. If you are looking for good Japanese cuisine in Stockholm, try this!
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