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The Sushi Boat

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Asian restaurants in the West generally try to put forth some effort into projecting an “Asian” image for patrons.  This can range from simply having some nice naturalistic paintings titled in Chinese / Japanese / Korean characters or a smiling Buddha at the cash register covered in pennies and with a dull spot where everyone’s fingers rub its belly, to elaborate fountains full of koi and Japanese rock gardens.

Here is one concept for a particularly pleasing and aesthetically complete setting, which I call the Sushi Boat.

The Sushi Boat is a small, wooden floating platform rather than a transport boat with an engine.  Its gunwales are carved with spare but gilt and well-defined katakana characters, describing the pleasure of dining on this boat and wishing its passengers a pleasant meal.  Square in shape, the center of the boat is occupied by a master sushi chef who works guarded and enclosed by the serving bar which rises about a meter off the platform where there is room enough for four diners, one at each side of the bar.  The chef’s station is sunk into the boat so that while he stands working, he is at eye level with the patrons who sit cross-legged or with their legs under them on comfortable pillows.  The deck of the boat itself is made of soft bamboo matting and shoes are left on shore.  All of the paneling on the inside and outside walls of the boat is a clean white.  The only local source of light is from candles set inside small Japanese lantern-style fixtures on the sushi bar.

Remarkable as well is the setting of this boat. It is not some grimy tourist attraction anchored along with similar craft against a concrete seawall.  Rather, it floats in a pristine and glassy-smooth lake fed by a mountain stream whose quiet flow provides aural ambiance.  The lake itself, perhaps a square mile in surface area, is surrounded on all sides by jagged cliffs and mountains, low enough to be green save for a few snowy peaks visible beyond the immediate perimeter.  The boat is accessed at its mooring, a small flat grassy beach where the vessel’s occupants leave their shoes and worldly cares.  At sunset, the boat floats off to wander with the lazy ripples and occasional currents coaxed by the mountain winds, its small crew aboard to enjoy a fine sushi dinner and sake.  As the chef heats up the sake and prepares the fresh rolls and nigiri, he chats with the diners.  Sometimes there are only two who have boarded the boat for a romantic date, other times a group of three or four who have heard of the legend of the sushi boat and seek an incredible meal and experience.  As they share tea and sake and anticipate the night’s offering of delicious fish and rice, the purple glow of the evening sky gives way to a starry black canopy that shines and sparkles brilliantly.  Free of external light pollution save the low soft glow of the candles in their paper chambers, the astral dots can be appreciated as they deserve.

To dine on the sushi boat is to dine in nature’s heaven.

- Inspired by K. Greenawalt


Written by Preston

July 13th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

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One Response to 'The Sushi Boat'

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  1. I loved your blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

    Danille Llewellyn

    26 Jan 11 at 03:58

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