Octopus Sashimi at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa
Most people think of Sashimi is being raw fish. Much of it is, of course, but there are varieties using shellfish, and even non-marine products, and some items are served cooked. Octopus is one of these, and it happens to be one of my favorites. Accordingly, I tend to make it part of my order on most visits to Japanese Restaurants.
The small Octopus Sashimi plate shown above was served to me at the now defunct Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa (it has since been replaced by a different Japanese Restaurant). Ken’s was not a high-end, Kaiseki sort of place, and I rather think that Is well illustrated by the plating job, which, I have to say, is pedestrian at best.
The main flaw with the Octopus Sashimi on this occasion was the slicing job. As any Sashimi Chef will tell you, proper slicing technique is essential and affects not only the appearance, but the taste and texture of the item in question as well. Here, the tentacles were sliced extremely thinly, too thinly, in fact, and you may be able to see that a few pieces were so thin as to be translucent near the edges. The overly thin slices also resulted in some of the pieces being a bit ragged along the sides, which is not something that would draw approval from many Sashimi Chefs.
Octopus Sashimi is generally sliced considerably thicker than those pieces shown above (I like mine cut quite thickly indeed, actually) and, often, an undulating knife motion is used so as to produce a ‘ripple’ cut effect, which improves the texture to the bite. None of this was at play here, of course, but I will concede that the Octopus was very nicely cooked and had a delicious sweet taste that offset the flaws.