One of my favorites ways to unwind after a long five-day week in salaryman hell is to gorge on supermarket sushi on a Friday night.
If I am lucky enough to be done at work at 6pm, I rush out of Ginza to make it back to my neighborhood supermarket in Shimokitazawa just before 7:00:00pm. Peacock is my supermarket of choice for sushi. The fish is fresh and the turn over is rapid since it is located right in front of the station.
The beauty of their fish department is that precisely at 7pm they mark down all of their sashimi and sushi 50%. Therefore, starting from 6:30pm you can find a troop of Japanese women loitering around the fish market butchers like it's the half-yearly sale at Mervyn's. And sometimes, on a given Friday night, I am also in that bunch.
As soon as the second hand hits 00:00 on the 19th hour of the day, it's madness. The fish boys come around with their Half Price stickers, slapping them on at lightening speed. Women two-thirds the height of me usually get my sympathy for being so cute, but not in this situation. They have full advantage over me on the 19th hour, as they are closer to the low fridge cases that hold the jewels of mercury goodness.
I am usually successful in grabbing my top choices as it ends up that there's plenty of half-priced sushi until about 19:10. The key is to eye your choices before 19:00:00.
Here were my choices:
Three fish sashimi set
Buri (Yellow Tail), Hon Maguro (Blue Fin Tuna), and Hou Bou (Blue Fin Robin). Marked down from 780yen to 390yen. The buri was absolutely gorgeous and melted in my mouth! Buri is especially amazing when the waters are cold (i.e. in the winter) - tends to be supremely fatty.
Sushi a la carte.
I don't like tamago, so I had to leave that be, but everything else was very delicious. I am a sucker for rice but I believe that most establishments in America use too much rice. This rice was a bit too densely packed for my taste - but supermarket sushi even in Japan often tends to be packed tight. Regardless, well worth it for 390yen!
I biked home with my 790yen (approx. $7.90) total feast of sushi and sashimi and chowed down while watching the January 20th versions of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report online. I had arrived in heaven (President Obama, Stephen and half-price sushi) after a long week of salaryman hell.