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Jul 7, 2008 05:28 PM

Sushi Concierge - thoughts

I just came across this. what do you think? seems a bit weird to me, but mostly because I want to do this.

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  1. It entirely defeats the purpose of sitting at the bar and communicating with the chef and exploring the options for the night. It prevents exactly the experience it purports to help create. So, no thanks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ccbweb

      But it does make sense for parties and other events outside of the restaurant. The educational/cultural/etiquette aspect might be useful for businesses (or other groups) in preparing (or teaching) employees. I think this is one of those things that you can't look at as a Chowhound.

      1. re: porker

        At least the guy on his stomach can sleep while people eat off him without them noticing. :)

        1. re: viperlush

          I don't think it's ever done with a guy.

          1. re: PeterL

            Thats what I thought until I saw the pictures...

            Equality of the sexes I guess.

        2. re: porker

          I've heard about these things before. There's a place in NYC that does it but it's in a strip club, not a restaurant.

          Ummmm... how do the strawberries and whipped cream play a role in "sushi?"

          1. re: porker

            Rent the movie "Rising Sun" and you'll see a scene of this.

            1. re: porker

              It will come as no surprise that the restaurant seems to be on the verge of closing...

              1. re: porker

                Grotesque. Paying money to have others literally prostrate themselves before you...hey, why not open a restaurant where the servers act like slaves? We can put them in shackles and make them kneel as they bring you your food.

                As for the concierge I agree with the others. If you want to learn about sushi, do it by eating it and gleaning info from the whole convivial experience.

                1. re: tatamagouche

                  You might have the inklings of a franchise there, tata!

                  As for the others literally prostrate themselves, what does the bird in the camera say on The Flintstones?
                  "Well its a livin ain't it?" ;-)

              2. I speak and read Japanese and will gladly offer this service at any sushi or otherwise authentic Japanese restaurant in NYC. Your cost? Just cover my food and sake....And anyway, most Japanese restaurants have staff that are dying to tell you about their cuisine and culture.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Silverjay

                  Hey, might be an interesting side venture for a Chowhound. Why stop at sushi/Japanese? I'm know that there are Chowhounds with great knowledge on other cuisines and beverages. Create more Chowhounds one man (or woman) at a time and get a free meal.

                  1. re: viperlush

                    I agree, there is more to it that is easy for a lot here and accessible.

                    i would not eat sushi off a body - their body temperature is too warm! it will heat up the sushi.

                2. This is going to sound racist, and I'm sure he's perfectly qualified to do this, and probably knows more about sushi than your average Japanese, but I would feel weird having a non-Japanese person explain to me "the art of sushi".

                  Which is narrow-minded of me, b/c I am friends with professors and grad students who know far more about Japanese literature than most Japanese.

                  But I think the bigger problem I have with it, is that by necessitating a concierge to "explain the mysteries of x", you end up exoticizing that food.

                  And given that I have to fend off stereotypes from workers who keep telling me that Asians are so "exotic", etc., I'm not terribly keen on a service that helps reinforce this association.

                  Though it's better than this whole eating-sushi-off-someone's-body business. I'm sure these people don't really think about these things when they come up with such gimmicky things. It's just meant as fun, and I'm sure it is, but it's another way to reinforce these stereotypes of sushi (or fill in some other "unusual" food) as "trendy" and "exotic". (And someone's mention of "Rising Sun" just adds fodder to my point. It is one of the few movies I walked out on, b/c I was so offended by the stereotypes. If anything was in that movie, then that nixes it for me in terms of acceptability. It makes me mad to think that there are actors who are willing to act in these roles that just help reinforce these stereotypes, but now I'm digressing. . ..)

                  But why just sushi? Why don't people eat mashed potatoes off of someone (at a restaurant, that is)? Or pasta? Or spring rolls? Or dosas?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: anzu

                    I get the point of exoticizing sushi and Asia in general through a sushi concierge - but in the most basic sense I don't really see much difference between a sushi concierge and a sommelier. The problem though is that ideally the chef should serve as the "sushi concierge", as they are in a position to know the quality of the fish at hand that day.

                    Basically it just plays off of people's fears that they don't know what they're doing. Tell people they can't choose a wine for themselves, and they'll seek out someone to help them figure it out. Tell people they're uneducated and unsophisticated with sushi and require someone to help them out - and they'll hire that. It's not that I'm opposed to asking for help or advice, but this sushi concierge clearly is looking to exploit that idea.