Went to All Seasons Table in Malden, and wanted Sushi, but my husband and I are new to eating it and left it up to the waiter to order us a few things, evreything was great but we didn't know what we were eating. we would have order more but just don't know what the difference in each piece , they had a special sushi menu, but we didn't have a clue how to order, we eat just about anything. any help out there?
For starters here are a few of the more common fish you might encounter (not including shellfish, roe, etc)
delicate/bland-- fluke, flounder
salty/fishy-- mackerel, sardine
meaty-- tuna, bonito
fatty/luscious-- yellowtail belly, salmon belly, tuna belly (especially otoro)
creamy-- sea urchin, monkfish liver
snappy-- halfbeak, kinmedai, aji
I would agree with "thew". First go to one of the better rated Japanese restaurants, sit at the sushi bar and talk with the chef (itamai-san in Japanese). They are usually very happy to talk and explain things to people who are interested and sometimes they will even give you small samples of things to try to see if you like them. The better Japanese places specialize in sushi so they usually have a much wider selection and sometimes have seasonal specialties and sushi prepared in various ways that make for a interesting and delicious dining experience. Two of my favorite places right now are Toraya on Mass Ave in Arlington and Sushi Island on Main St. in Wakefield. Both places serve a wide variety of cooked Japanese food too just in case you want to branch out from sushi. At Sushi Island try the Hamachi Kama Shioyaki which is the "collar" of a yellowfin tuna that has been broiled with a salty coating. It is delicious.
I'll throw a environmental note in here.... some of the fish you'll see commonly used in sushi/sashimi trays are heavily overfished.... Atlantic bluefin tuna (which is DELICIOUS, honestly) is equivalent to eating a panda. The Monterey Bay Aquarium website has a list of seafood choices that's worth reviewing...
On your eating note, try some sashimi as well.. just cuts of fish, no sushi rice.. don't over-soy it or kill it with wasabi.. try to appreciate the flavor of the fish.
The types of sushi are pretty common, as another poster showed with that link.. even the maki - the rolls - tend to be sort of consistent across restaurants... I always love an occasional spider roll - fried soft shell crab.. or a really spicy one - Jae's had some sort of roll if I recall that really cleared the sinuses, so to speak..
spicy rolls are an American invention; stay away since it is a way for the sushi chef to use the older fish in his inventory. keep on asking questions and sit at the sushi bar. Ordering "Omakasa" is a way to test the sushi chef; you are asking him to select the items for you. he is suppose to serve you the best of what he has in the bar in order to develop a relationship with the customer over a few visits. Have fun and enjoy your new adventure.