As I had alluded to in my Five Things Friday post, I was embarking on a mission with Chris in order to try to the ever elusive Natto. Nattio is a traditional Japanese side dish consisting of fermented soy beans. Not only was the taste described to me as horrific beyond compare, but its consistency and aroma are just as notorious. Regardless, I was willing to take the plunge just to say I had done it.
We were greeted by Sushi Chef Sean, who was not only knowledgeable about both Japanese cuisine and culture, but was a gregarious, funny, and welcoming host who put me at ease about my impending doom. I sat down to a bottle of Saki in order to help dull the experience I was about to indulge in and listened to Chef Sean and Chris discuss Japanese food and culture.
After a good twenty minutes, I decided it was time to take the plunge. When the dish first arrived, I wasn't as put off by the smell, as it was not as putrid as it was described. Instead I was disgusted by the consistency and texture of the dish.
(Oh god, is this really happening?)
I gave the Natto a good stir and then went into for the kill. It tasted...awful. So awful, bitterly awful. What was worse, was that the sticky coating from the fermentation process was all over my lips. It looked like little peanuts stuck in a spider web. It was everything that Chris described, and that employees of Ebi shuddered at the thought of. I poured some soy sauce to make the next bite go down a little better. When I decided that enough was enough, one of the servers brought over a bowl of miso soup in order for me to get the taste out of my mouth. I'm still gagging at the thought.
The drinks were phenomenal, the music was great, and the crowd was small, which is something that every 30-year-old grows to appreciate in a bar as the years go by. The prices were right, with cocktails falling between 7 to 9 dollars. I believe I had the Old Hemingway, which consisted of white rum, mint, grapefruit, lime, angostura, and cava, while Chris stuck to his beer.
(Too much saki? Maybe it was the Natto that did her in.)
Thanks for the experience, Union Square, Ebi Sushi, and the Independent. We'll definitely be back soon (as we only live about a mile away!). As for the rest of you in the Boston area, I highly recommend making the trek to the neighborhood! Do it, even if you are trying to get down to your racing weight (whoops. Oh well, its all about balance, remember?).