February 24, 2024

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What he is having: Chirashi from Sugidama

A weekly notebook about meals all through the Covid-19 shutdown. Remember, if you’re dining out, performing takeout or receiving shipping, the people today serving up the food are section of the entrance line preserve it in thoughts when tipping.


The chirashi donburi from Sugidama in Somerville’s Davis Sq.. (Photograph: Tom Meek)

Sugidama, which expenses itself as a “traditional izakaya and soba residence,” is a hidden gem between Davis Square’s selection of Asian eateries. Sugidama stands out due to the fact of a specialty in soba – the common Japanese buckwheat type noodle, manufactured refreshing and in-home. If you’re unfamiliar with the expression izakaya, it pretty considerably usually means a cafe/bar with snacks Sugidama has a healthful sake range and lots of compact bites to go with its standard hot and cold soba dishes, donburi bowls and classic sushi slate.

Sugidama has done a first rate job of pivoting to adapt to Covid-19 if you’re snug with eating out, which includes a little warmth lamp patio on the terrace cutting concerning Elm and Herbert streets its spare, roomy Japanese-styled interior produced for socially distanced dining even in advance of the pandemic. I usually was a supporter of the minibowl and soba lunch specials, specifically the Mini Kaisen Don, a rice bowl topped with chunks of tuna, scallop, Scottish salmon, shrimp and pink snapper with roe and a facet of soba possibly chilly (with a aspect dipping sauce) or sizzling (in a bowl). That’s why for takeout I was thrilled to find out its chirashi donburi presenting on the diner menu. It’s fundamentally the identical, but rather of diced fish, it is sashimi slices (varying some, but usually with salmon and tuna). As far as sushi goes, Sugidama’s freshness and quality is pretty higher for the price place, and this to-go bowl travels rather properly. Pickup at the entrance counter is pretty seamless, even if there is a dose of arranged chaos to it. The other issue that is great about the chirashi bowl is that you can gown it anyway you want, such as with soy and wasabi. If you like raw fish, it is a great, fulfilling and healthful meal, something I’m positive I’ll transform to extra in the New 12 months when I solve to shed all those holiday lbs. (If you want to go light-weight, really don’t take in all the rice, though I generally do.)

On all those izakaya “small bites”: Sugidama has a excellent yakitori menu, my favorites being the silky hotate (scallop in a scorching shell with soy sauce and butter) and similarly well prepared enoki mushroom (sealed in foil, compared to a sizzling shell) and tsukune (hen meatball on a skewer, which I constantly get with the raw quail egg possibility). On the appetizer facet, Sugidama, in accordance to my daughter, would make the greatest tatsuta-age fried hen beyond Toraya in Arlington (which had to near a short while ago thanks to lease problems) and she’s right: The savory fried chicken thighs are always moist and flavorful. The other matter under soups on the menu I often like to delight in is the chawanmushi, a creamy wealthy egg custard with bits of rooster, scallop, shrimp, fish cake and mushroom to incorporate texture and punch. Not confident how it would journey, but it is a good pairing with that chirashi bowl.

Sugidama (260 Elm St. Suite 106, Davis Square, Somerville)

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