EatOut Kenya recently invited me to join five other bloggers for dinner at Furusato. This dinner was hosted in light of the new sushi themed Yummy Magazine that will be released later this week. Of course I said I would go (who in their right mind turns down free food?) so I headed over to Furusato after work excited, a little nervous, and not entirely sure what to expect.
I would like to preface this post by letting you know that I’ve been going to Furusato for sushi for about 10 years now and the place hasn’t changed. Usually, when you hear an establishment hasn’t changed in a decade, it’s not necessarily perceived as a good thing. In Furusato’s case, the lack of change is a good thing. Save for the smoking section being moved from one half of the dining room to the outside seating area, the friendly service, great quality food (particularly the sushi), and funky decor have not changed.
I hurried over to Furusato straight from work dressed in a black shirt-dress with tan heels. As I entered Furusato, my first sight was of the sushi bar. The sushi bar is a great spot to grab a drink and a quick bite while you watch sushi chefs make sushi. If you’re planning on going with a group or staying a little longer, you can grab a teppanyaki-style table or a regular table in the dining room.
I told the host at the door that I was with EatOut Kenya and he directed me to a little waiting area where I met Wendy. I was immediately struck by Wendy’s presence and her outgoing demeanor, Wendy works with EatOut and is the one who had gotten in touch with me for this event. I sat down quietly, smiled at her with my hand extended “Hi, I’m Soni”, Wendy patted the seat beside her “Soni! Hi! Nice to finally meet you. Come sit, tell me about yourself!” I couldn’t help but smile, Wendy was so friendly and so welcoming my nerves were immediately put at ease. “What do you want to know?” I asked, “everything” she encouraged “start with where you’re from, what your blog’s about, and we’ll go from there”, just like that she got me talking for a good ten minutes. With Wendy and I comfortably chatting away, I began to meet other people from EatOut. There was Karan, the talented photographer (all these photos are courtesy of Karan, thanks Karan!), Seina and Fred.
Slowly, the other food and lifestyle bloggers began to arrive, Jay (Jay Take A Pic), Joy (Our Style Kenya), Jean (The Wine and Food Review), Darshani (Cupcakes to Curry), and Francisca (Nimi Fab Life). As everyone got the initial introductions out of the way, we were led to our table. The waiter came to ask for our drink order so naturally we began our night with sake shots… Now, I realize sake is meant to be sipped and not consumed as a shot but we were excited and eager to keep things “traditional” so we ordered a round. Sake is a Japanese rice wine liquor that’s clear in colour and served warm in ceramic or porcelain cups. Anything warmer than cold is not a very appealing way for me to think of drinking liquor but after a few sips, I got used to the taste and ended up kind of enjoying it.
When the waiter came around to take our food order, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we could order whatever we wanted and he’d ensure he brings enough food for all of us. I remember us ordering a few rolls of sushi and some bibimbap but as the food came out, we began to realize that even a table of 10 foodies could not consume that much food.
We each began our meal with a light complimentary salad that Furusato always offers their guests at the start of their meal. The salad itself is pretty average: iceberg lettuce, tomato, shredded carrots, shredded purple cabbage, and the token slice of avocado. What makes this salad special is the peanut-based salad dressing. This dressing is the perfect blend of tangy vinaigrette and sweet peanuts. I have drank the dressing out of the bottom of the bowl in the past.
Next, we were served sushi maki sushi (a combination of different nigiri pieces: salmon, tuna, prawn, etc. and a special roll), a variety of sashimi, a spicy crunchy tuna roll and a dragon roll (eel, prawn, and avocado).
Along with the boat of different kinds of sushi, we also got the crab stick roll (crab roll, topped with avocado slices), the thunder roll (tuna, salmon, and prawn), and a crocodile roll (eel and salmon roe).
I believe in Wendy’s email to me she had mentioned that there would be “sushi for days”. Clearly, she wasn’t kidding.
What I love most about Furusato’s sushi is the freshness and quality of their sushi grade fish. The fish is always served at a temperature slightly cooler than room temperature, assuring me that the fish wasn’t frozen before it got onto my plate. Plus, they always seem to be generous with their portions, their ratio of fish to rice is spot on: more fish than rice.
If you’re not a fan of raw fish, Furusato has got equally delicious cooked dishes on their menu. We were served the chicken teriyaki, a classic hot dish with flavours of soy sauce, hoisin, and teriyaki sauce. Chicken teriyaki is served with a steaming bowl of delicious fried rice.
With the chicken teriyaki we were served the dish seen below which I unfortunately don’t remember the name of. The dish is composed of chicken fried rice wrapped in an omelette with “Furusato” written in ketchup on top. This dish was nothing special in that it reminded me of Uni days when I’d rummage through the fridge for something to eat and decide to throw everything I had into a pan and over some fire. However, it was a nice gesture from the Furusato team and tasted like a well cooked fried rice wrapped omelette.
The greatest part about eating out with a bunch of food bloggers is that no one is shy about, or thinks it’s rude when we get our phones out to take quick snaps of the dishes in front of us. Everyone knew the drill.
Just as we thought we were done with new dishes, more food came out: beef tempura, karaage, and bibimbap. The beef tempura was a little tough for my liking. However, the dish wasn’t greasy nor was the tempura batter too heavy which is always good.
The karaage was a potato, onion, carrot, and minced meat patty that was breaded and deep fried. Deep frying anything is basically a guarentee of deliciousness and the karaage was no different. It’s a dense dish so I’d suggest ordering it as an appetizer to share or as a main course with a side of some sort of meat or veggie side.
Lastly, we had bibimbap. Bibimbap is one of the few traditional Korean dishes on Furusato’s menu. Bibimbap is served in a bow with warm white rice at the bottom which is topped with sauteed and pickled vegetables, slices of beef, and a fried egg with a side of chili sauce. The chili sauce tastes like it’s mixed with hoisin because it’s hot but also has a sweetness to it. I feel like this dish is an acquired taste which I haven’t acquired yet. It’s got a salty pickled flavour to it and a lot of sweetness that isn’t counterbalanced with enough heat.
I was almost thankful that bibimbap wasn’t my favourite dish because I was so full. We ended the night sipping sake and having good conversation with lots of laughter. It was a fantastic evening and I’m happy I got the opportunity to meet such interesting, passionate individuals thanks to EatOutKenya.
I’ll leave you with a couple outtakes of the Bloggers Night Out crew.
Questions, comments, additions to my post on Furusato? Please let me know in the comment section below!