Cooked beef and raw fish combo makes us rethink everything we thought we knew about seafood.

As one of the country’s leading conveyor belt sushi restaurants, Sushiro is the place to go when you’ve got a serious craving for raw fish. Now, though, it’s the place to go when you’ve got a serious craving for meat and raw fish, thanks to their new “Sukiyaki Kaisen Shariben“.

▼ Sushiro

The Sukiyaki Kaisen Shariben combines thinly sliced cooked beef (sukiyaki) with seafood (kaisen) and sushi rice (shari), all served up in a lunchbox (ben). It’s a weird combination of Japanese dishes we’ve never tried together before, so we hopped online and got a box delivered when it went on sale on 10 November.

▼ The Sukiyaki Kaisen Shariben (bottom) is priced at 1,100 yen (US$9.66) for takeout or 1,570 yen for delivery.

▼ When it arrived, it looked just as good as the photo on the menu.

The unusual bento has been produced in collaboration with Shusaku Toba, the owner chef at sio, a restaurant in Tokyo’s Yoyogi-Uehara. The product was a lot heavier than expected, so we placed the whole thing on a set of scales, where it weighed in at an impressive 588 grams (20.7 ounces).

Opening the lid revealed a gorgeous, colourful array of seafood, interspersed with a scattering of cucumber and Japanese rolled omelette pieces, and a side of purple pickles. It looked like a regular Kaisendon (seafood bowl) served up in a bento box, but there was something unusual peeking through that top layer of seafood.

Pushing the seafood aside, we could see…a layer of sukiyaki! This really was a new take on the humble seafood bowl, totally rewriting the rules on sushi restaurant food, and we were eager to try it.

We love fish and we love sukiyaki, but do we love them together? Now was the time to find out, so we lifted a serving of beef and fish to our mouth, and chewed tentatively.

As we chewed, our eyebrows shot up in delight at the weird flavour combination. It was actually…amazing! The sweet flavour from the sukiyaki sauce, with the refreshing acidity of vinegared rice and the fresh, buttery texture of the seafood turned out to be a taste sensation. Whether we tried sukiyaki with salmon, sukiyaki with prawn, sukiyaki with salmon roe, sukiyaki with scallops…it was all delicious!

Who knew beef sukiyaki would be such a good partner for raw fish? And who knew sukiyaki would be such a good partner for vinegared rice? We certainly didn’t, but after trying it, we were hooked on all the perfectly balanced flavours. And as we ate our way through the meal, we discovered yet another hidden surprise.

▼ There was a secret layer of goodies inside the vinegared rice!

This layer contained finely chopped shiitake mushrooms and lotus root, seasoned in vinegar to add even more flavour to the already flavourful dish.

This was a truly impressive bento, filled with a huge variety of ingredients to keep both your eyes and your taste buds entertained right through to the very last mouthful. The aroma, texture, and flavour was all immensely satisfying, and we had to applaud Sushiro for offering this level of quality and craftsmanship in a bento priced at just 1,100 yen for takeout.

As it turns out, raw fish and cooked beef really can be a marriage made in heaven, and now we’re looking forward to trying the chain’s next weird offering — “Sukiyaki Kaisen Osechi Chirashi”, which adds a New Year’s osechi flair to the dish from 15 December.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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