Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Sleeper Menu Item

(Hamachi Kama at Sakura - Memphis)

This, my friends, is hamachi kama.  Hamachi kama is the collar of the yellowtail fish, aka Japanese Amberjack. It is my favorite thing to order at sushi or Japanese restaurants. It's usually listed on the menu as Hamachi Kama or Yellowtail Cheek.  If I see it on a menu, I order it. And so should you.

In Memphis, I have seen it on the menus of Sakura (Midtown), Robata, and Sekisui (Midtown).  Sekisui only orders 2 cheeks/day (or so the wait staff has told us) so get there early if you want to try it there.  Robata only sells theirs during dinner (I believe anytime after 5pm).  Sakura knows the awesomeness that is hamachi kama and they don't hold back.  You can order it for lunch or dinner.  And if they think the collar is tiny, they will give you two!  

It is fatty.  But not fatty in a bad way. This is delicate fat that melts in your mouth. It's also very meaty. You will be surprised at the way each nook and cranny yields a big old honkin' piece of fish meat. You will think you have finished this delicious cut of fish and then you turn it over and there's a whole other side of hidden meat crevices. You will find yourself eating the fins and the skin as if you've been stranded on a deserted island for the past year. But you won't care what others think. Because you are picking at your hamachi kama like Edward Chopstickhands, as if there's hidden gold inside. Because there is. Fishy, oily, skin-y, fin-y gold.  

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