ATLANTA — Think sushi rolls are all there is to know about Japanese cuisine? Chef Tomohiro Naito may have you thinking twice.
While Naito’s Buckhead restaurant Tomo is known for sushi in a contemporary setting, Chef Tomo said sushi rolls, in particular, are not as common in his native country of Japan.
“In Japan sushi roll is not very popular,” he told At The Table ATL, sharing instead aji tataki.
“This is called aji tataki, and it’s one of the authentic Japanese dish … a kind of sashimi,” he said.
One of the restaurant’s signature dinner dishes, aji tataki features thin-sliced aji sashimi, ginger, scallions, garlic ponzu and crispy fried skeleton.
Naito’s commitment to quality and authenticity requires special deliveries to the restaurant, according to the chef, who gets bi-weekly shipments of fresh fish straight from Japan.
“How does this dish represent Japan?”
“Aji, they catch everywhere in Japan, and enjoyed by every region,” Naito said. “The freshness and quality. Fish needs to be treated a certain way from the time the fisherman catches it until we chefs use it … I get fish from Japan Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
“How does this dish represent Atlanta?”
“What I found out after I moved here was that when people say sushi, they mean sushi roll,” he said. “It’s fun to educate people.”
At the Table is a digital series produced by 11Alive's Matt Pearl and Liza Lucas. Metro Atlanta features the food of dozens of nations. We want to eat through them all! Follow us on Facebook and share your favorite food stories.