Last week I wrote about things that can make a dining experience great, like tasty food, excellent service and experiencing something new. Well, this week I’m adding another thing to that list – entertainment. It’s what happens when you watch two of your friends attempt to eat four pounds of sushi in under a half an hour.
30 minutes isn’t a whole lot of time. But if there was anyone who might have a chance, it’s our friend Ray, foodie name: Kung Fu Prawn (which is a combination of his nickname, Kung Fu Panda and his last name, Kwan). He’s a champ. He’s the only person I know who attempted and actually completed Pho Garden’s Pho Challenge (5 lbs of beef pho in an hour) and still came to dessert with us afterwards. Our friend Hendrick, or Hen-chilada as he will now be known, attempted this challenge too. But first they had to sign a waiver.
Bay Shabu Sushi Sake is a relatively new addition (they’ve been open for less than 2 years) to the lively West Portal neighborhood. Upon entering the restaurant, photographs of Killer Whale challenge failures (in the hundreds) line the left side, and successes (only 12) line the right. It’s $30 for the 4 pound behemoth, free if you finish it within 30 minutes.
We watched the sushi chef fill three side-by-side nori sheets (practically the length of MFM's leg, as you can see above) with rice, shrimp & sweet potato tempura, cooked fish, and crab – roll it up – and top it with more stuff like eel, spicy tuna, veggies and sauce. It comes to the table and then the clock begins.
Both KFP and Henchilada put up a good fight, but as I said, 30 minutes isn’t a lot of time. The roll is cut into 16 pieces, of which KFP finished all but 4. Comparatively, me, MFM and the Cakes (Addiecakes and Debbiecakes) split just ONE Killer Whale Roll (for an extra $10) and struggled to finish even that. And just to give another (mind-boggling) perspective, the reigning Killer Whale Roll champion ate his in just 14 minutes.
It was tasty – the spicy tuna had a nice kick and sweet potato tempura is one of my favorite things to eat. My only minor dislike was the sauces drizzled on top – the sweet teriyaki-like sauce that they usually put atop unagi was yummy – but there was another indistinguishable honey mustard-like sauce that seemed better suited for wings or chicken nuggets. I’d like to go back another time to try the namesake shabu shabu, as we saw many other diners enjoying that dish around the restaurant. Their selection of sake seemed extensive, too.
Had it been an hour-long challenge, I’m certain our friends would have prevailed, but on that night it just wasn’t meant to be. We left the restaurant happy knowing that a piece of them would always live on their wall, even if it is on the left side.
SAMIWICH'S TASTE RATING