Just give me the whole damn raw fish!

I’m certain that Vancouver is obsessed with sushi. In the West End alone, there must be a couple dozen sushi places, ranging from high-priced Japanese restaurants to tiny hole-in-the-wall takeouts.

And the variety is stunning too: rolls with tuna, salmon (raw, smoked, or barbequed), avocado, tobiko (flying fish roe), crab (usually fake), prawn, sweet potato, chicken, beef, asperagus, cream cheese, uni (sea urchin), barbequed eel, salmon roe, inside-out rolls, regular maki, futomaki (big maki), cones, and the basic sashimi (just a tiny slab of raw fish). And I’m probably leaving out dozens of potential ingredients and variations in that list.

For me, I favour the simplicity of a few pieces of tuna sashimi.

My favourite restaurant is one that is far too conveniently located near my home. I’ve been there so often, I’m sure they’re sick of seeing me walk in the door. It’s the Clubhouse. It’s bizarre. Placed in the middle of a warehouse an industrial zone, you wouldn’t expect a restaurant like this to attract customers. Yet it’s busy virtually every night.


Sushi obsession. Vancouverites will go to lengths to combine their favourite food with a casual atmosphere. No kitchy (or kichi) pseudo-Japanese decor, please. Sofas, draught beer, nachos, and raw fish. Lots of raw fish. Need raw… fish.

I think I’ll take a trip to the fishing boats in Steveston, buy a fresh salmon, and eat it whole right there on the dock. Tourists will stare at me at I rip its belly open with my teeth and devour the innards, with slime and scales caked on my hands and face.

I won’t need to chew, because the flesh will be nice and soft — slithering easily down my throat after I dip it delicately in a bucket of soy sauce and wasabi.

The seagulls will gather around me. I’ll have to fight them for the pleasure of popping the little eyes in my mouth and ripping the tender shreds of bloody pink meat from its head.

F***ing excellent!

Or maybe I’ll just walk down the street to the takeout place.