Not far from the Tokyo district of Roppongi is a brilliant little place called “The Parasite Museum”. It’s a museum to which my children were drawn by the description in the guide book of a man whose testicles were so swollen they touched the ground. Sure enough, there’s a photo of the unfortunate man, together with numerous other gruesome pictures, most of which relate to diseases caught through ingesting parasites from food that wasn’t properly cooked.
My daughter will eat most things but she draws the line at raw fish so when we were told by our hosts that we were going to a restaurant which served nothing but chicken her face lit up. This is a restaurant in Roppongi which only serves a very special type of organic chicken. You can’t go wrong with chicken- true, the Chinese eat chicken’s feet and I remember being rather disconcerted when on holiday as a child to see a chicken’s head in a Coq au Vin, but that was probably the French having a little joke at the expense of Les Rosbifs.
Our meal began with skewered chicken livers, followed by an astonishingly large roasted leg, which was enough to feed four. And then we were presented with chicken sashimi. Sashimi means raw. Well, the one thing that is drummed into every English cook is that chicken must be cooked well through and that even the merest hint of pink will result inevitably in food poisoning or worse. This wasn’t even warmed through- it was totally raw. As with most raw food in Japan, you are invited to dip it into soy sauce, which will make anything palatable, and the chicken was delicious. But for some reason my mind wandered back to the Parasite Museum and the vague hope that I won’t end up as the subject of one of those gruesome exhibits.