Screaming Roll is the name Jeremy Wilson gave his eel inspired Californian roll I photographed at the Shinobi Sushi Lounge in Wellington. Wilson was importing processed eels from Japan but was on the lookout for a local supply of fresh eels to marinade in his kabayaki method. The flavoured imports limited Jeremy's menu options and he has since sourced shortfin eels from the Levin Eel Factory. Although it seems more sustainable to source local produce, the harvest of a diminishing population of eels in New Zealand raises sensitivities of a different kind.
Although both the longfin eel and the shortfin eel are threatened, research shows the shortfin is New Zealand's most tolerant native fish species (this might not be saying much). At the restaurant Wilson also tried to sway his diners to eat more sustainable fish by selecting less fashionable species such as warehou, moki, gurnard and pilchard.
Restaurants are at the coalface of changing public attitudes about where food comes from. It was good to see restaurants like Shinobi Sushi Lounge supporting the idea we have to be more aware of what we are eating (and giving us great food).
Shinobi Sushi Lounge is now closed.
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