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Jan 20, 2016

My husband and I have developed an addiction to Japanese food. We are so happy that a few Japanese restaurants have finally opened in our town. Though we don't often have the opportunity to go out to dinner alone, when we do, we choose to eat at one of those restaurants. For a long time, we have enjoyed shushi, with its mixture of sticky rice, vegetables and a small amount of raw fish. It has been our only experience of eating uncooked fish, as I am British, and my husband is American, we are accustomed to(1) only cooked meat and fish. However, we have come to really appreciate the extremely clean taste and soft texture of the raw fish. Also, after eating shushi, our stomachs always feel satisfied but not bloated at all. So, the other day, when we went to Iwa's restaurant, all we wanted was raw fish(2). We ordered a plate for two people which had a variety of different fish. When the waitress gave us our plate, I was impressed. It was beautifully presented, and looked artistic and colorful. I ate some tuna and salmon which I am very familiar with. Then I tried the mackerel which had a flaky texture, similar to cooked fish. I wasn't sure about the octopus, however. I did eat a piece, but found it really chewy. It's surprising how filling raw fish is! We couldn't finish the plate. One of the many reasons we keep returning to Iwa's is because we trust the chefs. We can see them working in their spotless(3) kitchen, and the fish is always cut carefully with very clean knives and very clean hands. And that, I think, is the philosophy of making sashimi: getting an amazing taste from the freshest fish, and the cleanest hands.

1. 'To be accustomed to' is like saying 'to be used to' but it implies a cultural habit.

a. I am accustomed to having coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

b. He is accustomed to watching American football every Sunday during the winter.

2. The word placement of 'All we wanted was raw fish' is worth mentioning. The sentence could be written the other way around: 'Raw fish was all we wanted'. Both are perfect sentences, but there is a subtle difference between the two. The first sentence shows more focus and intent; it feels more exclusive (no other food should be considered). However, in speech, you can always emphasize a word or parts of a sentence as you wish in order to make an impact.

a. Peace and quiet is all I want.

All I want is peace and quiet.

b. To pass the last exam is all he needs.

All he needs is to pass the last exam

c. Money is all they ask for.

All they ask for is money.

3. 'Spotless' is absolutely clean. It can be used figuratively.

a. She spends a lot of time cleaning her house; it is always spotless.

b. As a business owner, he had a spotless record of paying his taxes on time and treating his employees with respect.

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