I once had this octopus sashimi that was still alive, and the suckers applied a gentle suction on your tongue that was rather disconcerting. It was a delicacy, and I probably wouldn’t have had it unless a client was the one ordering dinner. But that was a long time ago. And I haven’t had it since. So on a recent visit to Banri, my go-to Japanese restaurant in Cebu, when the server suggested I have some of their octopus special, I hesitated until I spied the plate at the next table that indicated it had been poached first. We ordered a plate of tuna sashimi and one “tako” or octopus. The octopus was SUPERB, a wonderful, slightly chewy texture, and the briney flavor of the sea, with a hint of sweetness at the same time. Really good stuff. So good, we immediately ordered another portion.
I am not sure if this technically qualifies as sashimi, as it isn’t raw anymore, but it was good, whatever you called it. Pricey at PHP280 or so for just a few pieces (the equivalent of half a kilo of lechon!), but worth it. I suppose several Japanese restaurants have this on offer, and you can see the entire tentacle in their chilled display cases, but somehow they don’t usually look as fresh as this batch seemed to be. I wonder if there is some secret to making this (or is it a specific species of octopi?) or if I can just poach some fresh octopus myself… :)