One of my favored memories of 2009: Singing ABBA’s Voulez-Vous in a karaoke bar in Tokyo and enjoying sushi afterwards. It has appeared that precisely in the same year, Johannes Jensen opened his sushi restaurant in the Faroe Islands. His idea: If you have one of the world’s best fish around, you should serve it in the best possible way. „The Japanese way“, as he says. So let’s find out what his restaurant is like.
The etika is located in the capital Tórshavn, close to the harbor, the city hall and the parliament. Large windows, wooden floor, metallic-orange-colored designer chairs. I order number 301: 4 uramaki with surimi crab, 2 futomaki with salmon and cream cheese, 1 nigiri with salmon and 1 nigiri with porbeagle (8 pcs / 109 kr.), also green tea with popped rice. Time to take a second look around. Funny magazines, nice sales counter for take-away sushi, a shelf packed with colorful Kusmi caddies, pleasant atmosphere, friendly waitress. I like this place – and also the sushi. The fish is mostly Faroese, no tuna, and they use the local shark, Johannes Jensen told me.
While my eyes respond to a pure wasabi-shock-interlude (a quirk, I love to do this to myself: eating only wasabi as an intermediate-treat) I think about the last time I went fishing with friends around Faroe Islands. We mostly catch haddock, pollock and cod. The local shark, the porbeagle, is called hemari. Haven’t met any of his kind before. Only now, as part of my sushi dish. Yummy.
I like being on a boat, fishing, also preparing the fish afterwards – just got a premium filleting knife as a present. For Faroe Islands, the fisheries have always been an important part of identity, culture and local cuisine. The Faroese serve their fish in many ways: Cooked, grilled, fried, salted and smoked; fresh, dried or ræstur – a unique local method of fermentation.
Another solo-wasabi-wave floods my mouth, followed by an uramaki, also known as inside-out-roll. Time to consider the existence of sushi on Faroe Islands from a philosophical point of view. I firmly believe that etika, located in the historical heart of Tórshavn, can be taken as a symbol of the interaction of the Old and the New on the islands. Find out for yourself. Stroll through the picturesque streets of Tórshavn. Discover Tinganes, the oldest parliament in the world, and check out the shops of the Faroese wool designers. Our city tour starts in a few minutes. But at first, we have to finish our sushi. Any nigiri or wasabi left?