Tag Archives: Greece

Spotlight on Shunka: Toro and Uni Dish

12 Dec

Way back in September, I wrote about Shunka, arguably recognized as the best sushi restaurant in Barcelona. The restaurant is Japanese-run, and sushi and non-sushi dishes alike are served fresh and with authentic flavor. As my time studying in Barcelona nears its end, I felt compelled to write about what undoubtedly was my favorite dish at any restaurant during my four month stay: the toro and uni combination dish at Shunka.

Shunka’s toro and uni dish combines two exquisite Japanese delicacies, namely, the belly of tuna with the eggs of sea urchin. Both items are considered to be among the tastiest and highest quality offered at Japanese restaurants, with their prices reflecting this sentiment. Shunka offers a plate of around 8 healthy cuts of toro, topped with generous amounts of uni and garnished with seaweed and sesame seeds. A sweetish soy sauce accompanies the dish. I just about fell in love with this dish as soon as I tried it – the large portions of toro melted in my mouth and were full of flavor, and the freshness of the uni provided the perfect smooth contrast. Having spent many summers diving for sea urchins in my native country of Greece and enjoying their contents mere minutes later, I am well aware of the taste of the freshest of sea urchins, and Shunka’s offerings are top notch. The color of the eggs are the exact shade of orange that I became accustomed to during my diving in the neighboring Mediterranean Sea.

At 19.60 euros, the toro and uni dish is priced comparably to other entrĂ©es at Shunka. While other options may offer more variety and quantity, I would suggest asking for a bowl of white rice to accompany this delicious combination and add more substance. I highly recommend trying this dish at Shunka (it can be found as one of the ‘special’ menu choices listed on the first page of the menu) and letting me know your thoughts!


Here’s a cliffhanger: In the next day, I will write about the sushi meal that I enjoyed last night, which I would call the best sushi I have eaten in Barcelona.


Politics 2.0

3 Nov

In class this week, we spoke about the growing trend that involves using social media to campaign during a political election. Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 Presidential Election was defining for a number of reasons, one of which was his heavy usage of sites like Facebook and Twitter to mass-project messages and promises to his supporters. Obama’s constant stream of updates on social media outlets humanized him in a sense, and allowed citizens to feel more connected. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it brought him closer to the Y-Generation, voters born in the early 1980s and later, who turned out and voted in record breaking numbers. Through his dedication to sites such as these, as well as personalized websites like MyBarackObama.com, Obama was able to project more than just a candidacy in the election – he was able to create a brand. Equally as important as maintaining these outlets of communication was his pledge to continue connecting with his supporters via these means after his victory in the election.

Our class discussion allowed me to think about the relevance of social media in other countries in political and economical hot spots in today’s world. For example, with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou surprisingly calling for a referendum on the approved international bailout package, a move made Papandreou contests, to look out for the people’s interests, I am left wondering if Papandreou’s stance would possibly change had he been continuously connected with his country’s people via tools such as Twitter or Facebook. Would he have come to a different conclusion? Would he have heard more directly from some of the people who are unemployed, have recently lost their jobs, or are calling for his resignation in the streets? Would any of it had mattered? Yes, there are more questions than answers to this rather irrelevant question, but the premise remains interesting: in a country filled with all sorts of turmoil, could a political leader’s use of Twitter or Facebook affect public opinion? Positively? Negatively?