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Why do restaurant recipes change?(spicy tuna, pad thai, etc)

Why do restaurant recipes change?(spicy tuna, pad thai, etc)
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  • Why do restaurant recipes change?(spicy tuna, pad thai, etc)

    Post #1 - June 25th, 2017, 11:21 pm
    Post #1 - June 25th, 2017, 11:21 pm Post #1 - June 25th, 2017, 11:21 pm
    I'm guessing most likely one of three reasons:

    1. Chef turnover, so different technique, recipe or a "heavier hand" with ingredients
    2. Ingredient unavailability or price increase, necessitating a change in the recipe
    3. Need to serve the most mainstream palate, which may be different to your preferences
  • Post #2 - June 26th, 2017, 12:05 am
    Post #2 - June 26th, 2017, 12:05 am Post #2 - June 26th, 2017, 12:05 am
    I'm confused. Are you asking why dishes (seem to) change universally or why they change at specific establishments?

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #3 - June 26th, 2017, 6:47 am
    Post #3 - June 26th, 2017, 6:47 am Post #3 - June 26th, 2017, 6:47 am
    Based on his or her use of the term "trend" for both Pad Thai and Spicy Tuna, I'm going to assume Daemoness is asking about why these dishes (seem to) change universally.

    As to the latter, I see no real way the chopped/minced version didn't at least start gaining momentum because of an economic efficiency. It seems to me (please correct me if I'm wrong since I am not actually a restauranteur) that sushi places spend as high or higher a % of the total cost of a dish on ingredients as any other type of restaurant that charges the same per customer. Whether a wholesaler or retailer came up with the idea is unknown to me (increased labor cost to make, without scale, is more inefficient for the retailer), but getting a cheaper costing tuna with little-to-no drop in consumer demand is the answer that makes the most sense.

    The economic cause/effect for a saucier Pad Thai is less obvious. Given Daemoness's confession to infrequent ordering, it may be as much perception as reality. If it is a larger trend, then
    excelsior wrote:3. Need to serve the most mainstream palate, which may be different to your preferences

    makes the most sense. As far as the who/where of "Restaurant Zero" for the spread of the thicker, sticky, sweet sauce - I have no idea. Given that national chains tend to cater towards sweeter dishes based on the largest scale of market research (the Panda Express effect?), I wouldn't doubt it originated far from there.

    Those with direct knowledge, of course, may prove my conjecture to be totally off-base though.
  • Post #4 - June 26th, 2017, 9:46 am
    Post #4 - June 26th, 2017, 9:46 am Post #4 - June 26th, 2017, 9:46 am
    The use of chopped tuna has an obvious answer -- cost. It's definitely not a universal thing, but for places that offer lower-cost rolls, chopped is far more common. It makes for an economical alternative where aesthetics are less important. I'm generally not bothered by it. I'm not sure which "expensive" places you've been to, but my experience is not consistent with yours.
  • Post #5 - June 26th, 2017, 4:12 pm
    Post #5 - June 26th, 2017, 4:12 pm Post #5 - June 26th, 2017, 4:12 pm
    Like meat, tuna loins have pieces that are "better" than others. Think about a full tenderloin. You have center cut pieces used for filets then the tapered end is used for things like stirfrys/ tartare. The chain is used a lot in grinding for burgers. It's the same piece but some pieces are utalized differently. No restaurant is using eye of tuna loin and mincing it. That is left for sashimi. The "minced" tuna is the "scrap" scrapped from the skin and the pieces attached to sinew that you wouldn't serve for sashimi. It's not like anyone is hiding anything, just utilizing product smart and efficient
  • Post #6 - June 26th, 2017, 4:41 pm
    Post #6 - June 26th, 2017, 4:41 pm Post #6 - June 26th, 2017, 4:41 pm
    When I do eat maki, I only want whole pieces of fish in my tuna rolls. I know places that always serve it that way (places where I do order it) and I know places that never serve it that way (places where I don't order it). If a place changed from the former to the latter, I'd stop ordering it there, and probably stop patronizing it all together.

    In any event, I don't see this as a trend. In my experience, there are 2 ways of preparing this and happily, there appears to be a relatively permanent separation between the 2 of them.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #7 - June 27th, 2017, 1:06 pm
    Post #7 - June 27th, 2017, 1:06 pm Post #7 - June 27th, 2017, 1:06 pm
    Hi Ronnie,

    Care to share the names of some places you like that do serve maki made with whole fish pieces?
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #8 - June 28th, 2017, 8:22 am
    Post #8 - June 28th, 2017, 8:22 am Post #8 - June 28th, 2017, 8:22 am
    (putting this here instead of hijacking the Openings & Closings thread)
    ekreider wrote:Am Thai has opened on Montrose in the space that formerly housed VIP Chinese Restaurant. The inside has been extensively remodeled. There is a Thai menu as well as a sushi menu.

    That should have been your warning to just walk away.

    Do one thing well. That one thing might be fusion, but I've yet to see Thai+sushi do either well, let alone both. I'd be happy see them do kara age with both a thai sweet chile sauce and tare; a purple sticky rice chirashi; or aji nigiri with slivers of makrut lime leaf and red chile... but you're going to get sweet pad thai and minced tuna rolls.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #9 - July 3rd, 2017, 12:15 pm
    Post #9 - July 3rd, 2017, 12:15 pm Post #9 - July 3rd, 2017, 12:15 pm
    Katie wrote:Hi Ronnie,
    Care to share the names of some places you like that do serve maki made with whole fish pieces?

    Ronnie? I'm still curious. I hope you didn't take my post as insincere. I really am interested in learning where to find high-quality maki.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #10 - July 3rd, 2017, 12:52 pm
    Post #10 - July 3rd, 2017, 12:52 pm Post #10 - July 3rd, 2017, 12:52 pm
    Katie wrote:
    Katie wrote:Hi Ronnie,
    Care to share the names of some places you like that do serve maki made with whole fish pieces?

    Ronnie? I'm still curious. I hope you didn't take my post as insincere. I really am interested in learning where to find high-quality maki.

    I cannot speak to overall quality (though, both places are fine) but 2 places that use whole pieces of tuna in their maki are Kamehachi (Northbrook location, possibly others?) and Akai Hana in Wilmette.

    Of course, many higher-end places serve it this way too but I probably wouldn't order maki at those places.

    =R=

    Kamehachi Northbrook
    1320 Shermer Rd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    (847) 562-0064

    Akai Hana
    3223 Lake Ave
    Wilmette, IL 60091
    (847) 251-0384
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #11 - July 3rd, 2017, 1:08 pm
    Post #11 - July 3rd, 2017, 1:08 pm Post #11 - July 3rd, 2017, 1:08 pm
    Thanks very much for the suggestions.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #12 - July 11th, 2017, 2:18 pm
    Post #12 - July 11th, 2017, 2:18 pm Post #12 - July 11th, 2017, 2:18 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I cannot speak to overall quality (though, both places are fine) but 2 places that use whole pieces of tuna in their maki are Kamehachi (Northbrook location, possibly others?) and Akai Hana in Wilmette.

    I'm pretty sure the Old Town location of Kamehachi uses whole pieces of tuna as well.

    We've been quite pleased with Kamehachi since Itto Sushi closed.
    Pithy quote here.

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