I’m not sure I’d recognise my colleagues. I occasionally wonder if they’d fancy meeting up, but I’ve become a lockdown loner.
As much as I love them, even in normal times the Features team was never a sociable bunch.
At Christmas, other departments would have an annual shindig.
They’d get gussied up in the toilets, and you’d find yourself in the lift with glittery versions of people who had previously looked as neglected as an inactive termite mound. At these parties, I could only imagine, there would be carousing, pinatas, eggnog, snogging and the birdie dance.
I suppose there would have also been the newspaper version of bum photocopying, except using a printing press. (Nobody has survived that jape, but still, they try).
Not for us.
We’re the boring lot, though we did get into the thrilling habit of splurging our festive allowance of £10pp in January. Since we’re conscientious and usually on a health kick at that time of year, we’d spend it on al-desko platters of sushi. (Only the Advertising department or Sport would eat burgers and pizza at their desks).
Anyway, that won’t be happening for the foreseeable. We’re not going to be back in the office for a while, and sharing platters, like buffets, aren’t going to be that vogueish outside one’s own household group. I don’t want anyone breathing miasma onto my maki.
Thus, in tribute to my work spouses, I ordered from five-year-old Minato Sushi. It delivers in East Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh, from Monday to Saturday, with a £25 minimum order and £5 delivery.
Instead of offices, their focus has switched to home deliveries.
Maybe by the time you’ve read this they’ll have launched their new website, which is in the pipeline.
I ordered using the slightly clunkier original version. This involved ticking an amount of something from a drop-down menu, then trying to work out what it looked like by scrolling through the mismatched photographs on the right side of the screen.
It was how elderly people like me imagine Tinder to work, but I managed to hook up with the fish and meat platter (£42). This looked so pretty in the picture, like a pony club rosette, with lots of satiny pink salmon among the other neatly lined up sets of rolls. In three dimensions, it didn’t disappoint.
On the round dish, everyone’s favourite was the set of ten salmon nigiri, with Band-Aid sized chunks of fish and sturdy rice plinths. Another set featured sesame-sprinkled caterpillar rolls, and there were smaller nori-wrapped tyres of salmon, avocado and cucumber, and bigger futomaki with tuna. We also had katsu chicken rolls, with swaddled crispy nuggets and spicy mayo in a long smooth wave like a truthful person’s polygraph.
There were six types, and easily enough for all of us, and more for breakfast the next day.
I’m contrasting this with some of my work sushi orders, when colleagues politely say they’re stuffed but are later discovered in Waitrose with a pasty in their basket.
To mix it up, we’d also ordered some chicken and vegetable gyozas (£6.50), which were crispy seamed and suitably squishy and savoury inside. We did miss the rice vinegary potsticker dip that you’d usually get alongside this in a restaurant. However, at least there was plenty of soy sauce in a shoal of mini fish-shaped bottles, as well as wasabi packets and vast sheets of ginger.
Although we’d also clicked on the tempura prawn (£5.50) and tempura aubergine with sweet miso sauce (£6), those hadn’t arrived.
Instead, they’d given us yet more sushi (not quite identified, though one may have had steak in it and we think the other was the katsu chicken one again), and one of their eco-friendly boxes that was packed with edamame beans.
It was an upgrade of sorts.
Anyway, my Minato delivery has made me come over all sentimental about my colleagues.
This review is dedicated to those guys – the January Sushi Society.
Here’s to being the wildest department at The Scotsman. n
How much? Dinner for four, excluding delivery and drinks, £60