Not at all. Try cracking the lid off a couple of oysters and clams (the pre-blanched Cloudy Bay diamond-shell clams are perfect) and sit them on a bed of crushed ice and slurp them with a few drops of hot sauce, some grated frozen wasabi (available at most good Japanese grocers) and a drop or two of ponzu.
You don't have to be Shintaro to get a fast sashimi plate together either. Ask your fishmonger for a "saku" block (the traditional "hand" of skinless, boneless fish) each of tuna, salmon and snapper; place the heel of a sharp knife about half a centimetre in from the cross-edge of the saku and draw the knife down to the tip, cleanly making a classic sashimi slice. Continue until all the fish is sliced, then fan it out on a chilled plate. Serve it with some more grated frozen wasabi root and a good tokky-grade soy sauce diluted 70:30 with mineral water. Cleanse the palate between pieces with some chilled pickled ginger. With a glass of chilled Junmai-style sake, you'll have a super-fast and delicious feed, all in less time that it takes to get a pizza delivered.
Illustration: Lauren Haire