Monday, April 13, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
On the recommendation of an acquaintance, I decided to give Fire Ninja a try tonight. I needed to get a quick bite to eat after choir practice, and the family was at our home fellowship group so I was able to come by and sit at the sushi bar.
This is a very nice restaurant, nicely decorated and great service. It was a Tuesday night so I was alone at the bar, and the seating area was only about 1/4 full. My server was very attentive and the food came quickly.
Understand that after almost 7 years living in Hawai'i, which is almost another Japanese home island, anything Japanese here is going to be a disappointment. First off, I did not understand the name of the restaurant; I saw nothing on the menu that would explain the Chinese Bistro. I just gave it a quick once-over, but from what I recall it all seemed to be Japanese food. It was also quite expensive. Where are the simple sushi take-out places here? I really believe a good quality, take out style sushi place would do well.
Since I was alone, and the ala carte portion of the menu was mostly large rolls, I decided to try the Sushi Dinner (10 pieces of sushi and a California roll) and the vegetable tempura appetizer. These standard Japanese dishes should give a good indication of the quality of the overall menu.
First came my hot green tea, a small cup and a whole kettle just for me. However, looking in the kettle I was disappointed to find tea bags instead of the higher quality loose tea I'm used to. It was sort of hot, but not scorching hot like it tends to be served in true Japanese restaurants. The cup was the standard small size, but inexplicably it had an American style handle. Along with my tea I was served a small dish of fresh cucumber tsukemono, a nice surprise.
Next came the salad and miso soup that came with the sushi dinner. The salad was a standard American style, with what I suppose was a Japanese style dressing, just not like anything I've ever had before. Too bad, because I love Japanese dressings. The miso was also not hot enough, and tasted like standard American miso, not high quality Japanese miso, which is what I've become accustomed to.
After that came the vegetable tempura appetizer. I was pleasantly surprised at the quantity and variety of tempura; it included sweet potato, zuchinni, eggplant, and bell pepper. Once again, standard American style tempura - not hot or crunchy enough. Also, the sauce was not quite right - almost watered down.
Finally, my Sushi Dinner arrived:
Not the most appetizing looking selection of sushi I've eaten. In fact, the ahi looked as if it had been treated for color, and the hamachi looked like it was previously frozen. Even the California roll, probably the easiest maki to make, had way too much cucumber and very little crab (imitation, of course). The tobikko looked different, so I scraped some of it off the side of the roll to taste it alone. It had none of the crunch it should have, and no flavor at all.
So, basically, I am still on the hunt for a decent sushi restaurant in the area. Any recommendations?