Posts Tagged ‘sushi roll’
A mixed group of Americans and Australians met for happy hour at Nijo last week. Located a couple of blocks south of the Seattle Art Museum, the restaurant is on the Puget Sound end of Spring Street.
A courtyard is fenced by bamboo and would be popular for al fresco dining during summer.
Festive baubles dangled from ceiling lights. There was a bar and a sushi counter, and tables were by the window.
Happy hour is daily, early and late. The beverages menu was the same length as the food menu! A selection of appetisers, maki, temaki, nigiri and sashimi were discounted.
Three large marbles of takoyaki were drizzled with mayonnaise and aonori. A savoury batter ensconced a tendril of octopus.
A generous mound of chicken karaage was served in an odd sized bowl. The chicken pieces were marinated in soy sauce, ginger and garlic, lightly dusted with flour and deep fried.
On the left was spicy tuna roll, a fiery blend of minced tuna and chilli. On the top right was Bainbridge islander roll, prawn, salmon, cucumber and avocado were seasoned with a spicy sauce. On the bottom right was salmon nigiri, a slice of salmon sashimi atop sushi rice.
On the left was ebi nigiri and on the right was seared spicy shiro magura (albacore tuna) nigiri, both were fresh and succulent.
We shared two desserts, tempura ice cream and fried banana spring roll. Green tea and red bean ice cream were cloaked in pound cake and deep fried. I preferred the delicate flavour of the green tea ice cream. There was no crunchy shell and it was more ice cream cake than tempura.
Crispy and sweet, banana and white chocolate were a sugary filling for the spring roll.
We are fond of happy hour in Seattle and Nijo is another recommendation!
I succumbed to a Groupon deal a couple of months ago. I paid twenty five dollars for fifty dollars worth of food and beverages at Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar. We were at the Kangaroo and Kiwi Pub in the early hours of Sunday morning to cheer on the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup. Alas we were disappointed with the result and woke up lethargic. Within walking distance, the voucher was perfect for a lazy dinner.
As with many restaurants in Seattle, Seastar is dimly lit. The restaurant was full so we sat in the bar. A spacious area with individual tables, a communal bench and counter seating, it was a busy evening being the first day of the autumn Seattle Restaurant Week. A single glassybaby was our source of light to read the menu.
The menu was a combination of hot and cold seafood. We selected a soup, a sushi roll and the raw bar sampler to share. The large bowl of Dungeness crab and corn bisque was warming. Absent of corn kernels, the bisque had chunks of Dungeness crab and was drizzled with a Madeira reduction and fresh chives. The Port added a depth of flavour to the bisque.
We misread the menu and expected a plate of tempura but it was futomaki tempura! Coated in tempura batter, the sushi roll had cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, asparagus, green onion and daikon pickle. It was an odd sensation to eat warm sushi but the vegetables were pleasingly crunchy.
The three tiered raw bar sampler was presented with a flourish. On the bottom was scallop ceviche with mango-kiwi relish, lemon, lime and cilantro. Unripe fruits and acidic juices masked the sweetness of the scallops.
In the middle was a California roll of Dungeness crab, avocado and cucumber. These bite size morsels had plenty of fresh crab.
And on the top was ahi pokē. Cubes of tuna were marinated in soy, chilli, Maui onions and sesame seeds. Wafer thin taro crisps were the utensil topped with strands of daikon radish and green onions.
On a glass tile, the aloha roll was bursting with ahi, hamachi, salmon, avocado, cucumber and chilli. This sushi roll lacked the finesse of Japanese cuisine but had an abundance of glistening sashimi.
Service was mostly absent but it was value for money!
Sushi rolls is considered fast food in Australia. From sushi train (or conveyor belt sushi) to sushi roll counters in food courts, it’s omnipresent in our southern hemisphere city diet.
I love sushi rolls for lunch – it’s cheap, there’s a variety of fillings to choose from and it’s relatively healthy. My favourite place in Sydney to grab a couple of sushi rolls for a quick work lunch is in a grimy train station in desperate need of refurbishment. Yet loyal customers return again and again, a testament to an efficient queue and value for money.
I haven’t found any ‘fast food’ sushi rolls in Seattle but I’ve now dined at the Downtown/Belltown trinity of Japonessa, Umi and Shiro’s. The first time we tried to eat at Shiro’s, they were closed for renovations. This time we were lucky to get a table without a booking on a Friday evening.
Shiro’s has a small dining room with the sushi counter featuring prominently. The three sushi chefs greeted us as we entered and service was polite and friendly throughout. We were presented the standard menu and also an ordering sheet and pen for the daily specials and chefs’ selections.
Glistening and marbled, the five triangular pieces of salmon sashimi were savoured for its freshness and mildly sweet flavours.
Next we shared fresh crab and tempura spider crab rolls. The inside out fresh crab roll was meaty, a textural contrast to the creaminess of the soft shell crabs.
Our waiter recommended the salmon roll which had a thick slice of seared salmon embracing the inside out sushi roll of more salmon. The searing highlighted the succulent flesh.
We indulged in a plate of karaage, marinated chicken dusted in a light batter and deep-fried. I loved that Shiro’s served the chicken on the bone and it had a delightfully crunchy coating. A challenge to our chopsticks dexterity, we didn’t hesitate to eat these with our fingers!
We’ll return for a seat at the sushi counter to watch chef Shiro in action!