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Japanese in Raleigh/Cary

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Can anyone give a review of Kashin Japanese restaurant(on Crossroads Blvd.) or Sushi-Thai restaurant (either the Cary or Raleigh location)?

Or, who has the best sushi/Japanese in Raleigh/Cary?


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  1. Waraji a little off Glendwood has the best sushi bar none. Dont waste time with anything else

    1. The best sushi or sashimi in raleigh/ cary is Wasabi in Mcgregor village in Cary the address is 107 Edinburg Suite 135.

      1. I agree with the poster that Waraji is the best around. I believe it is the most consistently great. I like KAshin and go there often, but have found them great or iffy at various times. I have tried the sushi at Sushi Thai in Cary and Raleigh and really couldn't recommend it. It is "fine", but the Thai is better. Neither are great, in my opinion.

        I agree that the sushi at Wasabi is good. I still say not as consistent as Waraji, but there is the benefit that you can get a decent cocktail at Wasabi.

        1. Little Tokyo over on Maynard. Absolutely great. Zero atmosphere, great food.

          1. I'm no sushi expert, but I've enjoyed two meals at Kashin. Their squid is the most memorable dish - sliced lengthwise, lightly battered and gently fried.

            1. Kunaal and VaNC know what they're talking about. WARAJI IS THE BEST SUSHI IN THE TRIANGLE.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                We tried out Waraji last weekend. My SO (who doesn't like the raw stuff) had tempura and teriyaki beef. She said the beef was very nicely cooked and the tempura had a good, light batter over the veggies.

                I had a spider roll with the biggest legs sticking out of the end pieces that I have ever come across at a sushi joint! I thought it was good quality, but they went pretty heavy on the seasoned mayonnaise stuff in the middle (I don't like goop).

                The tamago (sweet egg "omelet") was unique in my experience. Instead of sitting the slice on top of some rice, they slit the egg rectangle and inserted some rice inside. I liked the effect. It was on the sweeter side, and I found it a nice end piece after eating the other sushi items.

                The unagi (cooked eel) was simply to die for. Melt in your mouth tender, no noticeable bones, and just the right amount of sauce glazing. Don't miss this!

                The other raw fish nigiri (I tried an assortment of the usual suspects... yellowtail, salmon, tuna, etc.) was all fresh and good. The chef uses just a miniscule dab of wasabi between the fish and the rice, and I found that my taste preferred a little help from a touch extra. That's the right way to do it... You can always add more, but you can't easily take away too much!

                I found the cuts and shaping of the nigiri to be unusual (traditionalists from Japan may want to chime in... I've never been). They were quite a bit thinner and longer than I've ever had before, with long pieces of fish hanging far down over the polar ends. I found it difficult to turn the sushi over to dip the fish in the soy sauce, as the long floppy ends would slither around. I also found that the narrow cigar shape of the rice base would easily break in half during this operation.

                Some people have complained of service, but our waitress was smiling, polite, and well informed about their food. My SO was cheerfully brought a fork upon request.

                In other Cary sushi joint news, I've had adequate sushi at Wasabi (in Edinburgh South). No quality complaints, but nothing to make me sit up and take notice. I second the view that this place is better for the Thai than the Japanese food.

                One place I haven't seen mentioned is Fujiyama on Kildaire Farm Rd. Although it bills itself as a hibachi style steakhouse, there is a separate room with a sushi bar and quiet booths. I haven't been lately, but I had a number of very good sushi meals over there.

                1. re: klmonline

                  Fujiyama: closed a long time ago (if this is the place in the same shopping center as the The Loop)

              2. I don't like claiming a restuarant is the best in a given category unless I've tried every restaurant in that category. However, of the Japanese restaurants I've tried, I agree, Waraji was the best experience.

                1. Agreed that Waraji is very good.

                  Also check out Akashi in the park (near 54-55 intersection). Not precisely Raleigh, I know. But really, really good.

                  1. First off, I think Waraji is a fine sushi restaurant. They're consistent and have good fish. But there's very little presentation flair and the atmosphere is fairly mediocre.

                    There is a new sushi restaurant downtown, just off Glenwood South, that will knock anyones' socks off. It's called Prime Only Steak Seafood and Sashimi Bar (it's at 505 West Jones Street, across from the 42nd Street Oyster Bar). I've been eating there religiously every Tuesday night and some other nights if I can afford it since they opened in November. Half of the restaurant is high end American steak and seafood (it's the same as the Prime Only Steakhouse in North Raleigh) and the other half is a high-end fusion sushi bar. And it has spoiled me for every other sushi restaurant in the area.

                    The food is mid-priced and worth every cent - no cheap single piece sushi here! There is a lot of amazing fusion cuisine like toro tartare, sashimi margarita, suzuki tiradito, blackened albacore, etc. Every time I eat there I've tried something different and loved it all. The fish is incredibly fresh and flavorful. I've eaten at a lot of sushi places in Raleigh as well as many locations around the country (Nobu in NYC, Morimoto's in Philly, Sushi Den in Denver) and this place is right up there with the big shots in terms of quality. They also have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options, like rolls with mock chicken and freshly-made miso soup without fish stock in the broth.

                    I am recommending this place to everyone. Since it is a new place the servers are still getting into the swing of things but the guys behind the sushi bar will help and educate anyone through the menu and make great suggestions for people who want to know more about great sushi.

                    Anyone who is willing to make what amounts to a 10-minute trip downtown will not be disappointed with the quality of this amazing food at this place. There's also a parking deck behind the restaurant that's free on weeknights and only $1 with a validated ticket on the weekends. You can't beat that.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: oscillatewildly

                      I was thinking this sounded a bit like an ad, so I checked. This is the only post I believe you have EVER made to Chowhound. Hmmmmmmmm........

                      1. re: VaNC

                        I don't know if there is a way to check how long someone has been a member, but I just joined Chowhound last week. I also just moved to Raleigh in April so have not really had a lot of time to check out a lot of eateries. I have spent a lot of time looking at topics to get restaurant recommendations and only post to forums and message boards when I have something worthwhile to say.

                        Most of my writing probably sounds like an ad because I have spent a lot of my life doing publication layouts/design and copywriting/editing. It just kind of comes out that way these days. ;)

                    2. Sushi Thai in Cary on Kildaire is very good. I think you will like it.. I also ate at the asian place at mcGreggor last week for the first time. It was very good. That shopping center has had trouble keeping restaurants.

                      1. sorry, like2run, but sushi thai is not good, and should not be mentioned anywhere except for the cheap eats blogs. sushi thai is terrible in comparison to waraji... but oscillatewildly claims this new place to be in another class than waraji, which is by far the best well-established sushi joint in the triangle. that being said: in no way, shape, or form, should anyone mention that low-end dollar "sushi" when we're talking about the premier sushi restaurants in the triangle. the sushi at the whole foods is better quality than at sushi-thai... seriously.

                        1. ^I thought the original post was asking about sushi in cary

                          1. We just came back from a first-time visit to Little Tokyo for Friday night dinner (an outing spurred by the raves on CH and other review sites). I don't think I'll be back.

                            The positives:

                            1) The raw fish nigiri sushi was very tender, fresh, and flavorful and was cut well. The salmon was to die for.

                            2) Our waitress was smiling and pleasant.

                            3) They served us a complimentary appetizer, amuse-bouche, and dessert. This seems to be standard practice if you are ordering a serious meal (from what I've read).

                            4) An appetizer called "Popeye the Sailor Man" (no, really!) was excellent. A sliced crab and spinach roll wrapped in thin cucumber.

                            The negatives:

                            1) The rice under the sushi was seriously sub standard. Very large firm grains that were far too cold and far too stiff, with no stickiness to hold it together.

                            2) The unagi (cooked eel sushi) had a disgusting sauce unlike any I have ever had on this item. It overwhelmingly detracted from the tender oversized chunks of eel flesh.

                            3) My tea was consistently too cold, even when freshly poured from the waitress's teapot.

                            4) The miso soup was too cold and was very bland and watery. Either a poor quality miso or not enough of it.

                            5) The spider roll had nice big end pieces with the fried crab legs as it should, but these were cold as well (we're spotting a trend here).

                            6) My SO, who likes cooked Japanese food, ordered teriyaki beef and was served a plate of something that looked like a traditional sauteed liver platter. A big mound of rice surrounded by round chunks of chewy, low quality beef that had been overcooked in a bland brown sauce.

                            The place obviously has a large devoted following. We got one of the last tables around 6:15 and by 7:00 the waiting area was full and people were sitting on the curb outside to wait their turn.

                            From this one experience, I would recommend ordering sashimi. The raw fish was definitely the highlight of the meal.

                            1. Waraji is definitely awesome sushi! but keeps odd hours- check before you go- and be prepared for a wait if you go right at 7-- but it's worth the wait! and goes fast!

                              if you're on a budget-- Sushi Tsune is the place to go...
                              Prime Only is ridiculously good!!!!! I can't wait until I get out of grad school and can eat it every night!!!! the other side of the restaurant offers a limited sashimi menu-- i recommend the scallop explosion!!!! mmm... i'm going there for dinner tonight!!!! oh and p.s. their service downtown has drastically improved since they opened!

                              Sushi Blues is not only the worst sushi in town-- it's overpriced and there's a heinous wait! last time i went-- (b/c the rockford had a 45-minute wait and is across the street) they told us it would be a 15-20 minute wait-- they took an hour to seat us and let some friends be seated first- after we were seated- our waiter was good- but they offer this concoction when you're seated i can only describe as some kind of spicy noodles a college kid would make at 2AM. the sushi was gross-- i'm never going back-- i'd rather wait across the street at the rockford for a great meal-- and fairly priced wine...

                              1. The newest and BY FAR best sushi/sashimi experience in the Raleigh area. The fish is shipped in fresh EVERY day, and there are many original creations on the menu. Served late, too.

                                1. Waraji excels in cuts of sashimi (cover the tongue), nigiri, and other traditional fare. There isn't one poor offering on the menu and they are consistantly good.

                                  Sushi Blues has become a hip night bar/sushi combination ever since they started a 1/2 limited menu on T and H. Their Tuna Tataki is one of my favorites, but consistancy-wise, they fluctuate a lot due to volume of customers. Sushi Blues specializes in (american) uromaki named after blues or local references. Their presentation can be great to average, depending on who is working. I believe they shuffled some of their talent to Sushi Thai and some of their other restaurants, but it wasn't uncommon for playful butterfly raddishes to pause on top of daikon and carrot mounds.

                                  Shikki Sushi at hwy 54 and 40 right near fayetteville rd is the best deal, as they always have a 1/2 off special. They have inventive and americanized rolls, similar to Sushi Blues and Little Tokyo. This is a great place to go for large quantities of rolls. Their Cucumber Special is a california roll wrapped in cucumber instead of nori - a very refreshing warm weather maki. They also have special rolls on their marker board. A fun place.

                                  Kanki of durham, off mt.moriah road usually has great fish with a thicker nigiri style than waraji. If it's not on the menu, they can probably make it. Sharing old talent from Akaihana in Carrboro, their chefs speak japanese and their fish can be excellent. The Las Vegas callibur tropical fish tank also doesn't hurt.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: shaidarharan

                                    Waraji is very good, I think expensive copmpared to other places but I have never been disapointed there.

                                    Wasabi in Cary- I like, living in Fuquay its probably the closest for us to go so we go there miore often. Again not cheap and a step below Waraji in quality.
                                    Sushi Thai- is usually too crowded and not very inventive in their rolls (IMO)

                                    Sushi Blues is OK- I used to like better but the last few times there, too crowded and too inconsistent.

                                    Akashi-I eat at for lunch 1-2 times a month. Very good, very inexpensive with their 1/2 price rolls at lunch deal. No complaints here.