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Sushi in Rhode Island

I've been to both Haruki's, both Shogun's, and Seven Moons. Haruki is the best of these, with providence having a hipper atmosphere, and maybe slightly better quality in Cranston. I like the Shogun in Narragansett more than the Cranston one, mainly becuase it looks and feels nicer. Seven Moons has been a little disappointing, mainly because of the variability of the sushi. My opinion so far.
I have not been to Sakura, 10, Sea Shai in Middletown. What do people think of these places, and are there other places worth pursuing? I realize that we are not talking about high-end New York or Boston sushi. I wish there was a place in East Greenwich.

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  1. The quality of the sushi at Sakura is well below that of Haruki. It's a pleasant enough place, but not nearly as good. I kno w alot of people prefer Tokyo, just up that street, for better fush at the same price point. Still I think Haruki is vastly preferable in terms of quality.

    I've heard good things about Ran Zan but never been. Anyone?

    1 Reply
    1. re: celeriac

      I agree that Sakura's fish has not been the freshest. It's my least favorite spot for sushi in Providence. I do like Tokyo quite a bit - they have a much larger selection of Nigiri and Maki than Haruki. But, in terms of freshness, Haruki wins out for me, too.

      I haven't been to Ran Zan, but have friends who lie in the neighborhood and speak highly of it

    2. I was @ 10 last week for dinner. I usually go there for steak and while I know they've had their detractors on this board, I've always had great food and great service.

      We had gotten a taste of their sushi w. a california roll during RW lunch and were eager to try more..

      We ended up with the Surf & Turf sushi - beef tenderloin w. lobster and asparagus w. a lobster sauce, Yellowtail tuna sashimi, Bikini roll - crab, spinach and I think an egg, and of couse two orders of their california rolls.

      Finished up by splitting their bananas foster bread pudding ... I'm usually a chocoholic but this was very decadent and melted in your mouth.!

      My favorite place for sushi in MA is Fuji in Quincy and I think 10 compared favorably w. Fuji - everything was very fresh & they had some other interesting combinations that we didn't get to try. My only problem was that the Bikini roll was very big and hard to eat easily w. the chopsticks!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Trufflebaby

        I think the best place in MA is Oishii, remember your Benjamins. But I really was asking about RI.

        1. re: bpmason

          I don't disagree about your opinion on Oishii.

          Since you were asking about 10 in Providence & since I had sushi @ 10 in Providence last week, I decided to respond to your post and give you my opinion!

      2. Sea Shai is not great... not worth a trip over the bridge. Definitely agree that Haruki is the best in RI. In the summer you can have good, and very expensive, sushi at Cooke House in Newport, also, Tokyo House opened last year, and, in my opinion, is the best option in Newport. Your are right though, if you are looking for great sushi, take a trip to NY (or LA for that matter)

        1 Reply
        1. re: harryharry

          We have been enjoying China Pavillion in Westerly. They have a seperate Japanese menu. I know this is not sushi, but the soft shell crab is wonderful!

        2. I had surprisingly great sushi, equal in quality to Haruki, at Uncle Sushi in Cranston. Loved it.

          Uncle Sushi & Grill, 570 Reservoir Ave, Cranston, RI, 401.781.6193.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jsd

            I would like to second Uncle Sushi in Cranston for food. Also, the person making the sushi is all sorts of fabulous.

          2. I will give "10" in Providence a vote of 9. Great selection

            1. Ah, one of my favorite RI Chowhound topics is back!

              I agree that the Harukis (both) are probably the freshest and most consistent of the bunch, but neither blows me away. Despite the fact I live about 1 block away from Haruki East, I just can't get into it... I don't know if it's the shape of the space, the size of the space, the bland atmosphere (why do people think it's hip?), the frosted-over windows you can't see out of, or the fact that the air in there seems to always be 25% more humid than it is outside... I just can't warm to the place. Too bad... If I liked it more, I'd probably be there every week...

              It is a shame that Sakura isn't as fresh and is more sloppy in presentation, since I love their atmosphere and "mom and pop" feel. They also have a far more extensive menu than Sakura...

              This reluctantly leaves Tokyo as my favorite. Acceptable freshness, huge menu, reasonable prices. Unfortunately, they have had consistently the worst (as defined by servers just forgetting about you, what you ordered, charging you for things you didn't order, etc) service I've had in the STATE...

              That leaves the others:
              - Ran Zen: Just fine overall, although the menu struck me as a bit limited. It's like the Japanese version of the nearby Restaurant Oak. OK food. OK atmosphere. OK prices. In that respect, it's very much a neighborhood restaurant, not really a "destination" place...

              - New Japan: Opinions tend to vary widely on this one, seemingly (I have found) by how long you've been in the city. If you've been here a while, it's an "institution." If you've been weaned on other big cities' sushi, though, it feels more "institutional." I haven't had a good meal there, and each time the young, lone female server has been completely overwhelmed. Cleanliness of the small, dim, unloved space was not inspirational (which, in my view, is fatal for a sushi place) and there there wasn't enough, ah, separation between the dining area and the outside street environment for my tastes (I won't elaborate on this one any more)...

              - 10: One of my favorite restaurants in the city. The sushi there is the height of fusion and creativity (and cost). Don't look for authentic here, but anything 10 does is bound to be satisfying and stylish if nothing else...

              - Cafe Yuni: Closed... :-(

              And that's the state of things. I consider the lack of even one top-flight sushi option in Providence a major flaw in our dining scene. I likewise was disappointed that it seems Pauli Moto's (Morimoto's more downscale chain, but still more upscale as far as Asian than anything in Providence) doesn't seem to be coming to G-Tech after all, if rumors are to be believed.

              I've got my fingers crossed that the more upscale pan-Asian Chinese Laundry on N. Main (supposedly opening later this year, and done by the same folks responsible for 10 and XO) will be the culinary therapy I've been waiting for...

              - Garris

              PS: One friend of mine who adores sushi basically doesn't eat out here but just buys from Whole Foods, convinced that the maki rolls of the restaurants here aren't much better. I really can't disagree with her...

              PS2: My favorite sushi thus far in New England has been the very expensive Douzo in Back Bay, Boston, although I haven't been to Oishii yet...

              8 Replies
              1. re: Garris

                Garris, I totally agree about the space that Haruki East uses. Really bland and cold, not hip. It probably keeps me from going there more as well.

                1. re: celeriac

                  Thanks... I thought I was the only one!

                  Every writeup on Haruki East talks about how "sleek" and "hip" it is. It's certainly not a hole in the wall, but even by Wayland Square standards (Farmstead, The Edge, Red Stripe, Twist, and even Starbucks) it's only more upscale in feel than Ruffles.

                  It is very clean, which I certainly like. If you're there near closing time, watch them obsessively clean down the sushi bar. It's extremely reassuring...

                  - Garris

                  1. re: Garris

                    I didn't mean to say it was hip in any sort of absolute sense, I was just contrasting the two Haruki's. It's certainly no Nobu.

                    1. re: bpmason

                      It wasn't a comment on your post :-). Many of the (way, way over complimentary) Providence metro food "critics" (i.e.: special advertising writers) gush over HE's style, as if it was Morimoto... I've never felt it.

                      - Garris

                    2. re: Garris

                      I love both Haruki locations. Have been eating at the Cranston Haruki since way back, loved them on Park Ave. Probably discovered them during college (mid 80s). I like Cranston more w/the whole family----Wayland is not as comfortable w/kids. Wayland for convenience/proximity.

                      I have not liked any sushi in RI as much as Haruki. I've found some snotty staff at Wayland----not wait staff, but the hostesses. Totally out of place, and I have a thin skin for that kind of stuff anyway. But otherwise, I have never had even a small thing to complain about there. The atmosphere/decor? Doesn't bother me at all. It's a bit perplexing that the place was so long coming and so prepared for/planned, and this is what they came up with, but it has never bothered me. Love it there anyway. I've sat at the sushi bar w/a friend or two, and had the chefs just start giving us little unsolicited bites of stuff to try, and asking us how we liked each one, etc.

                      I have only gotten Ran Zan for takeout. I have never gotten an order once there, in a timely fashion and w/everything accurate. Ever. And when I'm waiting around and waiting around for my takeout order, I see people at tables looking at their watches and wondering what is up. Maybe they've worked out these kinks, but it has made me never really want to eat in. Otherwise, the sushi is very good, as is the food overall. Can't complain-----but still like Haruki most.

                      1. re: Moonpie1

                        I'm actually really anticipating the Haruki Express on Waterman near Thayer... That way, it'll hopefully be Haruki qualtiy without having to deal with the interior, hostesses, etc...

                        Agreed on the Ran Zen waiting time... They're not fast. I always chalked this up to the "mom and pop" feel of the place. I could imagine there's literally one person back there cooking... What did you think of your takeout?

                        - Garris

                        1. re: Garris

                          Didn't they open a while ago? Earlier this summer, I walked by and they had take-out menus in a little slot by the door and there were people eating inside... I grabbed a menu, but there's no reason for me to ever go there (location-wise).

                          1. re: LMWW

                            Could be... I may just not have been there yet.

                2. Anyone been to Wasabi in Johnston? A coworker and a friend have both mentioned they like it. I've never been.

                  1. haruki east is my favorite. i think they have the best selection and the freshest and more flavorful sushi. i think that 10 is not good at all, and painfully, painfully overpriced. they serve the same sushi at big fish and it's not good there either- overcooked rice, bland fish, limited menu, boring options. i like ran zan when i am craving sushi, dont want to make a big production out of it (in terms of money as well) and there sashimi has always been very good. definitely a limited menu, so it's less of a destination. agree that whole foods brown rice maki's can often be as good as those at the restaurants though!

                    1. I vote for Tokyo. I wish it was cleaner in there - but the sushi is the best around RI that's for sure!

                      1. Well, we did finally eat at Sea Shai while we were shopping in Newport. It was certainly passable, but not any better than the alternatives. So if you're in the area it's a reasonable choice,but that's all.

                        1. We ate lunch at Sakura on Wickeden today. I has the sashimi lunch and my wife had the sushi lunch. We also had a couple of rolls and shumai. I didn't find the quality to be demonstrably different than Haruki. The service was much better than the Cranston Haruki. The ambience is better at haruki east but sakura is byob and has a fireplace.

                          1. I am just getting into sushi, but I would call my husband a "sushi snob". He insists that the best sushi can be found at Fuji Garden in Pawcatuck, CT. This is right on the CT/RI border just past Westerly. I have been a few times and have always loved the food, and it is a beautiful restaurant. Worth the drive once and a while in my opinion. My hubby goes there once a week.

                            1. I hate to have to say it, but I have to agree with everybody that Providence sushi doesn't blow me away.

                              I agree with bpmason on Sakura. The fish seemed as good as Haruki, and though it's a matter of taste, I prefer the cozy atmosphere. The staff was much friendlier too, in my opinion. I'm a little biased because Haruki refused make sushi for my shell-fish allergic wife, which is understandable but aggravating, and it's the only place where this has ever happened to us.

                              I love 10, but have been more impressed by non-sushi dishes there, like that kobe beef appetizer, served on a hot stone (too poor at the moment to get a whole steak). This might sound nitpicky, but, though the fish was good, they put a huge amount of rice in the nigiri, and the rice was just okay. And, being the high-end place in town, it would be nice if it had o-toro or other fish beyond the usual selection.

                              I also second the Oishi comments, but would insist that the Sudbury location is the way to go... Not at all hip like the Boston location, but much, much cheaper, friendlier, cozier and less crowded.

                              1. There is a place in Smithfield called Rangoon Chinese and Japanese that has a small sushi bar in it. I haven't had it before (wasn't in the mood for sushi at the time) but my aunt did, and she said it was good. I found the information for anybody interested. 294 Waterman Ave Smithfield, RI 02917 (401) 231-8881‎