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Kanji in Tinton Falls

Went to try out Kanji Friday night in Tinton Falls in the Work Out World Plaza. Really great meal! Very nice decor-sort of modern Asian I would call it. It's a big place-seating on the right when you come in and Hibachi tables straight ahead. Sushi bar in the back. Our waitress informed us that the chef came from Sawa in Eatontown and has over 20 years experience. Everything we ordered was great! There were four of us. We ordered four appetizers (one on the house since we are members of WOW). The beef Negimaki was the best I ever had. The beef was done perfectly with really good flavor. Also tried the calamari-which came looking like onion rings with a spicy dipping sauce. Also ordered two tuna apps- one called green phoenix and another I cannot recall the name of but had a cilantro based sauce to it. All the apps were really good. For dinner my husband and I both ordered various rolls of sushi and our friends ordered special rolls. My sushi was excellent-perfectly done and fresh. For the table we also ordered a roll called the Amazing Tuna Roll that came with a mango sauce. Seriously one of the best rolls I've ever had!! My friend ordered a dish called Kanji Ruby which looked like a large tomato but actually was pieces of tuna placed around a large amount of crabmeat and served with a cilantro sauce. The other friend had a dish called the Zombie Wrap which was like a wrap sandwich but made with a Japanese pancake and was filled with tuna and salmon. Really yummy. For dessert, they have tempura ice cream, but I just got my favorite Red Bean ice cream plain. My husband tried the Green Tea ice cream. Both were fabulous! The service was really good as well. I really highly recommend this place-check it out!! BTW it's a byob but there is a Spirits liquor store right next door. (Although for a really good local wine shop I would recommend the Wine Cellar on Monmouth Street in Red Bank but that's a whole other posting! :) )

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  1. Thanks for the great review....we will have to check them out!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jen_in_NJ

      how do you get the whole WOW deal? Did you show your keytag or what?

      It sounds good, I have been wary of trying some of the asian/hibachi places around here. We will definitely have to check this one out as it's only about 5 mins from us in Shrewsbury.

      1. re: heathergt

        I did bring my keptag, but we just told the waitress and she gave us the app on the house. She didn't ask to see any proof.

    2. Since my post was deleted (I'm guessing because I linked to my blog instead of pasting here), I'm pasting my review of this fine establishment IN FULL now.

      Our sushi-seeking travels took us to Kanji Steakhouse & Sushi in Tinton Falls. Having read this glowing review, we were very excited to try the new kid on the sushi block.

      We had a short wait while they readied our table. There was a steady crowd in the sushi dining area, and hibachi patrons in the back. Our first impression was that the decor was very nice! The dining area is large and well laid out.

      When we were seated, our server presented us with menu's and gave us some time to muse over them. She asked for our drink orders, ran off, and then delivered them a short time later.

      She then tended to other parties while we sipped our hot tea and finalized our selections. After a few minutes she came over, took our orders, and was off.

      This is where things got a little frustrating. We were seated by a party of six and they were enjoying their special rolls which looked absolutely fantastic! We were hungry and could not wait to get our appetizers to hold us over until our special rolls were delivered. While our server was tending to other tables, many minutes went by and she had not returned. In fact, it took about 15-20 minutes for our appetizers - Miso Eggplant and Kimchi Salmon - to be delivered. She graciously apologized for the delay and explained they were quite busy at the sushi bar.

      We were ravenously hungry and slightly annoyed by the long wait for our starters, but we did not dwell on it and dug in! The eggplant was quite tasty. The kimchi salmon only hinted of the spiciness of kimchi, however delivered all of the glorious flavor. It was a big hit!

      After we finished the starters and another wait - not so long this time thank goodness! - our special rolls had arrived! He selected the Christmas, T.G.I.F, and Philly rolls. I opted for the Flying Dragon, Sunshine, and eel & avocado rolls. While they all were excellently prepared and delicious, we both conceded our favorite was the Sunshine roll. I would have to venture a guess that it was the tempura flakes and chips that set it apart from all the others. This was probably one of the best rolls I have had in some time.

      In any event, the food was top notch and certainly excused the wait. It was indeed worth the wait! We were sure to tip our server accordingly.

      We give Kanji 4 thumbs up!

      6 Replies
      1. re: DJMarilyn

        Thanks for your detailed notes. I'm glad to hear another good report of kanji.

        P.S. IMO, I would rather read a long review here on the CH site, than have to click over to another site.

        1. re: val ann c

          I typically post my reviews in full, but I was feeling lazy I guess. In any case, there you have it. A great review. I will certainly be going back again.

          1. re: DJMarilyn

            Went to Kanji for dinner tonite. The food was excellent. We tried the following: green salads w/ginger dressing, edamame, live scallop appetizer, rock shrimp tempura, tuna tartare, kanji abalone, christmas and california rolls. Except for the rock shrimp tempura (which while flavorful, could've been warmer and bit crispier) everything was top notch. Both the tuna tartare with 3 sauces and the abalone were inspired. The above with a few sodas was $90 exclusive of gratuity. Highly recommended and I intend to return again and again. Good Luck.

            1. re: bgut1

              We tried Kanji tonite for takeout. It was another excellent meal. A little scoop to those Kanji fans out there. A neighbor of ours who is a regular raved about an off the menu item that they make for "those in the know". Its known as the broiled scallop appetizer and consists of diced scallop with crab in mayonnaise of some sort then broiled to a golden brown. Kind of like an upscale crab dip. Try to keep this our little secret. We also ordered the kanji abalone and tartare again (both excellent BTW) and tried the following for the first time: Kanji Ruby (a mound of crab and avocado covered by a layer of tuna resting in a pool of cilantro sauce) and the Osaka Box (spicy tuna layered between sushi rice and topped with a not too sweet strawberry sauce). Neither the Kanji Ruby nor the Osaka Box blew me away like the others but were still solid. In actuality I liked the Ruby better than the Osaka (while interesting, I couldn't appreciate the strawberry/tuna combination). Good Luck.

              1. re: bgut1

                We had our first somewhat disappointing meal at Kanji last night. Maybe it was the luck of the draw or just that I'm getting sick of the dishes. Either way it was the first time we left not being completely statisfied with our meal. For the past couple of visits I've been trying out a few new dishes to discover some real winners. Last night , the two new ones were the Kanji Sweetie off their special sweet shrimp menu and the Sweetie Plus. The Kanji Sweetie consisted of sweet shrimp sashimi tossed in the chef's special sauce accompanied by a spicy mayonaise and deep fried shrimp heads as a garnish. To me the best part of the dish was the shrimp heads. While creepy to my wife, I really enjoyed them (don't roll your eyes or make any comment untill you try them - trust me). The disappointing aspect of this dish was the shrimp sashimi themselves. While I've had sweet shrimp before and am aware of their "slimmy" texture, these were almost unbearably so. That combined with the mayonaise sauce made this dish almost unpalatable. In fact, this dish didn't sit too well with either me or my DW for the rest of the evening. The other dish new dish consisted of shrimp tempura rolled sushi wrapped in white nori topped with spicy tuna, a sweet sauce of some kind and tempura flakes. First let me vent a little. Please, please, please stop it with those tempura flakes. While I appreciate and understand the difficulty in coming up with these new rolls, I really hate this stuff and see no need for this textural component. I blame myself for that one as I normally tell them to keep it off but I failed to do so when ordering. This roll while not bad didn't do it for me as I didn't enjoy the sweet sauce with spicy tuna and the shrimp tempura. We completed the meal with our new stand-bys: broiled scallop (off the menu) - not the best this time as the sauce that binds the components was much looser than normal; tuna tartare with three sauces - good but I'm getting sick of it now; Kanji Abalone - good but same comments as the tartare. Either we will shelf Kanji for a while or order completely new items in the furture. Notwithstanding the above, I continue to recommend Kanji to my family and friends. Good Luck.

                1. re: bgut1

                  Did takeout there last night. I got the Sunshine roll. Excellent, but I wasn't swooning like DJ was. I also got the Beef Negamaki, and it was to die for. Don't ask me to share it!

                  While waiting, I was offered a cup of tea. It had an unusual fragrance. I asked and was told they mix brown rice in with the tea leaves. Not bad. The only "downside" yeaterday was that I was drooling over the pictures of their signature dishes scrolling on hte digital panel. They were so beautifully prepared that they were works of art and I couldn't imagine eating then. (Yeah, right!)

      2. We returned to Kanji last evening with some friends. Everything was simply delicious! I started with the tuna wasabi dumpling. It was the only thing that didn't WOW me. It was a good start, nonetheless. FH and I shared a platter of sashimi, which was good. We both each had a Sunshine roll (so good!), while I had a White Christmas roll, and he the Flying Dragon roll.

        I think next time I'd like to order an entree. I know their rolls are great, but it's time to try something different. :)

        1. Anyone happen to know whether if I bring the family for hibaci whether I can just order sushi for my meal at the hibachi table?

          1 Reply
          1. re: jsfein

            Yes you can. When we had hibachi, a couple in the group sharing the table did just that.

          2. Kanji is still the best sushi place in Monmouth County. After moving here five years ago, I cannot find anything better. Went last night scallop appetizer was to die for.

            4 Replies
            1. re: stickman731

              Thanks for reviving this thread.. was trying to find this place online last night, but someone had incorrectly written it as "Kenji"...

              My birthday is on Labor Day, but we're going on Sunday to celebrate. My choice? Sushi. My wife is going with me, so there'll have to be something she likes (she doesn't eat sushi). At this point, it's between Kanji, Oyako Tso's in Freehold (where I ate my birthday meal last year, incidentally) and Mr. Pi's in Metuchen (like Kanji, never been there either).

              At this point, I'm leaning towards Oyako. Been there before, I know I like it. Good selection of sushi and sashimi, it's BYOB.. there's something there my wife can eat, and they have 3 things I want, besides sushi: Hamachi Kama (broiled yellowtail collar.. one of my favorites, but hard to find), fried oysters, and softshell crab tempura. (Mr. Pi's also has these 3 things).

              Oh, and I want to stop by Ibby's and pick up some Baklava for my birthday as well. :)

              Now, if I can just find a sushi bar that offers natto rolls, I'll be all set. :) Perhaps Sushi by Kazu (I haven't been there yet, either).

              1. re: MarlboroMan

                Well I have said a few times that Kanji is, by far, my favorite in the area. I haven't been to Kazu, Oyako, or Mr. Pi's so I wouldn't know how to compare. But my vote would be for Kanji. I really don't think you would regret it. Plus it's BYOB and there is a wine/spirits store right next door. :)

                1. re: DJMarilyn

                  I agree with DJMarilyn. Kanji is by far the best sushi restaurant in the county. While I agree that the next door liquor store (I believe a Buy Rite) is convenient, its proximity doesn't make up for its astronomical prices. Better to make a side trip to Vingo in Eatontown.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    Second on all the praise for Kanji. And, since our first visit, we always bring our own bottle from home rather than buy one next door.

                    I have also been to and mostly enjoyed Oyako. I sat at the bar once and had fairly good sushi and went with my whole family and had some of everything. Definately a good, local choice.

            2. Kanji is a beautiful restaurant and wonderful kind owners. I have been here 2 times. The creative menu and sushi is above average. I LOVE sushi and I am always looking for a new roll that has not been done before. The Tuna Avocado Wasabi dumplings were very good but for the most part I find that Kanji is a little heavy on the sauces (ask for them on the side or with just a drizzle). I also tried a Pink Angel Roll which tasted like pancakes from IHOP (strawberry with Sushi probably not again). I will go again because there is a lot of creativity on that menu still to be discovered.

              4 Replies
              1. re: shabbystorm

                Went there for lunch yesterday - got a Sushi/Sashimi combo, eel roll, some crazy tuna roll, and hibachi chicken between four people. I wasn't thrilled. Everything just sort of tasted bland to me.

                Is it just me or is the soy sauce they put out low sodium?

                (For the record I truly enjoyed my previous dining experience there - but monkfish liver, toro and uni is a totally different game)

                1. re: joonjoon

                  joon - I ate there for dinner last night and had the opposite experience. In fact, I commented to my wife that I thought everything about our meal was perfect including the toro and the uni. Specifically, I found the uni to be exceedingly fresh and complemented by a beautiful raw quail egg. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your meal as I find Kanji to be one if not the best sushi restaurants in the state. BTW, I do prefer the low sodium soy and it was delivered in the green (as opposed to red) topped bottle.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    I'll have to try this place next.. I went to Sushi by Kazu and I was underwhelmed.

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Bgut - No worries. I've had some fantastic dinners at Kanji and i usually expect sushi joints to put out the 'lesser grade' stuff for lunch. :)

                      The last time I was there they had some fantastic uni and toro too. If only toro weren't so damn expensive...

                2. I am going for Sushi Tuesday nite - we have been to Kanji many times, but after hearing about Kazu, planned on going to Howell - Am confused now as to where to go -
                  Stick to Kazu where we have never been or Kanji where we have???

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tuxedo

                    Up to you.. Many others on here have raved about Kazu. I think the problem was.. I went in with really high expectations, hoping to be blown away. It was good, some was very good, but I thought the fish was cut rather small for the high prices. And after spending nearly $50, I left hungry.

                    Go to Kazu with no expectations.. you will probably really like it. :)

                    1. re: tuxedo

                      A foodie always tries out the new place; however, if the day was long, this foodie would probably go the place closer to home. Luckily for me, Kanji is nearby.

                      1. re: fershore

                        Kanji is closer to us and have been there many times - Have read alot about Kazu and am curious about it!

                    2. I saw this restaurant for the first time today. Had no idea it was just out the gate from my office. Will have to give it a try soon! -mJ