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Murasaki-Cherrydale (G'ville, SC): my new fave

(injured finger - forgive spare writing style, pls)

Friday night, early dinner. First time. Older, slim sushi chef presiding. We sat at bar, captured attention, asked him to just feed us sashimi and nigiri. He agreed. It was fantastic. A couple of things I'm not positive what they were. Fantastic salmon, best tuna I've had in ages (I've been about to the point I don't even want any of the tasteless tuna I get EVERYWHERE) super-fresh juicy salmon caviar, "japanese snapper", mackerel. Then two very unique preps - salmon and tuna, both sprinkled w/ something salty...but more than that...not sure what...and then blow-torched. meltingly delicious. I'm in love. $50ish for the two of us including a salad I ordered from the menu , no drinks, no rolls.

Will be back ASAP.

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  1. I have been pushing this place for some time. This is the ONLY Japenese sushi man in town. Every piece of sushi in Greenville come from one of two places. THIS CHEF has been know to have it flown in. Trigger fish, flounder roe, many many great things. I really think it is the best sushi I have ever had in the WORLD. There is a "sushi meetup" that is meeting there next week.
    If you are adventurous go there early and say "feed me please". I think it is the best way to eat there.
    I am in a rush, sorry for any grammer or spelling erroers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JB BANNISTER

      JB, I have you to thank for trying this place. So different from the Murasake downtown, i don't really understand. But it's in the category of "think about and crave 3 days later."

      Have you been at lunch? same quality? if I went alone I would really prefer to eat at a table...in that case, how best to order? Thanks.

    2. That's definitely on my short list - thanks for the review!

      1. Danna,

        The sushi chef you probably had was Kay-San (spelling?). He served us the fish sprinkled with the salty stuff and we asked him about it. It is actually sea salt from a certain area in a sea off the coast of Japan which he grinds himself. Amazing because it did seem to be so much more than just salt. He did specifically instruct us not to use soy on it! (thank goodness!) Have to love this guy. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: PickyChicky

          Cool...thanks for the info. We went back for lunch this Saturday, and the same chef was working. We had another great meal, some of the same things, but also a great roll w/ mackerel on the outside and stuffed w/ ginger, bonito, cucumber..uhh...stuff. Also some delicious squid.

          I'm running into a bit of a problem, though. We initially told him we ate everything, which is true for me, but not so much the husband. He hates mackerel, salmon roe, and salmon that has been touched w/ heat in any way (weird, I know). Now he's shy about telling the chef what he doesn't like ...since he's been saying it's great and slipping it to me when the chef isn't looking. (I feel like a dog under the table.)

        2. Murasaki (Cherrydale) was a total miss for me at lunch today. One piece of yellowtail nigiri was great. The second piece was extremely off with a strong fishy taste and an obscure chewy finish. Tuna nigiri was mediocre. Biggest disappointment was a piece of toro nigiri with a bone inside it.

          It became one of those lunches so sub-standard that it became comical, each bite surprisingly worse than the last. Perhaps the quality was defined by the fact that it was lunch. Regardless, I will not return nor could I recommend it for lunch (unless you need a good laugh).

          2 Replies
          1. re: powderhound

            sorry you had a crappy lunch! I'm curious...did you sit at a table or at the bar? Which day of the week did you have lunch? I ask because I have found that every sushi place in G'ville has wildly varying quality and I'm trying to focus my eating plans to maximize quality.

            Did you see the tall, slim older sushi chef discussed above? Thanks for the 411.

            1. re: danna

              Danna,
              All very good food forensic questions. It was a Friday; we sat at the bar and the slim older sushi chef was working.

              I concur with the integral strategizing when seeking out sushi. I appreciate that any given day even the spectacular can have an off service. I hope this helps in your planning.

              (411 is always so much more fun than 911)

          2. I just want to re-rave about Murasake at Cherrydale. Several months ago, the chef I described in my original post left, and was replaced by a young chef named Jack. The fish is at least as good, and in some ways even better. Jack is easier to communicate with.

            Today for lunch I had two beautiful pieces of uni...the best I've had in G'ville by a LONG SHOT and some of the best I've had anywhere. It was beautifully fresh and tasted like the ocean. We had fresh conch and baby yellow tail wrapped in cherry leaves. Also some fresh water eel which was very, very different from the icky sweet packaged eel I've had at the likes of Irashai. It was little smoked and spiced by the chef and warmed a la minute. He instructed us to eat it now and w/out soy. Fantastic.

            The only downside is we spent $55 on lunch...but I guess when you ask the chef to give you the very best and rarest stuff he has, you can't complain when the price is high.

            Highly recommended!

            1. Bad News Murasaki Cherrydale fans. Closed as of June 1, 2011. We stopped by tonight and got quite a surprise. Sign on door refers visitors to downtown location. Sigh.