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Sushi Island, Wakefield Superb

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SuzieCK Nov 6, 2008 04:51 AM

Yesterday, we ventured to Wakefield to Sushi Island where we sat at the sushi bar and were served by chef-owner Junji Aoki. After beginning with a lovely hotpot of agedashi tofu redolent of bonito flakes and a deep rich sauce, we moved on to the sushi portion of our meal.

Therein followed a series of exceptional pieces of fish beginning with the most succulent toro I've ever tasted (often not even to be found at other establishments), a salmon nigiri that was transcendent, and two delicious pieces of unagi. We also had the special Hamachi Tempura Maki that was warm and yummy, along with the freshest, most crunchy, aromatic tobiko ever.

Seeking yet one more taste experience, my partner asked the chef to surprise us with something "exotic". Junji dished up a pair of nigiri monkfish liver 'cups' that were so rich that they could have been mistaken for a wonderful foie gras pate. Junji's accompanying ponzu sauce and other secret ingredients, along with a generous dusting of green onion, created a truly unique, taste satisfying (and yes, even filling) finale.

If you've not ventured to this particular Sushi Island either for lunch or dinner, you are missing perhaps some of the freshest, highest quality sushi in town, carefully and handsomely presented by a chef who searches out only the best ingredients for his patrons. Junji is happy to "talk fish" with you in his a warm, inviting way, and this is also part of the overall terrific experience. Well worth the trip up Rt 128.

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  1. Chris VR RE: SuzieCK Nov 6, 2008 12:46 PM

    Nice review- I agree, the ankimo (monkfish liver) at Sushi Island is just fantastic. It's only 20 minutes from downtown Boston, too!

    1. Food4Thought RE: SuzieCK Nov 6, 2008 03:14 PM

      Couldn't agree more. It's always worth your while to pay attention to the specials. They featured a great cockle nigiri last week. Scallop sashimi is beyond description. Flown in from Osaka if I recall correctly. SI gets consistantly high regard on this board.

      1. almansa RE: SuzieCK Nov 6, 2008 05:53 PM

        I'm already a regular and a big fan, but I'm curious: what makes a salmon nigiri "transcendent?"

        1. opinionatedchef RE: SuzieCK Nov 6, 2008 09:31 PM

          excellent review. I too am one of the regular fans and have done reviews of SI as well.Your description of the ankimo (not avail in summer, btw)is perfect.
          I feel so very fortunate to live nearby.

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            lexpatti RE: SuzieCK Nov 7, 2008 06:27 PM

            I've read wonderful reviews about this place - I must get there soon. Nice review, thank you. I drool for good sushi often. We just had wonderful toro at one of our favorites - they let us know when we walk through the door when they have it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: lexpatti
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              joebloe RE: lexpatti Nov 9, 2008 09:24 AM

              How's this place in comparision to Oiishi in Chestnut Hill.

              1. re: joebloe
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                lexpatti RE: joebloe Nov 9, 2008 10:13 AM

                I've only been to Oiishi once, but absolutely loved it. It's pricey though, not sure how it compares to Sushi Island - I'm anxious to get there myself.

                1. re: joebloe
                  Food4Thought RE: joebloe Nov 9, 2008 02:50 PM

                  SI is right there on the quality, perhaps lagging slightly on the creativity side-if you are into that aspect of sushi (I'm pretty puritanical), and SI, I think, compares very favorably from a pricing perspective. Bonus-there's a dining room and a sushi bar so seating is not an issue.

                  1. re: Food4Thought
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                    drbangha RE: Food4Thought Nov 10, 2008 06:47 AM

                    Just to put finer point on Food4Thought's post- one of the things I really like about SI is that it is very traditional and my first, and only, experience with Oiishi (in the south end) was a bit disappointing because it was a lot more "creative" than I thought it was going to be.

              2. Ferrari328 RE: SuzieCK Apr 19, 2013 10:57 AM

                Visited here for lunch today, having had too much mediocre Sushi and wanted something really good and that's what I got. Started with the steamed monkfish liver and it was sublime! Very similar to foie gras but milder. I then had the Lunch special #2 Sushi Deluxe Assortment ~ Chef’s choice of 7 pieces of Nigiri and 1 California Roll that was served with a really nice Miso soup. Included was (forgot the name) ?tuna. mackerel, salmon, yellowfin tuna, tuna and striped bass. The roll was crab and avocado and there was also a shrimp nigiri. Quality of the fish was really fresh and the rice was at the right temperature and had a hint of sweetness and a bit of acidity from the vinegar. As it should have, a smidgen of wasabi was underneath the fish. The pickled ginger was really nice and sharp and did a good job of cleansing the palate between the bites of fish. I haven't been here in while and forgot how good everything is.

                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                 
                1 Reply
                1. re: Ferrari328
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                  chompie RE: Ferrari328 Apr 19, 2013 04:53 PM

                  glad it was good! hopefully my sushi island suggestion made up for the other one that was a disappointment for you!

                2. Bob Dobalina RE: SuzieCK Apr 19, 2013 05:10 PM

                  Also finally made it here - thank you hounds - really outstanding care and craftsmanship. The sushi rice was probably the best I've had in the area. There was a sardine sushi that was excellent like a less fishy mackerel and the conch was also great, lightly torched.

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                    RoyRon RE: SuzieCK Apr 19, 2013 05:17 PM

                    S.I. is a long time favorite of mine too. I was also there this week for lunch and it was excellent as usual. I sat at the sushi bar with a friend and ordered a starter of omoriawase (mixed) sashimi and left the choices up to Junji-san. After the sashimi we ordered several nigiri's (Toro, Iwashi, Unagi, ) and then I had a Natto Maki to finish. The quality of the fish, the rice and the presentation was superb. I still rate this place without question as the best Japanese restaurant in the suburbs and one of the top three in the entire Boston area.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RoyRon
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                      Gabatta RE: RoyRon Apr 19, 2013 05:33 PM

                      I love SI too. I think it is the best in the area. Out of curiosity, what are your other two, Toraya and Oishii?

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                      RoyRon RE: SuzieCK Apr 19, 2013 07:10 PM

                      My other favorites are Toraya and Oishi and O-Ya when I can afford it but for the most traditional (no designer rolls) sushi I think S.I. and Toraya are tops.

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