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Sushi Island, Wakefield Superb

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

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

        1. 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.

          1. 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

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

              1. re: joebloe

                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

                  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

                    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. 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.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Ferrari328

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

                2. 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.

                  1. 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

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

                    2. 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.