Have you tried Samurai (Old Saybrook, CT) on the Post Rd?
Earlier this month, I posted about Samurai on the "Any good Chinese in CT?" thread. Samurai bills itself as "Asian fusion"--you can choose from Japanese/sushi/hibachi (they have hibachi tables), Thai and Chinese dishes under one roof. It was the first time we had been there since ownership changed hands a couple of months ago. We enjoyed our meals and friendly service and looked forward to going back again soon.
Here's the bonus--this time we went on Sunday which means *50 percent off sushi and sashimi.* While the first thing that crossed my mind was that must mean they're trying to get rid of older fish and that might not be to our benefit, the discounted Dancing Tuna roll tasted great--tuna and avocado on the outside, real crab on the inside. And neither of us felt any less than perfect afterwards. ;) Again, we each had hot and sour soup to start (very tasty), then shared the chicken with black beans. Will definitely branch out and try some of the other Thai and Chinese offerings next time. I'm stuck on that black beans dish, though--it's delicious!
The food is great, but what made it even nicer was the chat we had with the new owner during and at the end of our meal. He was not only very welcoming, but also asked us how we liked everything, told us if we didn't see something we liked, we could ask for variations (presumably when the kitchen is not packed and could accommodate special requests) and mentioned we could find coupons in the local paper for next time. I wish them success on the shoreline (they're from NYC by way of China). I love knowing this kind of quality and variety is available when we're in that neck of the woods.
I tried to "add a place," but it didn't seem to work, so here's the addy and phone:
Samurai Asian Fusion Dining
1596 Boston Post Rd
Westbrook, CT 06498
Samurai Asian Fusion Dining
1596 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
I still love Samurai, but want to post two points of clarification:
1. It's not in Westbrook, but Old Saybrook.
2. Today we had the last 50 percent off Sunday sushi--the promotion has moved from Sundays to TUESDAYS (bummer as I am rarely in OS on a Tuesday).
We've been here at least a dozen times or so over the past several months and love it. Today we tried buffalo chicken dumplings for an app. They're deep-fried, so more like little empanadas, but very tasty--and there were four before we ate two and snapped a photo. Makes me want to try to replicate at home as a straight up pan-fried dumpling. Spicy and served with a mellow (not sweet) tartar-like sauce.
We're hooked on the Spicy Lover roll: spicy tuna, avocado and jalapeno topped with spicy salmon, chili sauce, wasabi sauce and tobiko. Very tasty!
We each had hot and sour soup to start, then shared Hunan Chicken as our main dish. We go back and forth between Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and Hunan Chicken. From asking, it seems the Hunan Chicken is spicier and has different vegetables. But even times we've ordered Black Bean Sauce, it seems the vegetables vary within that one dish. It's all good regardless.
Today, we were pleasantly surprised with fresh pineapple when the waitress brought our check. Really nice presentation.
Samurai feels like my little secret--has anyone else gone? I love it and haven't been back to Clinton's Taste of China since we "found" this place under new ownership.
Another excellent meal this past Sunday and we finally tried a new dish--Thai Mango Chicken. It was served in the hollowed-out mango. Nicely done, great presentation and not sweet as you might guess, but tangy from the mango. An unusual and creative addition to the dish was asparagus. Delicious!
Also had one of their specialty rolls--the Okinawa summer roll. It was topped with salmon and eel sauce, with spicy salmon, avocado and cucumber inside.
Their hot and sour soup is always good--we each had a cup to start the meal. And to finish--another something totally new to me: FRIED PINEAPPLE dusted with powdered sugar. Never seen or heard of it before. Very interesting and delicious.
The owner came out to see how everything was toward the end of the meal, as he often does. He described some new additions to the menu we look forward to trying on our next visit. I don't remember all the details, but one was a new mango dessert.
If I truly am the only Chowhound who knows about this place and is eating there regularly, it's a helluva secret.
- Okinawa summer roll
- Thai Mango Chicken
- fried pineapple!
Here I am talking to myself again about Samurai. It feels like my own Dear Diary entry, so in that spirit...
You won't believe it--we had yet another great meal at Samurai. It's too bad I only tell you about how great it is--the food is so delicious, yet it's never busy when we show up for lunch on the weekend. I understand it's much busier at night. And come to think of it, we've gone for dinner at least once.
Anyway, today we had hot and sour (as usual), then two different dishes! One was Orange Beef. I rarely order beef that's not just sauteed or stir-fried, but this crispy beef was so delicious and in a spicy, honey-flavored orange sauce with hot chili peppers and chunks of orange peel in it. Oh, and broccoli, too. It was so good neither of us could stop talking about it. The portions are generous--can't imagine most people eat the whole dish solo.
We also chose a roll from their daily specials board with tuna, salmon, mango and cucumber inside a soybean paper wrapper and avocado and tobiko on top. I love having the option to order a bit of sushi as well as some of their Thai or Chinese fare. I'm not into hibachi, but other parties seem to enjoy it while we're there (it's in a separate room from where we usually sit).
Today, we had such a wonderful treat for dessert--fried ice cream! I don't even like chocolate ice cream (usually), but this was a scoop of chocolate surrounded by a layer of white cake, then tempura battered and fried crispy. It tasted very much like my own favorite homemade chocolate bread pudding and we ate every last bite--yes, we! Not just me, and diary, I don't have to tell you how much my dining companion usually eats just a bite of dessert and saves the rest for me. It was simply fab!
That's all for now, diary. I'm glad my secrets are safe with you.
I don't care much for shrimp and my guy hates coconut...so does it tell you anything about how good the coconut shrimp is here when we both loved it? We were treated to a taste of it on our last visit. Highly recommend!