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Jun 19, 2009 09:59 PM

Kawa Sushi, Matawan

Located on Main Street in Matawan, in the space previously occupied by "Sushi Bento." I had to drop someone off at the train station, decided to pick up a menu on my way back.

Perusing said menu, I decided to order take-out lunch... since the prices were very reasonable, and I was hungry. :)

Ordered: Spicy Tuna roll (my litmus test), and the following sushi: Salmon, Hamachi (yellowtail), White Tuna, Salmon roe, and Scallop.

They threw in a salad, miso soup, plus I discovered an additional piece of salmon sushi when I got home!

Salad was basic, but the dressing was really different.. not the usual orange glop.. this was more oil based, with chunks of garlic (I think). Haven't had anything like it before.

Soup was fine. Sushi was excellent. Generous cuts of fish that wrapped around the rice below. Everything was very fresh. The salmon was buttery, salmon roe firm, scallops (raw) chopped up and served gunkan style. Spicy tuna roll was generous and delicious.

A father and son team runs the place. The sushi chef father speaks very little English. He worked at "Pacific World" in Elmhurst, NY for 9 years before the ownership changed hands. The son took my order and was friendly.

I was the only customer in there, at about 12 noon. Various stores nearby have gone under. I hope this place stays around. I usually get my sushi from Tokyo Buffet, but this is definitely a cut above. OK, many cuts above.

No website, and no plans for one in the near future. They've been open for 3 months.

All sushi & sashimi is two pieces per order. The prices are unreal! Some examples: Salmon - 3.50, Eel (unagi) - 3.95, hamachi - 3.95, salmon roe - 3.95, sea urchin - 4.95. They were out of uni, mackeral, and albacore this time around.

They have lunch specials, specialty rolls, hand rolls, vegetarian rolls, tempura, teriyaki, dinner boxes, bul go ki, hwe dub bap, chirashi, udon, and much more.

They'll soon offer free delivery with a minimum $30.00 purchase.

Kawa Sushi
192 Main St. Matawan, NJ 07747
Mon-Sat: 11am - 9pm. Closed Sunday

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  1. I called Kawa yesterday and they said they are starting delivery, but they are still trying to figure out which hours they will be offering it based on customer demand. I think dh and I will check out Kawa soon in person. Our current go-to sushi house is Wasabi in Matawan, but it has been breaking the bank!

    1. Here's a pic of my take-out order from that day.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MarlboroMan

        Wow that looks really good! Love when you get nice bands of fat running through the salmon.

        1. re: joonjoon

          Wow. Let's go, joonjoon. I live near there, and we could stop at Maloney's for drinks.

        2. re: MarlboroMan

          thanks for the pic, MarlboroMan. it does look good! one question- was the spicy tuna roll made with spicy mayo or red hot sauce?

          1. re: njchowgal

            Spicy mayo. It was one of the better spicy tuna rolls I've had. Oh, one other thing.. they're BYOB.. forgot to mention that, but I remember the guy saying it.

        3. Stopped in here today - did take out - drove to Keyport - had a Sushi by the Sea Picnic.

          I too was the only customer at noon, not really a place for eating in, only 2 tables, and a couple of bar stools at the sushi bar.
          Salad was Very Good beautiful greens and Yummy dressing.

          Salmon Sushi - Good
          Yellowtail Sushi - Good
          Shrimp Tempura Roll - Good

          Father and Son were very kind, they added an extra piece of Salmon in my order as well.
          They do wonderful presentation with lots of TLC.

          1. dh and i tried kawa recently and were very disappointed. the meal started off well, with a fresh tasting miso soup and a colorful salad. the presentation and flavors of these dishes left us anxiously awaiting our sushi order. as an appetizer, we ordered a softshell crab roll, which was good. after that, it was all downhill. the spicy tuna roll had the tang of miracle whip mixed with the heat of tabasco. we could not discern the taste of any tuna. not pleasant. we were willing to accept this, as each sushi place has its own take on spicy tuna. however, when our sushi/sashimi combo arrived, we were horrified to discover that the sashimi was frozen! yes, you heard me, frozen... and the pieces that were not frozen appeared to be previously frozen. they did not have the texture of fresh fish. when i ripped a tuna roll in half, it did not break into chunks, but rather it ripped into stringy pieces. yuck. while we certainly respect (and usually agree with) the opinions of MarlboroMan and shabbystorm, we won't be back to try kawa again!

            3 Replies
            1. re: njchowgal

              Wow.. I'm so sorry. I almost feel personally responsible for your disappointment. I'm headed there tomorrow for lunch.. I may print out your comments (leaving your name out of it, of course) and give them to the son.

              I really enjoyed my first experience.. but.. miracle whip? Shudder. Frozen sashimi? Even worse.

              I'll order a little sashimi tomorrow and see how it goes.

              You experience could either have been an isolated incident.. or the explanation as to why this place is devoid of customers (were there any others when you were there?)

              1. re: MarlboroMan

                Looks like Kawa is gone. Drove by today. Closed when they should be open, looks like the interior was in disarray.

                I only went the one time.. never returned because I had such great meals at Wasabi House.

                Wasabi House
                77 Tices Ln Ste C, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

              2. re: njchowgal

                NJChowgal - I feel bad too...certainly my experience yesterday was not as bad as yours, but for what it is worth, without sounding like a snob, have tried over 225 sushi restaurants in NJ, NYC, and around the world - I keep a crazy, cool spreadsheet with all my eating adventures.

                While for me, the sushi was no worse and no better than so many places out there this does not make the short list of places I will actual return to. Should have added more details but sometimes I am too nice, hubby always tell me to be less subjective and more objective.