"Authentic" Sushi in CT for sushi snob friend?
A friend of mine is coming to visit and I'd like to take her out for some "authentic" sushi - she lived in Japan for quite a while and will quickly tell you that she is a sushi snob... I had thought I'd take her out to Maeda in Avon but, alas, it has closed. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Umi Sushi in Blue Back Square, West Hartford (www.umisushitapas.com) is a conveyor belt sushi place (the concept is apparently common in Japan) which is run by some/all (not sure) of the people behind Maeda. I have not been there yet myself.
Blue Back Cafe
51 Isham Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107
re: Scott R
Have been to a couple of those places in Manhattan. The sushi is just above the quality of buffet sushi. And there are serious sanitary problems -- I once saw a guy sneezing as the items rolled by.
Can't speak for Umi Sushi. but my limited experience says that while a conveyor belt place might be authentic , it's probably not the venue for a sushi snob.
re: Scott R
I think they call this "robataya." My spelling could be off. I've been there; the sushi's good but it's expensive.
The concept is clever, but in this town (West Hartford) everyone wants their food "their way" so they're reluctant to pick something already-made off the conveyor.
That being said, your friend might dig the vibe.
Norimaki in Washington Depot, CT got good reviews...I would be interested to hear comments from folks who have tried it
I guess you could say I am a sushi snob. Lived in NYC for 17 years, been to Japan 12+ times and I am married to a Japanese woman. I grew up in West Hartford and travel there often to visit family.
The only place in the Hartford area that serves decent sushi IMHO is Murasaki in west hartford center. Its run by Japanese. The sushi is not up to par with NYC sushi, but its acceptable.
Not the best atmosphere, and I would not try anything too adventurous-but its decent and the cooked food is good.
If your friend is a snob, he can sit at the sushi bar, inspect what looks good and decide for himself.
As suggested previously, Murasaki is probably the best you are going to get in the Hartford area. Sorry, not snob quality..but best in area at the least.
Wild rice...agreed that it is not authentic enough and inconducive to sushi snobbery.
Another restaurant on the Japanese Consulate's recommended list to tourists is Plum Tree in New Canaan. I've had a consistently great experience there and definitely recommend it though it is quite a hike from Avon. Besides the obligatory *Toro/Uni/Amaebi, they once in a while are able to get a hold of some really rare "normally only in Japan" sashimi. Definitely my favorite in Fairfield County at the moment.
I mentioned Umi Sushi previously, but I'll also recommend Sakimura in Simsbury. They were previously Murisaki (several years ago), and then the owners of Murisaki sold the business and the new owners seemed to just take the existing name, split it, and reassemble it as Sakimura. I don't know if they're Japanese owned or not, and I'm not expert at telling the differences by physical appearance, but in any case they're my local favorite. They kept some of the original items on the menu from the previous Murisaki which I've never seen anywhere else, such as beef sashimi (sort of a carpaccio but with a very interesting, sweet dipping sauce). A couple of years back they also added several new appetizers to the menu, including Rocky Shrimp (which is similar to the Bang Bang Shrimp that the chain Bonefish Grill offers) and a Foie Gras appetizer that is excellent (though they sometimes overcook it). If you get that, ask for extra sauce on the side, as I've noticed that they don't give you enough of it.
If you're into hibachi, I think the flavorings that they add to the rice and noodles is above average compared to other hibachi's I've had.
As for sushi, I think it's very fresh. They have the same problem as many other modern sushi restaurants in that their special rolls tend to have way too much non/cooked/spicy fish and too much overpowering sauces, but they also have a couple of good rolls with interesting flavors and fresh fish (I forget the name of one of them that I like, but it has a slice of jalapeno on each portion).
I love sushi, but boy I always end up spending a fortune. I guess I probably overdo it by ordering too many courses/appetizers, but I like to have a lot of variety. Barcelona in WH center is a Tapas-style restaurant that fills that same need for me of having a lot of variety, but the final bill is a lot less than what I usually end up paying at a Japanese restaurant.
496 S Broad St, Meriden, CT 06450