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Jun 2, 2012 01:58 PM

Sunday night in Albany- What's open and specially delicious?

Berkshire Chowhounds plan to drive to the Spectrum and heard recs re New World Bistro Bar- is it that outstanding? If not, we'd like to try some well-done ethnic restaurants- we are open to all cuisines. We have been to Angelo's Prime for an upscale dinner and loved it and Buffalo Wagon for Chinese food and enjoyed that as well. Looking for something new to try. Thanks, in advance, for your suggestions.

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  1. Have you been to Shogun on Madison Ave? There's one in Delmar and the one on Madison recently opened. We've been there three times since it opened and everything has been wonderful. Never had better sushi and the tempura rolls are great. Sauces very good, also. Quiet enough to carry on a conversation, waitstaff friendly and well informed on the menu and an on site parking lot.

    11 Replies
    1. re: cook152

      Hi, coming to Albany for sushi tomorrow. Do you recommend Shogun over Mr. Fuji or SushiTei?
      Mr. Fuji's menu and recs look good, but I'd rather hear from locals who has the best.

      1. re: cowgirlinthesand

        You should give Shogun a shot and let us know ;-)

        So far, I've been to Sushi Tei, Mr. Fuji, and Yoshi Sushi and would rank them in that order. Actually I went to Sushi Tei ealier this evening. If you do go to Sushi Tei tomorrow, I'd steer clear of the Uni (which was too old / should have been tossed). FYI, they were also out of Amaebi (sweet shrimp), Toro, and NegiToro. The rice was a bit old as well. There were some really good recs out on Shogun...

        1. re: unagi1

          Thanks for the speedy reply! It was really mr. fuji or not - so i guess it's not. Just for my own fyi, did you like mr. fuji at all? i've read some questionable recent reviews of shogun - texture and temperature of the fish bing the most notable. And the scariest for me. I'd feel better if you'd gone and LOVED it :)

          Thanks again- I'll report back with a review of wherever we do end up.

          1. re: cowgirlinthesand

            I had the lunch fare and also sushi from Mr. Fuji; not exemplary or anything but overall the place was solid, I liked it for what it was. I'm just being a bit tough on Sushi Tei because I expected more, don't mind me :-).

            Interesting, because on the other side of the coin, I had read up on a couple of good recs on Shogun, with one recent one on Yelp saying that the texture and temp on the fish were on point where it should be. I drive through that area (I dine frequently on Lark and Delaware) a lot and at night they are always busy, though of course that doesn't speak to quality...

            To your point regarding the texture of the fish, if you have concerns about being disappointed, stick with some of the more basic selections such as tuna, spicy tuna, yellowtail, unagi, shrimp, and organic salmon. Selections such as Ika, Ikura, Uni, Tako, and Amaebi are really tricky to do right (which is exactly why I order these when I want to see how good a restaurant is), and don't have as much room for error in preparation. Also, they are more sensitive to freshness, which is a good indicator of how well / often the restaurant purchases fish.

            Either way, enjoy sushi night and I look forward to your report.

            1. re: unagi1

              We did go to Mr Fuji, and it ws good. Not great, but lots of nice touches, a couple of great things - the uni was stellar, fresh and creamy and sweet.

              Portions were big - and the maki rolls were balanced and very good. The spicy tuna maki was minced - and the texture was off-putting.

              i did find it so weird that Shogun posted that blogger's review on their facebook page. I didn't find it particularly complimentary that the temp, texture and taste was mentioned as being not quite great. Odd.

              So I guess our next try will be sushi tei, then shogun. but i would probably rather drive to Great Barrington and go to Bizen. Now that was something else!

              1. re: cowgirlinthesand


                Thanks for reporting back. I might give Shogun a try in a few weeks, just to sort of round out the Capital area, sushi-wise :-).

                1. re: unagi1

                  I just learned that shogun is co-owned by the Mr.Wasabi guy. I wish we'd have tried it, but now I'm planning a visit for sure. Maybe lunch....

                  1. re: cowgirlinthesand

                    I finally got around to Shogun. Whooo boy. Best stick with Mr. Fuji :-)

                    1. re: unagi1

                      unagi1, care to explain your suggestion?

                      1. re: Roger K

                        Roger K,

                        You are right, it was a lazy post. I tend to either do a quick blurb or write volumes on the subject, so let me try somewhere in the middle:

                        This was the fifth sushi restaurant I've been to in Albany, and I am rating it #4 out of the 5, for the following reasons:

                        1) Overpriced, for the quality and quantity of the fish. I only ordered Nigiri (as usual) to determine the quality. $6 gets you two Nigiri, I ordered Toro, Unagi, Ikura, Sake, and Shiro Maguro. Every other sushi restaurant I've been to (within memory) allows you to order Nigiri a la carte. The Toro was a $4 upcharge, for a total of $10 for two pieces.
                        2) The cut of the fish, Nigiri is not carpaccio over rice! A lot of places do this to cut down the amount of fish used. The fish has varying textures and if you slice it paper thin you defeat the purpose of doing Nigiri / Sashimi in the first place, which is to enjoy the fish. I sat at the sushi bar and they were doing the same thing to rolls, slicing the fish thinly and then stacking rice on top of it.
                        3) The Eel was rubbery. This was unforgivable.
                        4) I frankly had problems eating the Nigiri without the fish falling off the rice. The shape of the rice was round, not oval and the fish was sliced so thinly that the two did not adhere to each other. Usually you grab the fish with the chopsticks and flip it over so you can dip the fish in the soy sauce. I even forgoed using the chopsticks and used my hand to flip the fish upside down, but the fish was sliced so thin that I had to wrap the fish all the way around the rice ball so it would...never mind...this is depressing even writing this...

                        That was my attempt to keep it short. I had a few more reasons in mind, but the long and short of it is that for the price they are charging, the experience and quality of the meal is severely lackluster. I'm not looking for Sushi of Gari out in Albany, just good pricing with quality of fish to match.

                        For reference, top 5 list:
                        1) Mr. Fuji
                        2) Sushi Tei
                        3) Yoshi Sushi
                        4) Shogun
                        5) Sushi House

                        Hope this Helps.

                        All best,


                        1. re: unagi1

                          Thank you, unagi1, those are certainly good reasons supporting your short version. I've not rushed there since they opened, and now believe others may have been more impressed with the decor of the place. I'll have to try the Clifton Park Mr. Fuji soon.

    2. My Linh has excellent traditional Vietnamese, in a lovely setting. Upscale, but worth it, and right next to the Spectrum.

      1 Reply
      1. You didn't say what time on Sunday "night." Would you be eating before the movie or looking to eat afterward? Some of these restaurants close early on Sundays.

        I've heard good things about the Shogun on Madison that has been mentioned. closes at 10 pm.
        My Linh's is very good and closes at 9 pm.
        New World Bistro is the place to go for a "twist" on preparations - stops serving 9:30.
        Another place for excellent food, some with a twist on preparation is the Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark St. - serves til 10.
        For well-done ethnic, consider Kinnaree on Lark for Thai, Korean and Japanese. Open til 10.

        Or head downtown to N. Pearl St and the Merry Monk for a Belgian Beer Pub with great mussel dishes and comfort food. Kitchen closes at 8 on Sundays.
        If downtown, also consider The Olde English Pub and Pantry on Broadway. Has a more limited menu. Open til 11.

        Hopefully, you were not talking about today, Sunday. Otherwise, please report back on where you went and consider some of these other suggestions on your next trip.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Roger K

          Sundays can be tough in Albany. If you want to search this Board there is an older thread about where to eat on Sunday nights before getting on Amtrak. Of course that only works if you want to eat early/before the movie.

          Second NWBB (chef has won Chopped twice) and The Wine Bar on Lark. I have not been to the Merry Monk but Roger K knows his food . . .

          Yono's casual restaurant (downtown) might be a possibility since it's in a hotel.

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Yono's is closed on Sundays. I thought that would be good too, but I checked it and DP's as I was writing my comments.

            Thanks for the "confidence" comment. :-)

            1. re: Roger K

              We did not get to Albany as expected. However, we will definitely try one of your recs next time. We have been to My Linh so one of the others will be on our list. Thanks for your help!

              1. re: hopegoode

                Glad to be of assistance. Here's a "heads up" if you still plan on coming on a Sunday. Summer hours are changing the schedule at the Wine Bar on Lark St.