The pressure of the inaugural blog post... Let's preface our first blog post with a disclaimer/introduction: J. and I are by no means culinary experts. We are merely foodies who enjoy tasty treats, love to dine out (even though we have a terrible streak of getting awful service), and we are fanatics of Food Network's Chopped and Restaurant Impossible.
80% of our culinary escapades are to sushi joints. We crave it on a weekly basis and it's only a matter of time before we get mercury poisoning. Sushi isn't hard to find in Albany; the Capital Region is saturated with mediocre places. Hell, even Wal-Mart carries it, *cringe*. Amazing and quality sushi on the hand, can only be found at a handful of places. Here are our regular and favorite sushi spots:
1. Sushi Tei (Guilderland): Blink and you can easily miss this small and pleasantly quiet and quaint place. It is hands down one of our favorite spaces for authentic and delicious Japanese food without the frills of loud weird techno music and glowing gaudiness (*cough* Sushi X, cough cough). Our go to here is a dinner box: your choice of two rolls, fruit, chef's choice of an appetizer (we've had gyoza or seaweed salad) and one of the reasons why we love the dinner box so much is a side of crab salad (crabmeat, panko crumbs, tobiko, and cucumber). Salmon here is top notch when at its peak of the season and one of our favorite appetizers is the tuna dumpling (crab salad wrapped with tuna sashimi) and the raw scallop sashimi, which comes with lemon slices and really elevates the flavor and sweetness of the scallops. Also, try the udon noodle soup at least once. All Over Albany has all the udon details here.
2. Mr. Fuji Sushi (Stuyvesant Plaza): We're always greeted with a smile and have never had bad service here. Our go to is the boat for two. That's right, a boat of sushi. Once in awhile we'll deviate and some stellar standouts include specials like the naruto roll (mixed fish rolled with cucumber instead of seaweed and rice); raw scallop sashimi; and jalapeno yellowtail. J is a fan of the salmon and I think Mr. Fuji hands down has the best white tuna sashimi. Mr. Fuji, whoever he is, also makes spicy rolls that are actually spicy and not too heavy on the sesame oil and breadcrumbs.
3. Sake Cafe (Albany): We come here solely for the Crazy Couple Roll (a spicy tuna and spicy yellowtail roll) that no one else seems to make. Another favorite is an appetizer called Treasure Island (mixed fish in an avocado half with spicy and eel sauces).
Honorable mentions: Sushi Thai Garden (Saratoga & Clifton Park) and Sushi Na Ra (Latham)
On the flop side, one of our worst sushi experiences have been at Sushi X (Latham). At first we were jaded by the "all you can eat" aspect of it. Each time we went back, service was worse and worse (i.e. took 15-20 mins for first round of food to come, long time to get our check, waiter forgetting our drink order) and so was the quality of the fish. It lacked flavor and full of fillers like breadcrumbs and too much rice to fish ratio. We kept going back hoping things would get better but the last time we went, the waft of stinky fish odor that greeted us as we walked in the door was a definite sign for us to never come back.
So we're curious, what are some of your favorite Capital Region sushi joints?
Happy sushi eatings,
J & R