by guest blogger Emily Trostle
Sushi! The term brings glee and delight to me but can be very intimidating to others. I’ve created a short guide of terms, sushi etiquette and restaurant suggestions for those interested in taking the dive (pun intended).
My first suggestion is to find a friend or family member who is a sushi enthusiast and go out with them. They’ll know the places and the dishes that will give you a good sushi first impression. Here is a list and quick synopsis of area restaurants:
Kira – This is our favorite sushi restaurant. It’s close to us (Souderton), very modestly priced and good. It’s BYO so the boys bring their beer and I bring my wine and we make a night of it. Definitely take a sushi-loving friend because they’ll really appreciate it. From what I understand, Thursdays are all-you-can-eat-sushi for about $22. The general consensus was that their sushi is better than Ooka’s (and cheaper).
Ooka – This is a great place for a first timer. It’s not intimidating and a more familiar atmosphere to the average diner. The downside is it’s expensive; probably the most expensive of the restaurants in this list. Their sushi is certainly good but there’s a lot of unnecessary flare. Their sake sangria is to die for though (Editor’s note: I’ve also heard the sake martini is very good.) Locations in Doylestown, Willow Grove, and Montgomeryville.
Oishi – Located in Newtown, this place took forever to find but was quite delicious. I went with a friend so we split the “couples platter.” This is a great way to sample a lot of different pieces and keep the price modest. Only downside; this place was extremely busy. We went on a Thursday and had to wait half an hour for a table. Worth it? Yes! But perhaps we’ll make reservations next time.
Sakura – This is a relatively new place located in an overhauled Taco Bell on Street Road in Bensalem. Relative to Kira, Ooka, and Oishi, Sakura has the best sushi at the best price. They have a ‘select’ menu that offers regular menu items at up to $3 off. Pleasant atmosphere and high, high quality fish make this top of my list. Unfortunately, it’s a forty five minute drive for us so it’ll have to remain a special occasion destination. Darn!
Madam Butterfly – I have yet to dine here but have heard only great things and look forward to making it a food conquest someday. Beware though; I think it’s rather pricey. If you’re new to sushi, you probably won’t want to dish out top dollar. On State St. in Doylestown.
All of these restaurants, as do most, offer vegetarian and cooked sushi options.
Quick List of Important Terms:
- Maki/Make – this is the stuff that comes in a roll; fish and veggies on the inside, rice and seaweed outside
- Sushi – Sushi is actually the large chunk of fish over rice with rice vinegar, often with a touch of wasabi
- Sashimi – This is sliced raw fish, often served with a bowl of rice
- Wasabi – Japanese Horseradish
- Nori – flat, dried seaweed used to wrap rice and rolls. Very nutritional!
- Ginger – eaten to cleanse the palate in between bites. Also great for digestion in general.
- If you cannot get your chop sticks to work, use your fingers. It may feel awkward at first but it does make for fun dinning. Never use a fork.
- If you are eating sushi, it’s more acceptable to turn the piece upside down and dip the fish, not the rice, into your soy sauce.
- Drink your Miso Soup, often served before sushi, right from the bowl.
- Each piece of Make, Sushi, or Sashimi must be eaten in one bite.
Kira Japanese Restaurant
741 Route 113
Souderton, PA 18964
110 Veterans Lane
Doylestown, PA 18901
2817 S. Eagle Rd
Newtown, PA 18940
1973 Street Rd
Bensalem, PA 19020