Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chiyo Sushi

It hit me last night: sushi is probably one of my favorite foods. Which is bad if you consider how expensive it is. So I don't eat it TOO often. This hit me, mind you, at Chiyo Sushi, a sushi place I had eaten at while housesitting up in Mt. Washington a few months back. It's a small, easy-to-miss place in Mt. Washington Village, near an excellent French restaurant, a pretty good Middle Eastern one, and the Mt. Washington Tavern (no, I've not been in). It is cozy, as reviews have said, and bright and colorful. They also know a thing or two about presentation.

I actually didn't really like Chiyo the first time I went there - the service seemed too slow, but I was late for a movie anyway, and neither the sushi nor the tempura ice cream excited me that much. But I gave it a second chance, and liked it better. So this third time I thought would decide it for me.

The friendly hosts got me a menu quick and I ordered sake - this time a cold, dry one, because I wanted to try it (I think I like it warm instead). As usual I looked over the menu a while, trying to find some things to eat. I then saw a section of dinner combos, which offered the same things I wanted - in this case, sashimi, shrimp tempura, miso soup, salad and rice - for $18, about $10 less than they would be a la carte! And so I went ahead and ordered the shrimp tempura - sashimi combo.

The first thing to come out - the salad - was accompanied with an assurance that the soup was coming soon. It only came out after I finished the salad. But I was surprised with the tastiness of this salad. It was mostly iceberg lettuce, an instant turn-off. The one thing that made it edible was the delicious, tangy ginger dressing on top. It was the best such dressing I have ever had. I actually at the whole salad! Iceberg lettuce and I ate it all. Amazing! The soup came next, and was more onion-y than most, which I liked.

The sashimi was the next thing to come out. Their presentation was beautiful! Little cuke rosettes, paper-thin lemon wedges next to folded-up pieces of raw salmon. There was even a big plastic bonzai tree on the plate, with a little plastic crane, and propping up a small stalk of celery. Even the shell-shaped plate added to the presentation. Cute, and it masked what turned out to be a more appetizer-sized helping of sashimi. It was still good. The tempura came out next, and made it all look like more than I could finish (okay, it was more than I could finish). One new thing: tempura red bell pepper, which I've made on my own but never had in a restaurant. I ate half and boxed the rest. I just finished the rest for breakfast.

Of course, I had to have tempura ice cream for dessert. Unlike Chiu's, it did not easily fall apart when I put my spoon into it. I remember why I was not too thrilled at first with it: it tasted a little grainy, probably due to, I assume, cake crumbs that act as a buffer between the batter and the ice cream, and which helps keep the ice cream from melting. But it was warm on the outside, and satisfying.

The total bill came to about $31, before a $5 tip. All in all, a good trip. I think the third time was the charm, and I will go back.


Fairfax said...

Gotta try this place... sounds wonderful!