After a long and cold winter break, the Review is back once again with a restaurant review for your reading and eating pleasure. This time, the gang attends a traditional Japanese (and Korean) meal at Hanover’s iconic SushiYa, the only restaurant in town catering to this interesting niche. Tried-and-true veteran Sheriff Rick Grimes leads the ragtag group of Reviewers, which include the experienced barbarian Vercingetorix, Pablo Goldwater, and Winnie the Pooh. The gang is also joined by a nameless, silent monk, who keeps behind his hood for the entire dinner. Needless to say, the Reviewers’ empty bellies have a hankering for some gourmet sushi, so they take their seats at the table and begin their delectable trek up Mount Fuji.
SushiYa’s official menu tagline reads “We specialize in Japanese and Korean cuisines. We carefully select our ingredients, prepare our food in an authentic way and make our dishes fresh daily!! No flavor enhancer like MSG is added to your dishes and only the freshest ingredient is being used to prepare your food.” Being the experienced gourmets that they are, this initial disclaimer is a positive sign for the gang that SushiYa is dedicated to providing the best possible culinary experience. Goldwater, however, is a tad dismayed: “Why should they even have to specify? Shouldn’t this be a given?”
Soon after the gang’s orders are taken, the appetizers and miso soup are brought out. Sushiya provides on-the-house snacks for its in-house diners, a more than welcome amenity. The small bowls contain an assortment of traditional Japanese samples, including kimchi, bean sprouts, rice noodles, broccoli, and beans. The miso soup is, of course, a welcome addition as well. Not too hot, but also not too cold, the flavorful soup contains healthy portions of seaweed and melt-in-your-mouth tofu: a certified A+ from miso enthusiast Winnie the Pooh.
Sheriff Rick Grimes’ mouth waters as the waiter brings over his Japanese feast. His meal includes a portion of vegetable tempura (Vegetables deep fried in light batter, $6.95), the tri-color sushi (3 pcs tuna, 2 pcs yellow tail, 3 pcs salmon & California maki, $16.95), and the Hamachi Tempura Maki (Yellowtail, scallion, avocado crab stick, tobiko and tempura w. spicy mayo and eel sauce, $11.95). The vegetable tempura is expertly fried, with a perfect crisp around the assorted vegetables, which include bell peppers, sweet potatoes, onions, and broccoli. The tri-color sushi proves to be an ideal sampling of traditional nigiri, along with the perfectly crafted yet traditionally simple California roll. Vercingetorix also opts for the tri-color sushi, and affirms similar satisfaction. The Hamachi roll, however, spices things up a bit, providing a delicious, more savory edge to the experience. By the time the soy sauce is drained, the Sheriff is left wholly impressed by the sushi chef’s expertise.
To his glee, Winnie the Pooh’s meal is one of the first to be brought out. Doing away with social niceties, he tucks into his Salmon Teriyaki ($15.95), which is brought out on a hot stone plate nestled in a wooden frame. It is a perfect winter dish. The stone plate keeps the fish hot, so each bite scalds the tongue ever so slightly and tastes fresh. The salmon is slathered in the restaurant’s delicious sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce. After his meal, Winnie the Pooh could not resist ordering a second round of Miso soup, which was brought to him quickly, steaming hot, and on-the-house. Winnie noted that such excellent food and service is typical of the establishment.
Pablo Goldwater, not known for his love of fusion cuisine, nonetheless chooses to combine an order of Japanese sushi with Korean bibimbap. He orders the Kopdol bibimbap with Salmon ($14.95) served in a heated stone bowl, the contents of which are not only delicious, but also consist of a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. The dish consists of various assorted vegetables, salmon, egg, and brown rice. While enjoying his food, Pablo makes sure to virtue-signal to the rest of the group about how healthy his food choices are. Although this habit irritates his dining companions, unfortunately they lack the social courage to call him out on it, and continue to eat their meal stewing in suppressed indignation and a niggling sense that their sense of self-worth isn’t where it should be. The other half of Pablo’s Asian fusion dinner is the sushi: 2 pieces of scallop nigiri, and 1 yellowtail scallion maki. Both are delicious, particularly the nigiri. After finishing his meal, Pablo is unable to refrain from partaking of various selections from his fellow diners’ meals, going so far as to eat the pickled ginger from the Sheriff’s sushi plate. This also subtly annoys his dining companions, but again their sense of inherent honor is overcome by their social timidity. We live in sad times when men who would in other eras have stood up for themselves at the slightest insult remain quiet after indignity upon indignity is piled up upon them. We live in an age of men without chests. Contemplating thusly, Goldwater finished his meal.
As the hooded monk finishes his ambiguous shrimp tempura dish, he does nothing but nod silently. The rest of the group takes this as a declaration of satisfaction.
As the gang of five takes their leave, they reflect on their latest culinary escapade. SushiYa proves to be one of Hanover’s finer establishments, providing a quality service for an appropriate price. With the only other Japanese options being DDS’ premade Roslin sushi, SushiYa easily takes the cake for Hanover’s premier east-east Asian fare.