Last month when I went to Banbu Sushi I was disappointed. A regular customer of Banbu Sushi didn't agree with my opinion and left his in the comments portion of that post.
Said customer and I were to meet there last Tuesday as a result of his generous offer of "for all the readers that need help ordering the right stuff i will be there this tuesday 6:30pm at the sushi bar in front of the head chef armand" I was there, he wasn't. He did make sure though that one of the owners knew I was coming and left me in the more than capable hands of Fadi.
Fadi took the time to sit down with me, answer my questions, and inform me about the fish they buy and have delivered 6 days a week. We discussed the tuna they use which is Blue Fin, and comes from either Spain or Hawaii. As of Tuesday he was paying around $25.00 a pound for it. During our conversation it became apparent to me that he is very passionate about the quality of his product and the satisfaction of his customers.
He asked me what sushi I've had and what I like. Being the admitted rank sushi amateur that I am that was a very short conversation. He took pity on me and offered to made the meal decisions. Left in his capable hands this is the memorable meal we had. I might add that Stan and Daughter Vicky were with me.
While Fadi and I were talking daughter Vicky ordered some California rolls. When I told her what we were going to have for dinner she could have kicked herself. Hey, they were delicious and even great for lunch the next day.
We were first served a cold sake.
I would have liked more of this but I was driving. Drat!!! It was much smoother than I imagined a sake to be. Maybe that's what makes it so dangerous.
We sat at the sushi bar with Nicki (sp?)
She is very informed and answered all our questions which were many. She was not only nice enough to let me photograph some of the rolls she was making, she even explained what was in them. And she has one wicked knife.
To start our meal we were served miso clam soup.
I ate mine and Stan's, Mr. I don't eat anything from the sea. It was very different from the miso soup I had the last time we were there. I would call it heart warming. A beautiful smooth carrier for the clams, which I shamelessly slurped from their shells.
Stan had one of his standard "safe" meals the terriyaki chicken. The terriyaki was not too sweet nor was the dish over sauced.
The sashimi we were served was spectacular both in taste and presentation.
I had to have Nicki tell me what we were eating.
Starting at 12:00 is a garnish of lemon and carrot that was dipped into sesame seeds. A fan of cucumber then the toro which is the belly of the tuna, the fatty and most desirable part.
The green leaf is wasabi, which we all know really is horseradish. But, good news! They are going to have real wasabi available starting Monday. I made a comment about how tremendously expensive I've heard real wasabi is. Fadi said they have a lot of requests for it so they will start carrying it. After the leaf is the fresh yellowtail. Next is the sea urchin or uni which was really, really, fresh. I've heard that it's not easy getting good uni and if you don't get good uni it's disgusting. I think I scored on this one because it was terrific. After the uni is the salmon then fresh tuna. The beautiful flower in the middle is tai, made of red snapper, very delicate and mild. The center of the flower is tobiko, a flying fish roe.
The bowl the sashimi was served in was filled with ice that looked like little beads and had blue Curacao added for color. I minded my manners and didn't ask for a straw, I sipped it instead. No I didn't I'm just kidding.
As we were trying to take in the sashimi plate both visually and gastronomically, Chef Armand walked by with three huge live wiggling and kicking shrimp. Before long another masterpiece was presented before us.
Spanish mackerel with sweet shrimp. I really like mackerel but this was the first time eating it raw and surely not the last. The shrimp heads are deep fried, the rest is raw. I didn't think I could handle raw shrimp but this was delicate and delicious. Not knowing how to eat the shrimp heads I took those home and attacked them in private.
Once the raw (or should it be referred to as sashimi?) portion of the meal is eaten, the speared portion of the mackerel is then taken back into the kitchen and deep fried and brought back out.
In the middle of all this, somehow sushi burritos made their way to us. They consist of tempura shrimp, which gives it a nice crunchy bite, crab meat, avocado, cream cheese and cucumber wrapped in a soy wrapper. Terrific, just terrific. It's served with their home made salsa. I want to buy that by the gallon. It has a good kick to it.
Here are some of the rolls that were made. No we didn't eat these. I just wanted to show some of them.
Dang, wish I could remember what this one is.
Thank you Fadi. We'll be back.