If you've read my other reviews, I'm a stickler for details. Not just service, but presentation of the food, flavors, unique items - the whole experience. Hearing there was a new Japanese Steakhouse and sushi bar in town i'm there. Poof.
Marie and I had ventured on a rare trip to the mall to pick up some embroidery i was having done - but that's another story. Having heard about the new place down in the Boscov's wing, we decided to park over there and have a bite after my business was done. First impression - very unassuming from the outside. If it weren't for the one "open" light and a few beer neons in the window, you'd have thought it was closed since you can't really see in, but open up the foyer door and BAM! Contemporary Japanese steakhouse and bar. Really nice decor, lights, very "now". Should have taken pictures, but didn't. We were greeted warmly and right away. We had our run of the place since it wasn't busy and were seated in a bar on the Mall-side looking out to the Boscov's wing. Our server, Fang, greeted us with a smile, got us both ice waters and our drinks. Marie got a Shogun Mai Tai, and i decided on the hot sake after a recommendation from the server. I've never had "HOT" sake at a restaurant like this - it's usually served in an iced carafe every other place. Turns out... Delicious and smooth. An interesting flavor hot rather than cold. Marie's Mai Tai was colorful and refreshing. Served with a cherry and pineapple, and quintessential cocktail umbrella. For those who care - it also came with a bendy/swirly straw - made her night.
Onto appetizers. We decided on light fare and sushi. Marie went with her staple seaweed salad and i decided to sample the crab rangoon to see how they fared against everybody else's. well, i can only say that the Shogun rangoon is superior in the area. I've had a LOT of crab rangoon too. Hand-made, super creamy inside and paired with a dipping sauce that has a touch of chili sauce in it. The seaweed salad wasn't overly wet like many, and didn't have an over-abundance of liquid in general. It was just right in all ways. Marie really liked the touch that it wasn't served on iceberg, but rather julienne cucumbers on the bottom. She enjoyed it thoroughly.
Next "course" Marie ordered the Hamachi Tips. This is Hamachi (yellow tail) around a spicy kani salad. Well, we were surprised when Hamachi Kama came out - which is a totally different dish, but only 1 number off on the register. Whoops! BUT we didn't know, plus we're adventurous and Ende, the GM, came over to introduce himself and let us know he caught the mistake but told us to dig in anyway. He and Fang even gave us a little tutorial of how to eat it and what to eat. Hamachi Kama is "as authentic as it gets". The short of it, it's the neck area of the yellowtail. Complete with fins and bones, grilled, and with a dipping sauce on side. Before you go "ew what? - no. Just no." It was probably the tastiest fish plate i've had in a long time. I highly recommend it, we're getting it again the next time we go. Don't let this one get away (See what i did there).
When they came out - the Hamachi tips were exactly as expected and Marie says they were delicious in their own way - though admittedly not as much as the Hamachi Kama. The flavor of their fish at Shogun is tops no matter what you have. It really stands out in the area as far as quality is concerned.
Last "course" for the evening were our actual sushi rolls. Marie had the "spicy girl" and I the "Gemini Roll". Starting with mine this time - I have to say this roll had the perfect bites all the way through. i'm a big "Philly roll" fan, as well as "spider roll". If you can picture both of those, put together and topped with seared Salmon and mango with a special dark sauce. Oh... OOOOOOHHHH man. Didn't need a thing on it. No soy, no ginger, no wasabi. Perfect as-is. Marie's Spicy Girl was Spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber inside then wrapped in rice topped with spicy salmon, jalapeno, and wasabi mayo. Though the name implies otherwise, Marie says it "had zing, but wasn't that spicy" - caveat - she does have a cast iron stomach for spicy stuff, so tread lightly.
All in all, it was a great visit. Everything was really tasty, fresh, and honestly, considering what we got, it wasn't a terribly expensive trip - though there were more expensive things on the menu. Fang was very helpful and really patient with our indecision and our married banter. Ende was extremely friendly and even got me a beer himself, while our server ran for another of her table's needs. Derek (sp?) was behind the sushi bar, and Ende spoke very highly of him and his crew - and well deserved judging by our plates. We're going to sit at the sushi bar next go round and really give them a workout.
Definitely going back and totally 5 stars. Normally restaurants need a few months to find their footing but it seems like Shogun hit the ground running. A+ for effort, A+ for content.
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