Sushi News

Japan, Texas Web Site

Sushi News: 

Curtis Hoffmann, curator of the "Japan, Texas" web site, dropped us a note. His web site lists Japanese shops and businesses in Texas and around the U.S.. If you're looking for specific Japanese foods, newspapers, or other cultural items, it's a good place to start.

Japan, Texas ( )

Mikado Now Open

Sushi News: 

Mikado, Austin's 24th sushi bar, is now open.
It's located at the old "Mother of Pearl's" location,
9033 Research Blvd (the NE quadrant of Burnet road and 183).

We recently stopped by to gawk at the swank interior. They definitely blew some monies on this decor, and, if the sushi is any good, Mikado will give our current top five a run for their money.

9033 Research Blvd
(NE quadrant of Burnet road and 183)
(512) 833-8188

Kenichi's Woes

Sushi News: 

Time flies when you're eating sushi. It's hard to believe that Kenichi is now one year old. Known for their high prices, their overly attentive black-clad serving staff, and their love of late 70's/early 80's rock and roll, Kenichi was serving up some fine sushi early last year. All we can say is: what happened?

After no less than six consecutive negative reports on the sushi quality at Kenichi, we are forced to downgrade them in our rankings. We don't know why things have gone downhill at Kenichi, but it just hasn't maintained the same quality that we experienced during their first few months of business. Their recent anniversary party, which featured discounted, and not particularly good, sushi, was the final straw.

Where to get the gear: Asahi Imports

Sushi News: 

We've known for years that Asahi Imports is *the* place in Austin to find Japanese cooking gear, as well as associated trinkets. I bought my National rice cooker there seven years ago, as well as some serving trays and other supplies. Disclaimer: I've never bought their frozen raw fish.

Sally Matsumae, one of the owners, sent email to congratulate us on and to remind us that they are "the only Japanese store in Austin."

"We carry virtually everything a person needs to start making sushi at home," she continues. "From Japanese rice to various vinegars to the actual sashimi-grade fish, we have it. The fish is frozen and comes sliced, so the only preparation needed is to thaw it out. (And we only carry the best quality fish available. We're very picky about our foods and especially when it comes to fish, so I can assure you that our customers are getting top-quality products.) We also carry sake, dishware and tea and sake sets, if you wanted to really have a Japanese setting."

Readers Tell Their Sushi Virginity Stories.....

Sushi News: 

Have you lost your sushi virginity? Erin B. did, and lived to tell about it. You can submit your story by clicking the link on the right side of this page.......

Erin B. writes:

It was with my current boyfriend, although he wasn't my boyfriend at the time. I actually remember having a conversation over sushi that very night about how he "would make a terrible husband." Although I'm not so opposed to the idea now.... Anyhow, it was at Sushi Sake, and he was nice and gentle, he didn't start me out with octopus right away....I remember having a little trouble with the alaska roll, but as always, their caterpillar roll is one of the more beautiful things I think I've seen in my life.

R.I.P. Banzai

Sushi News: 

With the recent opening of Oishi Sushi House, Austin's first full-out sushi buffet, we are reminded that budget sushi is still sushi,and that's a good thing. [Veteran Austin Sushi News readers know that the *first* all-you-can-eat sushi buffet in Austin was offered at the now-defunct sushi bar that was inside of
Buffet Palace North, complete with floating wooden boats]

With that in mind, we now mourn the first sushi casualty of 2002: Banzai Japanese Restaurant, a staple for budget-minded University-area sushi eaters, has bit the dust.

(Don't call or visit)
Banzai Japanese Restaurant
2120-B Guadalupe

Win A Free Gourmet Meal At Kenichi

Sushi News: 

Austin Sushi News staff reporter Ginger Milk tells us that Austin restaurant review site Dining Out With Rob Balon ( ) is holding a contest ( ).

The winner gets to have a grand meal with food critic Rob Balon at Kenichi ( ) and a night at the Driskill Hotel (we assume that's without Rob :-)). Just send Rob an email (no more than 300 words) telling him why you and your "party" (the site doesn't say how many people can be included) should be chosen for this special meal with Rob. The site also doesn't give a deadline for entries, but he does say he'll read the winning entry on his KLBJ AM talk radio show on February 22nd.

Can you trust your sushi? Fish Fraud in Texas

Sushi News: 

"Who regulates fish sold by Texas restaurants? The short answer is: no one," writes food critic Robb Walsh in his revealing Houston Press article ( ) about the seafood industry in Texas. Among his findings are the fact that some restaurants have knowingly substituted less expensive or less desirable species of fish in their dinners served to customers. "Restaurants are outside our jurisdiction," says an FDA spokesperson quoted in the article. "We can only regulate wholesalers and retail stores -- businesses engaged in inter

NEW sushi openings NOW -- Go, Go, Go!

Sushi News: 

No less than two new sushi establishments have just opened their doors. Midori Sushi and Oishi Sushi House both opened on December 18th and it's time to check'em out.

Oishi Sushi House, Austin's first full-out sushi buffet, is located in the former Mason Jar restaurant building in the parking lot across from the General Cinema 10 theatre. It features a 20 foot long sushi buffet (yes, that's 20 feet of assorted sushi), a 20 foot long buffet of hot (mostly seafood) dishes, and a 10 foot appetizer buffet. The cost for this all-you-can-eat banquet? $24.95 at dinner, $11.95 at lunch. While a bit pricey, this is all-you-can-eat *sushi*, though it remains to be seen if this sushi is worth the trip. CALL FIRST to make sure they're open (especially for lunch).

Zamfir sucks! Disco night at Seoul Sushi Bar

Sushi News: 

Disco and sushi anyone? Every monday night at Seoul Sushi Bar, the Pipes of Zamfir play back seat to 70's disco tunes. Dancing and sake bombs are the norm, and they're even planning on adding disco karaoke in January. It's a pretty small restaurant but I've heard this gig is fun.

Seoul Sushi Bar
6400 S. 1st Street
(Between Stassney and William Cannon)
(512) 326-5807