Austin Sushi News  #17 April, 2002

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1. YET ANOTHER NEW Sushi Bar.........!
2. Where to get the gear: Asahi Imports
3. Kenichi's Woes
4. Kudos to Crudo


1.  YET ANOTHER NEW Sushi Bar.........!

We didn't believe the reports, but it's twoo, it's twoo.
Mikado, Austin's 24th sushi bar, will open at the
"beginning of May" according to its owners.
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


2. Where to get the gear: Asahi Imports

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."

Asahi Imports
100 W. North Loop
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 453-1850


3. Kenichi's Woes

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.

And speaking of ratings,  our new ratings page should be online by the
end of May.  It will feature an elaborate matrix of
criteria that you can use to judge local sushi bars.


4. Kudos to Crudo

Crudo is an Italian raw fish dish -- simpler than seviche, but more
involved than sashimi.  Introduced to the U.S. last summer by
chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich at their New York restaurant
Esca (that's Italian for bait), crudo has become a big draw in New York City.
Food pundits are expecting crudo's star to rise nationwide, riding the
current wave of
interest in sashimi and other raw fish delicacies.

Typically, crudo is chunks of fresh raw fish, drizzled with olive oil
and lemon juice, and dressed with sea salt and maybe some
radish or a dollop of fresh Gaeta olive aioli.

Let's hope we see some of this action here in Austin....

An interesting article on wine and raw fish (including crudo) is at the
Starchefs site:

The online food reporter, DIGESTion, also notes crudo's popularity in
a column from last October: