Sushi seems to be one of those foods that you really love or really hate. The ingredients may vary, but typically it consists of “shari” which is cooked vinegar rice and some type of raw seafood, all wrapped up in seaweed and often accompanied with salty soy sauce or spicy wasabi. Okay, so those things may sound a bit gross in theory, but this Japanese food has hundreds of years of history and is actually quite savory. If you haven’t tried sushi yet because you fear the consistency of raw fish, there are quite a few varieties of sushi rolls that are just as tasty and don’t require you to face your phobia.
If you are a sushi lover, or aspiring to become one, the South Coast is an excellent place to live. This is not because there is an especially large population of Japanese chefs here, but rather because of the off-the-boat seafood we have in this region. The sushi in Greater New Bedford is of a uniquely high quality, and eating sushi is always a fun experience (how daring will you get with the wasabi? Have you mastered chopsticks? What roll will you try next time?) If you are looking for place to grab some sushi, here is my list of the five best sushi spots in the South Coast.
1. A Kitchen
Allow me to be corny and and say A Kitchen is A Mazing. This isn’t the first time A Kitchen has been raved about on New Bedford Guide (see my 5 Dinners for $10 or Less article, or Ivey Winkler’s A Kitchen Review), but when it comes to South Coast sushi, it would be absurd not to include this restaurant. A Kitchen is housed in a modest facility on route 6 in Fairhaven, and while it may be small, it’s always very tidy and welcoming. Since it is a BYOB, it’s a great place for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. Most importantly however, I’ve never tried a sushi roll there I didn’t like.
When I asked some fellow sushi connoisseurs from the area where their favorite sushi spot was, they all mentioned A Kitchen. This is largely thanks to the quality of their rolls, their super fresh ingredients, and the fact that they have incredible variety. A while back my fiance and I decided to split the Sushi/ Sashimi Boat for two. For those of you who don’t know, sashimi is basically thin strips of raw fish, often served on a bed of shari rice (disclaimer: if you are new to sushi, this is probably not the best meal to start with). The arrangement of the sushi and sashimi tower was really cool, and we shared a bottle of wine and rated each piece to determine our favorites. Overall, a very fun evening.
A Kitchen’s Dragon Maki is hands down my favorite roll and it consists of shrimp tempura, eel and avacado with tobiko (fish roe) on top. The crunchy consistency of the tempura shrimp is delicious, and there is slight sweetness to this roll that when combined with salty soy sauce makes for a taste bud’s dream.
2. Thai Taste Too
If you head west down Route 6, you will find Thai Taste in North Dartmouth. Aside from having some fantastic Thai food, Thai Taste now has delicious sushi options on the menu. Some of you may remember there was a time when Thai Taste was a cozy little restaurant across from the Dartmouth Mall. At its current location, Thai Taste is much larger, with a dining side and a bar side. I have had the pleasure of dining on both sides, and I will attest that they provide two very different atmospheres depending on what you are looking for. The dining room is very quiet and relaxing, and the dim lighting and tasteful decor makes it a great place for a date, or for quiet conversation with friends and family. The bar side on the other hand, offers numerous TVs for sports fans, plush leather armchairs, and even karaoke or live music some nights. It can become quite the happening place on karaoke nights, and is a lot of fun.
Whether you’re looking to order your sushi roll while watching your favorite sports team or over intimate conversation, Thai Taste has an extensive menu. Expect it to be freshly prepared with high quality ingredients, making this sushi spot is one of the top picks for locals.
3. Turk’s Seafood Market and Sushi Bar
I’ll admit that I’ve not been to Turk’s yet, but it absolutely at the very top of my restaurant “to do” list based on the rave reviews that I’ve heard from others. Needless to say, a place that is both a seafood market and sushi bar is guaranteed to have the top quality seafood in the region.
Turk’s is located in Mattapoisett and their sushi bar is open from 4-10 PM seven days a week. Their menu will have any sushi lover salivating, simply because it offers just about everything. Their options range from the usual spicy tuna maki, to a very unique (and incredibly delicious sounding) Rocket Roll which features lobster, mango, cucumber and scallions with tempura crunch finish and extra spicy sauce. As with all sushi bars, Turk’s prices range depending on the ingredients. The prices are very typical however, with most rolls around the $5 mark and others ranging as high as $14.
4. Dartmouth Wasabi
Dartmouth Wasabi was the first place that I’ve ever tried sushi, and it’s still a great option. Also located on Route 6, Wasabi has a very comprehensive sushi menu and is sure to have more than a few of your favorite rolls. Another thing that I really like about Wasabi is that it’s a great place to go if you have a big group. They offer all the typical Chinese food favorites in addition to their sushi, so if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion there is likely to be something to delight even the pickiest eater.
The first roll I ever sampled of sushi (and still one of my favorites) is the well-known Philadelphia Roll. While this can be found at many sushi restaurants, I get it every time I go to Wasabi. The Philadelphia Roll is comprised of smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers and salmon.
5. Waterfront Grille
Waterfront Grille is one of New Bedford’s classiest restaurants. Located right on the harbor, it’s a beautiful location with quite a fine dining menu. While Waterfront Grille can be a bit more expensive, it’s harbor views, excellent service and quality cuisine make this a prime location for special occasions. Waterfront Grille’s sushi is no exception to the restaurant’s dedication to great food and a unique dining experience.
Waterfront Grille does not have the largest sushi menu in the area, but it does deliver on high standards of quality, and their specials are fantastic. I would recommend the Spider Maki, which is fried soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado, and tobiko drizzled with spicy mayo. Spicy mayo is actually an ingredient seen fairly often on certain types of sushi rolls, and it’s quite a delicious condiment when combined with the salty taste of fish. The Spider Maki is a great roll if you are looking to try sushi, but not feeling too daring about raw seafood.