Fort Myers / Cape Coral Sushi Survey – Part 1

So being in the area for a week, it seemed like a fun idea to go to some local sushi bars and try the sushi. You know, to compare, since I know nothing of the local sushi establishments. We decided to go and order standard sushi dinners at a few places and see what was what.

Well the results are in, and they’re not pretty. Didn’t find any horrible sushi, for those of you looking for a blistering indictment of all the area’s sushi. But we also did not run across any sushi chefs who were trained by sushi masters. We did not ask. We relied on our keen powers of observation — we always sit at the sushi bar and watch closely.

Yep, that’s right: sloppy maki ends being served, sashimi being 90% cut in the first stroke. Fish cut to be neta (nigiri toppings) at weird angles versus the “grain”, cuts not uniform thickness or too thick/thin. Rice packed way too hard. And so on, you know the story.

Nothing tragic, but all the signs were evident of folks who learned their craft from enjoying the cuisine instead of being schooled relentlessly on the finer points by a top teacher.

Origami Sushi – Fort Myers, FL
Sushi rice was vinegared, love that! But the fish was often cut wrong. The sashimi was never quite cut in a single stroke, and the nigirizushi was never better than mediocre.

Rolls fared a little better. However, the rolls that were being served were consistently not tight and the ends were messy. The looseness issue was due to the chef barely cinching the rolls, the sushi chef was almost folding the roll together. And he was not careful to get nice ends on the rolls.

There were plenty of things to like here as well, I don’t want to make it sound awful. Nigiri all had wasabi under the neta, although it seemed like a random amount because the tuna had the most and the salmon had the least.

These guys serve a good lunch meal, with some great looking bentos for about $10, like this tempura bento, or this tonkotsu bento. Decent sake selection as well. But this is not the place to go for a fancy omakase dinner. And why do they buy and serve that pink gari anyway?

Sans Sushi (no website) – Cape Coral, FL

OK, this place got off to a bad start. We got there early for dinner and noticed lots of signage outside advertising 1/2 priced appetizers, 2-for-1 sake and other happy hour specials. Seemed like a good idea to order some 1/2 price appetizers, but the staff informed us that only 5 of their appetizers were actually on special. Also the sake special only applied to a large bottle of sake. So I started out unhappy — I despise what appears to be deliberately misleading advertising.

But the sushi lover cares not about such things so we ordered a sushi dinner and gyoza to start. And the sushi actually started out well. The tuna roll was nicely made, rolled evenly and just the right tightness. The standard issue yellowfin tuna tasted OK too. Nigiri was another story however – really uniformly awful.

Sushi dinners (chef’s choice) include kani stick nigiri here. Really, kani stick nigiri? Actual kani stick nigirizushi. Yes it’s true. What kind of chef chooses kani stick? And the fish items were not good. My piece of snapper was cut weird; very thick on one side and so tough. The tuna was a weird shape and too thin. Salmon was OK, but I mean when is salmon not at least OK anyway?

Their gyoza was just a complete write-off. Seriously overcooked, they more closely resembled fortune cookies with some filling. If you’re gonna serve the cheapest frozen gyoza possible, at least try to cook it so that there’s some juiciness left in them when served.

We got discouraged and decided to cut our losses, so we left without ordering anything more. Might fare better as a bar at night than as a sushi restaurant, but the happy hour sushi experience left us unwilling to return.

Stay tuned – more Fort Myers Sushi Bar Survey coming tomorrow!

Origami on Urbanspoon

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