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Hiro Sushi, North Miami Beach

lRainbow Roll at Hiro Sushi

Rating: ★★★★☆
Hiro Sushi
3007 NE 163rd St
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Hiro Sushi in North Miami Beach is located on the north side of NE 163rd Street in a nondescript shopping center. We went for a sushi meetup and were excited to try a new sushi restaurant. Our findings – the staff were friendly, service fast and the atmosphere wasn’t bad although the decor seems influenced by disco. And yes I’ll be back next time I’m down that way because all fish tasted fresh – a firm requirement!

I tasted grilled ika (squid) that was cooked just right – just chewy enough to make you spend a little time with the taste. My chirashi-don was also well assembled, although I would have preferred the rice to be slightly vinagered.

My rainbow roll was truly uninspired though, despite the fresh fish. It was just boring, from the kani (crab stick) in the inside to the very plain rice to the bland fish toppings. Any little thing to make it a bit different than every other sushi joint would have been so nice.

Finally kudos to Hiro for their menu. Really chocked full of small Japanese items, it’s a great place to experiment. Pick something you haven’t tried and live it up a bit.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Making Sushi at home, part 1: getting started

Tuna Roll

Tuna Roll

Many people I know are afraid to make sushi at home. Or too lazy. Or they worry about food safety. It’s not that hard, and it can be downright fun and enjoyable, but it is a lot more work than just going out to eat. They key to success is to plan what you’ll make ahead of time and limit the amount of fish you use. Before you can invite guests over you’ll want to sharpen your skills and create your menu by trying out some basic techniques. First make your own sushi with no guests, so you can see what works well for you and which areas will need a bit of work.

california roll

california roll

You’ll need to acquire the basic skills needed to make rolls at least. Don’t worry, it’s not that bad, but you’ll need to be able to cook sushi rice, cut fish and roll the rolls at a minimum. These are the three basic tasks we’ll talk about in the next few installments all the while planning to cover much more over time. But even before you can practice the basics you’re going to need to do some shopping.

Your first task is to find a Japanese grocery if you live in a fairly large city or on the west coast. Otherwise just find the best Asian grocery in town, they’re bound to have enough to get you going. For those who may live in less populated areas, consider ordering online.

Keep reading this series of articles every Tuesday, as we attempt to cover the basics of preparing sushi at home!

BumbleFish – Center City, Philadelphia

Sushi entree at Bumblefish happy hour in Philadelphia

Sushi entree at Bumblefish happy hour in Philadelphia

Rating: ★★★½☆

Bumblefish Sushi
12 South 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Bumblefish Sushi, right off market street in downtown Philadelphia is the subject of today’s post. I ate there last thursday and enjoyed the food.

They have a happy hour until 6pm, but we arrived just before the end of it. The manager was kind enough to give us a complimentary hand roll that was salmon, tuna, avacado – my kind of sushi! I also ate a regular sushi entree to see how good their bread and butter offering was.

The fish was fresh and appeared to be cut correctly. The rice was not bad and the nigiri was not packed too tightly or the wrong proportion for the neta (toppings). The surprise of this visit was the spicy tobiko – these small fish roe were probably spicier than most folks would appreciate, but I sure did.

So if you find yourself walking around market street in Philly, be sure to stop in and try this small place. Sit on a barstool by the window as I did if you want to recreate my experience.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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Sushi Meetup at Katana Sushi

Kai-ten Sushi Rest: Katana

Kai-ten Sushi Rest: Katana

We had a great meetup in a small little sushi place on Normandy Isle (north Miami Beach) called Katana Sushi. This place was small and the name of the restaurant was NOT displayed outside like a normal restaurant. There was a line of people standing around waiting to be seated since the place only holds about 25-30.

This is one of those places where a busy Japanese sushi chef makes orders and puts them on boats, floating around in a circle in front of the hungry patrons. When you go to Kaiten sushi, the different color plates represent the price – take whatever looks good as it goes by. Very few hamachi made it past me, as it seemed so fresh – and after all this delicacy is wonderful when fresh. I haven’t eaten in one of these places in a long time, and I enjoyed the combination of great fresh fish, sushi kai-ten and cheap price.

The meetup group is organized by our local sushi expert Anne, who knows many great sushi bars in the Miami area.  She’s done a great job getting folks together in different locales, and restricting the size of each  meetup so we can invade smallish places like this.

Rating: ★★★★½

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