Wasabi, a London-based Japanese fast food chain, will open its first U.S. location in Times Square at Seventh Avenue and West 40th Street on Monday, February 24, 2014.
From the English site, Wasabi looks like a fun place to get Japanese favorites like sushi, bento boxes and noodle soups. Everything is made in-house every day. They use sustainably sourced yellowfin tuna and salmon. There are at least 50 types of sushi to choose from in the form of hosomaki(thin rolls), futomaki (fat rolls), nigiri (thinly sliced fish over rice), gunkan (torpedo-shaped pieces), hand-rolls and onigiri (triangles of rice wrapped around a choice of savory filling). Also, the sushi is individually wrapped.
Not sure what fast-food ramen would be like (isn’t that an oxymoron?), but Wasabi has ramen as well as soumen, made with super-thin rice noodles, and tanmen, made with thick rice noodles.
The volcano roll is one of my favorite sushi rolls. I don’t see it often on NYC menus, and when I do, it’s not how I like it so I don’t order it in NYC. My favorite volcano roll is at Neo Asia in Raleigh, NC. It’s a warm roll with a scallop-mayo topping that is very delicious!
I recently tried a new restaurant in North Raleigh, Sushi One, and they have a volcano roll that stands up to Neo Asia. Its topping has cream cheese and is equally delicious.
I really wanted to try the ramen at Umami Shoppu in the West Village, but when I went here for lunch, I was craving sushi. So I ordered a lunch special of two rolls and salad for $9. A great deal in NYC!
My sushi: a Philly roll and a salmon avocado roll. A great value for lunch. I do want to return to try the ramen some time, as it sounds delish!
It’s not easy finding a restaurant with a short wait on a Saturday night in the Theatre District, but we did at Sushi Zen. The friendly and welcoming hostesses sat us within 15 minutes. The main dining area is comfortable with a zen-like feel to it.
We ordered appetizers from the streamlined menu: asari clam miso soup and fresh corn tempura to start.
My friend enjoyed the soup, and I really liked the corn tempura. I don’t order tempura, but the fresh corn sounded good.
For sushi, we got the salmon avocado roll–salmon roe, avocado and kaiware sprouts; negi toro pickles–fatty tuna, scallion and pickled daikon radish; yellowtail with scallion; and futomaki–snow crab, egg custard, gourd, spinach and pickles with bonito flakes. We enjoyed the sushi, but we also thought it was a bit expensive.
For the price, service was also a bit slow and not as attentive as it could’ve been.
New Yorkers are known for their takeout. Seamless makes it seamless, and I’m a big fan. On a given night, I have over 400 restaurants to choose from in my neighborhood. At this point, I’ve memorized my choices, and I’ve read the ratings. I have favorites that I order from repeatedly. This is how spoiled I am with takeout: I’d like to move to a new neighborhood just to have some new restaurants to choose from.
So my top 5 cuisines on Seamless are: Japanese/sushi, healthy, ice cream/desserts, Italian and Turkish. This isn’t surprising because in New York, takeout is something you eat more regularly, and I eat healthy on a regular basis. So I order sushi and health foods. I have a favorite sushi place to order from: Ageha Sushi. I also have favorite rolls at Kodama and Ocha. Kodama has this roll called red-eye with salmon, red pepper and cream cheese that is great. Ocha has the winter roll that’s all yummy veggies like snow peas and baby corn. I like the clean food from Fuel, and I often get grilled chicken and a sweet potato. My favorite place to order dessert is Crepe Cafe Joli. I don’t know what the frozen treat is made of but it’s low-fat and low carb and it’s delish. I’m into the pumpkin right now, but I also like marshmallow. When I’m in the mood for a turkey burger with sweet potato fries (and sometimes a milkshake), I order from Lucky’s.
So here’s my top 5 Seamless delivery restaurants (in order of how often I ordered from them and a dish I like from them):
1. Ageha Sushi (sweet potato roll)
2. Fuel (grilled chicken and sweet potato and juices)
3. Crepe Café Joli (pumpkin and marshmallow frozen treat)
4. Lucky’s (turkey burger and sweet potato fries)
5. Kodama Sushi/Holey Cream (red-eye roll/midnight cookies and cream ice cream)
If you find yourself in Union Square and are looking for some good sushi, there are a number of options. I visited two that I think are really good, depending if you are north or south of the square. If you are north of the square, try Sushi Chosi on Irving Place in Gramercy. It’s one of the few places in the area that has an outdoor patio in the summer. On this visit, I got a tuna avocado roll, a Philly roll and an asparagus avocado roll, and they were all yummy.
South of Union Square, on University Place, you’ll find the classic Japanese restaurant, Japonica. On a sunny day, it’s nice to sit in its glassed-in patio. I got a salmon avocado roll because that’s one of my favorites, but I also wanted to try something different, so I got a Japanese pumpkin, or kabocha, roll. I’ve had kabocha before at Souen but not in sushi. I’m a fan of sweet potato rolls, so I figured it would be similar. I really liked it.
If you’re near Union Square for lunch, Azuki has a good lunch deal. It’s also a cute, comfortable spot that doesn’t get too crowded but serves up good sushi. I got sushi for lunch and it came with the choice of miso soup or salad and a glass of wine. I got the salad and it was good.
For my entrée, I got a spicy tuna roll and a salmon avocado roll. I thought both were really good.
My friend got shrimp and vegetable tempura.