A bit over 3 weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday. It has been the tradition for the last several years that Lindz and I would go out for sushi. This birthday had an added bonus, it was my last official day doing construction. And as an extra special bonus, we hit the happy hour pricing at Osaka!
Spiraling in from the top and going clockwise, I got tuna, red snapper, surf clam, flying fish roe, smoked eel, smoked salmon, and mackerel. Most of these I’ve had before, but I did find a couple of new things to try. I never the flying fish roe sashimi before. It is served in a cucumber cup. It wasn’t bad, but I prefer the sushi version that is served in a nori cup. The cucumber muted the flavor of the roe IMHO. The stand out was the smoked salmon. It had a nice but not over powering smoked flavor.
As a thank you / going away present, my boss gave me a really beautiful smoker.
When Chef Aaron from the Seminary found out a bunch of us were going to Rhode Island, he gave us some suggestions of places to eat. He went to culinary school out East so he had the insider knowledge. Top of his list was a sushi joint called Enn located in Lincoln (north end of RI). He claimed that it was the best sushi that he had ever eaten. So naturally, we wanted to go and give it a whirl.
We went there on Thursday and the special was half priced wine and sake. Matt opted for the sake, Lindz, Janessa, and I split a bottle of malbec. Dave was the responsible driver and had his Diet Coke. Lately, my wine of choice has been malbecs. It is a full bodied red which is not as heavy in tannins as a merlot, and it has a nice bouquet with notes of plum and earth. (Yeah, I looked up that last part.)
Collectively, the group ordered three apps. Lindz and I got the fried oysters. They were quite good and the creamy dipping sauce was amazing. These were much like the clam cakes that we had at Champlin’s.
Matt and Janessa wisely chose the soft shell crab tempura. Hands down, this was the best app that we had. Which is saying a lot because this was the best sushi place that I’ve ever been to.
Dave opted for the agedashi tofu. I’m glad that he ordered it because it is something that I never would have even considered. There always seems to be something else that would catch my eye (and stomach). It is a firm tofu that is dusted in a starch and then deep fried. It is served in a tentsuyu broth that consists dashi, mirin, and soy sauce. It’s definitely worth trying once if you see on the menu.
As for the entree’s, Matt and Janessa decided to split four rolls between them. Had they known how big the rolls are, I think they would have chosen differently. One thing that I found impressive was the plating on a couple of these rolls. The first one to show up was the Summer Tuna Roll. Inside it has avocado, spicy mayo, tobico (fish roe), and tempura flakes. And on top it has maguro tuna, jalapeno pieces, and a creamy sauce.
Next to come was the Craig Roll. This one has soft shell crap tempura, cucumber, and avocado topped with eel and shrimp. If I had opted for rolls, this would have definitely been one that I would had chosen.
Their last two rolls came together on one plate. On top, there is the B-52 Maki (at least I’m pretty sure I’ve got it right). This one has a crab stick, avocado, flying fish roe, and scallion rolled with yellowtail tuna, then it’s deep-fried and layered with rice. The bottom one looks like a California Roll which has crab, avocado, cucumber, and fish roe.
Dave ordered the Sushi / Sashimi platter. Which is a gamble in my opinion. It is an assortment of sushi and sashimi which is left up to the chef to decide what you get. It also comes with a salad and a bowl of miso soup. Here in the Mid-West, it usually consists of a couple of kinds of tuna, salmon, shrimp, and egg custard. All of which I like, but it just reeks of being “safe” and cheap. I was very impressed with the chef’s choice at Enn. The platter actually consisted of many things that I normally order a la carte.
Lindz ordered a la carte like I did. We’ve found that it’s cheaper and we get exactly what we want.
I always get a smile on my face when Lindz explains why she orders the flying fish roe: she like the popping in her mouth as she eats them. Really I have no room to talk because that is definitely a factor as to why I order them all the time too. I think I’ve said this before, but the unagi (fresh-water eel) is a favorite of both of ours, so it’s no surprise that you see it on every plate that we order. The Blaze roll has spicy tuna, cream cheese, and avocado on the inside. Then the roll is deep-fried in tempura batter and finished with a sweet and spicy sauce.
Finally, we get to my plate! As I said before, this was the best sushi place that I’ve been to. It had the freshest fish hands down and it’s very reasonable priced.
Honestly, I really didn’t notice much of a difference with the quail egg on the tobiko. Both were good, but I don’t think it was worth the extra $0.75. The mackerel (saba) was breathtaking. It had a nice full fish flavor and was oily without being overwhelming. The surf clam (hokkigai) was good, but wasn’t significantly better than others that I’ve had. The octopus (tako) was nice and tender with just the right amount of chew to it. The unagi! Oh, the unagi. Words cannot do justice to this oily, fishy, sweet morsel from heaven. All in all, this was as perfect of a sushi meal as I’ve ever had.
Well almost. The only thing that could have made it better was if Ringer was there. We have a longstanding tradition of going way off the beaten path every time that we have sushi. I love my standard selections, but I do miss going crazy sometimes.
So Chef Aaron was right. Making a trip to Enn was well worth it. It will take a really impressive sushi place to even come close to this meal.