Friday, January 20, 2017

BluFish Sushi Robata

Over a year after my last post and it's time for a blog revival. Once a year is enough to justify site hosting fees right (if only)? Nevertheless, what this experience has taught me is:
  1. I love reminiscing over meals, weather they were days ago, or years ago.
  2. I should carry my Olympus camera around more rather than relying on my iPhone 6 camera - the depth of field really just isn't there.
  3. Japanese food in the US is overpriced and never meets craving expectations.

Even weak happy-hour Moscow mules couldn't make this a wonderful experience.

Moscow Mule
Ok, I'm being more than a bit harsh. Blufish is actually a decent Japanese restaurant for suburban Illinois. The decor is swanky and new, the service is fast, staff are friendly, the menu is extensive and while the prices are high, they're not unreasonable.

We started the night with some appetizers:

Takoyaki: Flour battered chopped octopus, Japanese mayo, sweet soy, nori powder
I have yet to find takoyaki as good as served by the streetside vendors in Hong Kong, but I haven't been to Japan yet. I found the dough was a little too thick, but there was a nice chunk of octopus and these were still tasty. 

Gyoza: 5 Pan fried dumplings, citrus soy sauce, scallions, togarashi, choice of pork or vegetable
We also got the pork gyoza but they were disappointing - no crunchy bottom and lackluster filling. The from-frozen ones we make at home are much more satisfying. Perhaps I should have asked for chilli oil to amp up the flavour here. 

For my main/entree, I ordered chirashi, which is essentially sashimi on a bed of rice. It comes with the standard miso soup and lettuce salad with too much dressing common around here. 

Salad & Miso Soup
Nothing special here, move along. 
Chirashi: Assorted fish, tamago, sushi rice, assorted Japanese pickle
The chirashi itself was beautifully presented, with a generous serving of sashimi. The fish was fresh and the pickled vegetables added a nice tangy pop. The serving of rice underneath was enormous however, and not particularly inspiring. I hate leaving food, and it seemed unreasonable to ask for a box to take out the rice, but M reminded me that I don't have to eat everything on my plate. Life lessons and such. Would order again, but would maybe ask for less rice to save both myself and BluFish some effort. 

M ordered a nice fatty piece of Blue Fin tuna as part of his main.
Blue Fin Tuna Sashimi
His verdict was that while it was good, it wasn't as good as the sashimi from Shakou Sushi up the road.

I took one look at the sushi he ordered and was confused. It was a hot mess compared to the simple sushi I'm used to, but that's not necessarily a bad thing just because it's different. 

King Kong: Snow crab, spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado, breaded and deep fried, sweet soy, spicy mayo
King Kong definitely had a lot more texture interest and flavours than your standard sushi roll. You could also say it was over-sized. That was bad? Yeah, that was bad. Still, it was a whole host of seafood (I thought King Kong was a gorilla though...), cream cheese and avocado for well, creaminess, cucumber for a slight refreshment and then deep fried as only America can do. Not bad, but also a bit confusing.

Final thoughts on BluFish: the restaurant itself and the service are great, the quality of the food is decent if you're not after authenticity, but don't expect it to be easy on your wallet. Good for a relaxed date night out. 

BluFish Sushi Robata
Suite 128, 700 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills, IL
Mon-Fri 1130am-230pm, 5pm-930pm, Sat 5pm - 1030pm Sun 4pm-9pm

Blufish Sushi Robata Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato