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Austin

Ryu of Japan (sush restaurant) - a review

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Ryu of Japan (sush restaurant) - a review

nw_austin_gourmand | Dec 12, 2009 08:34 PM

We went to Ryu of Japan on Burnet near Kramer, in the same shopping center as Freebirds.

Summary:
Food - really, really good
Atmosphere - industrial and a little cold
Service - well-meaning, but a little inconsistent

First of all, let me start out by saying I have been eating sushi around town for a number of years, but I certainly do not classify myself as an expert.

When we arrived at 6:30 on a Saturday night, we were the only customers. Our waiter, who did not seem to speak a lot of English, brought water and green tea - I liked the way he just assumed I was in a Japanese restaurant and I would want green tea, nice.

I'm not sure if we were getting the star treatment, but the sushi chef brought over a couple of complimentary items from kitchen: two homemade shrimp dumplings and a bowl with fresh crab pieces and some picked red cabbage. Both items were fresh and full of flavor. A good start.....

We ordered 2-3 rolls and 6 pieces of sushi. The yellowtail was extremely tender and had a soft-buttery consistency. All of the fish was first rate - very flavorful, fresh and tender. The chef sent over a complimentary Godzilla roll which is basically a spicy tuna roll topped with a miso sauce and tempura flakes, which was also very good.

I'm sure they serve vegetarian nigiri in other sushi restaurants in town, but I've never noticed it. At Ryu, I ordered a seaweed and a pumpkin nigiri. I was not disappointed, the seaweed had terrific vinegary crunch and the pumpkin was tender and sweet. Unusual, but tasty.

The atmosphere was a little cold, but that was probably due to the fact we were the only customers for most of the meal. A large flat panel TV dominates the area near the sushi bar, but they seemed to have the TV tuned to a classic rock radio channel so there really wasn't any distracting picture on the screen.

The service was well-meaning, but not professional and that's ok, because I think you go to Ryu for the food.

Oh yea, I thought the prices were extremely reasonable for food of this quality. If you enjoy sushi, I think you are really going to like this place. If you are looking for a high-class dining experience you might want to wait a month or two.

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