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Southside Richmond Sushi Review

SouthernGent | Aug 28, 200607:05 PM

I am an absolute fanatic about sushi with standards that are nearly impossible to reach in Richmond, but I think I have found a real gem on the Southside. It is called Soya and it is located in the strip mall across from the Commonwealth Theaters at the intersection of Rt 288 and Hull Street. The owner is an experienced sushi chef who previously ran a place with partners in Tidewaters and has staked out his own place. He is very proud of his little place and has proved to be very careful in his selection of fish. He buys mostly whole fish or loins and sometimes doesn't offer well-known fish if he isn't pleased with the quality he can get. When he gets in Giant Clam or other specials on the board, go out of your way to try them. The tuna tartare is a particular speciality, with an outstanding sesame oil flavor that livens up this standard. The shumai are also particularly good. Grab a seat at the bar and ask him to choose a roll for you. We've probably been there 20 times and I haven't had the same one twice. Obviously, if you've had sushi in a major city, you've probably had a wider selection -- but I don't think you will find more carefully selected or prepared sushi in town. Oh yeah, what he calls "White Tuna" to try to sell the less adventurous folks is actually Black Marlin, usually caught of the Carolina coast. It is good stuff. If you come in on a Friday, we'll probably see you at the bar!

In the interest of completeness, we also tried Wasabi (my second choice), Yamato (not suggested) and Kabuto (a health code violation waiting to happen). Kabuto used to be good, two sushi chefs ago. It is now stunningly bad.

My whole sushi search was undertaken after I had my third or fourth subpar experience at Hana Zushi. I am still a big fan of Sticky Rice, but I don't really consider what they do to be sushi, exactly. More like fusion or Nobu Lite.

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