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More sushi to daydream about (Oishii, Chestnut Hill)


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More sushi to daydream about (Oishii, Chestnut Hill)

Tir na nOg | Jun 3, 2003 11:54 PM

I made a second visit to Oishii in Chestnut Hill last weekend (see link below for my previous thoughts), and was again impressed with the quality, quantity and originality of their sushi. Even better, this time around someone else was buying!

A word to the wise: it may be safest to phone ahead and make sure they are actually open before making the trek out to Chestnut Hill. We arrived just before 4PM on Saturday, and were surprised to find that they had only just opened due to a private party having reserved the entire restaurant (and it doesn’t take much of a private party to fill their 12 seats!). So fortuitously, we timed it perfectly and had the restaurant to ourselves for a while. Good to know one can make reservations for a private party.

While we were waiting for our third to show up, stomachs grumbling, we went ahead and tried a “Route 66” roll, which is salmon tempura, kani (crab stick), cream cheese, avocado, cucumber and spicy mayo, for $8.95. Not sure what it has to do with Route 66, but highly recommended! It is obvious that rolls are what they do best here. Although I noted last time that at $80/2 people, Oishii isn’t exactly cheap, if one doesn’t go overboard on the high-end rolls, one can have a reasonably priced meal here on their decent-sized rolls (many in the $4-5 range).

Also noticed that they do a robust take-out business, based on the steady efflux of platters going out the door. Presumably you can call ahead.

This visit we decided to go for a nigiri platter, the better to appreciate the quality of the fish, rather than go overboard on the exotics like we did last time. So we tried the “Sushi for two”, which is 16 pieces of 8 different nigiri plus California and Tekka (tuna) Maki rolls. Reasonably priced at $28.75, especially considering the nigiri qualify as very large in size. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen anything larger in Boston (or would I want to since I’m a firm believer in the “one nigiri, one bite” approach, and one bite is pushing it for these).

Now, I won’t make any claims to be a world’s expert on fish quality, but while it was obvious this was good, fresh fish, it did seem to lack that indefinable “I was swimming 24 hours ago” quality that exemplifies the very best sushi. So, while I was perfectly happy with it, I have occasionally had better.

While we were enjoying the nigiri (and a German Riesling—note, for BYOB don’t expect Oishii to provide decent wine glasses or ice, although they do have a corkscrew), we couldn’t avoid trying a few more of their inventive rolls.

A soft shell crab roll was easily the best I’ve had in Boston, comparing favorably with a proper California one. More exotically, we tried a couple of the customer-monikered specials. “Brad’s Torch Maki” was a cucumber and tobiko (flying fish roe) California roll, wrapped in seared tuna with sauce — very good, although I prefer the “Hamachi Torched Maki” we had last time (with it’s liberal heapings of black fish eggs).

This time, the highlight for me was the apparently infamous (or at least often-mentioned) “Jeff’s Maki”, which contained scallops, kani, scallions and sauce heaped on top of an avocado maki. I could eat this one all day!

Anyway, after all this, we were definitely stuffed to the gills, so to speak!

Before we left, I did ask the owner if they served miso-marinated fish on the menu, one of my all-time favorite things, since that is Nobu Matsuhisa's trademark (the owner and his brother apparently trained at Nobu's in NY). Apparently, they do have miso sea bass (I prefer salmon), although I didn’t actually see it on the menu. Now I’m trying to decide what would go well with it in a custom roll…anyone up for a “Kevin’s Roll”?



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