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Restaurants & Bars 8

Is the best sushi restaurant in America in Terre Haute?

Gary Alan Fine | Nov 12, 200505:13 PM

Ahem! Now that I have your attention.

Well, perhaps not, but Sushi Umi was one of the dozen best sushi meals I have had in the United States, and arguably the best maki I’ve eaten between New York and California.

I was in Terre Haute this weekend for a conference, and at the suggestion of Dr. Tom Adams of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (my son is a student there), I tried Sushi Umi. Dr. Tom has a webpage: “Dr. Tom’s Guide to Terre Haute for the Cultural Bereft:
which deserves your attention, should you be traveling on I70.

Sushi Umi is run by Chef Qi. Yes, a Chinese chef, hailing from Shanghai. Chef Qi was trained by a Japanese sushi chef in Indianapolis, and whatever he was taught, he has certainly taken to the craft.

It must be confessed that the Nigiri suffer just a bit from the fact that fish come through Chicago, and so are slightly less fresh than what one would find in a city with direct transportation.

However, Chef Qi makes up for this by a dazzling display of creativity. The mango sunset roll was a tuna roll surrounded by mango paving, topped with a dot of Japanese ponzu, freshened with bits of spicy radish. The lobster tempura roll was fully admirable, as sublime as any soft shell crab roll I have eaten.

Perhaps best was Chef Qi’s Crazy Roll: half the pieces had shrimp tempura inside and eel outside, the other half were reversed. Crazy and delightful.

If Terre Haute is not precisely a serious dining destination, Sushi Umi is.

Sushi Umi
2801 South Third Street
Terre Haute, Indiana 47801


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