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Ushiwakamaru vs. Shimizu

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Ushiwakamaru vs. Shimizu

halo | Jul 15, 2005 12:33 PM

i'm a huge fan of Shimizu in Hells Kitchen but in the recent weeks i've been going to Ushiwakamaru after reading the rave reviews on this board. Having been to Ushi 3 times in the past month i think i can give a pretty accurate review and comparison of the 2 places.

First of all, the prices are very similar. i usually do the omakase or order a la carte depending on whether the omakase entails mostly sushi or more cooked dishes like a kaiseki. at Shimizu the omakase is 99% sushi whereas Ushi is more like a kaiseki where there is a lot of cooked food served before the sushi. hence at Ushi i order a la carte. meals at both places run about $50/pp JUST for sushi. drinks, tax, tips aside.

recently Shimizu has been offering whole fresh UNI still in its casing and this is an AMAZING addition to his omakase menu. overall, Shimizu has MUCH better fish. his Red Snapper flown in from japan is absolutely incrdible and overall, the fish lave more luster and better texture that at Ushi. it is also served a a much better temperature. a little cooler which wakens up the taste buds at first taste...

that being said i LOVE the rice at Ushi. it is warm and slightly more flavored than at Shimizu. it definetely enhances the fish and makes it an excellent complement. however, Shimizu's fish is a FULL notch above Ushi in its quality and freshness...

the service at Shimizu is FAR superior than at Ushi. i actually think the 3 waitresses at Ushi are absolutely horrible. they are nice enough but never there when you need them and always just bantering among themselves in the far corner. the sushi chef himself is very nice but TOO slow... dinner always takes more than 2 hours at Ushi because the sushi chef just cannot handle the volume with his lack of speed. Shimizu has much better speed and i've always been able to enjoy the pace there. The fastest i've ever seen is Yasuda but i think his pace is TOO fast...

overall i think both Shimizu and Ushi are EXCELLENT sushi restaurants. i would recommend BOTH of them without any hesitation. however, personally, if i were to have sushi 10 times, 8 of those times will be at Shimizu and 2 at Ushi. some people believe the rice is most important in sushi. i am a believer that the fish should be the star...

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