Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wasabi Sushi (SE Madison)

(Original Review at Happy Valley Station -- December 2015)
(Second Review at Happy Valley Station -- October 2016)
(Third Review at Cartlab -- December 2016)
(Fourth Review at Tidbit -- March 2017)

Last week, I went to a special event celebrating Wasabi Sushi's newest location, a brick-and-mortar spot on SE Madison in Portland.

First off, huge congrats to Alex and Phyu for opening their long-awaited brick-and-mortar spot. It basically all started with a special media event at Happy Valley Station in Winter 2015, when Alex first showcased his amazing sushi and stunning presentation. From then, I was hooked, enjoying various items off the menu. In Fall 2016, the Sushi B-Ritto debuted, and that too was a mega hit with customers. Then, in March 2017, Alex brought in the Sushi Donut, and you know I couldn't pass that up.

The menu remains mostly the same. Various sushi rolls, Sushi B-Rittos, and Sushi Donuts. There are appetizers such as calamari skewers, gyoza, and spring rolls. Want dessert? Have some mochi ice cream.

So for the grand opening of their SE Madison location, what else would they bring in?

How about a Sushi Burger?

Instead of buns, Alex uses a blend of Chinese fermented rice and sushi rice. The patties are lightly cooked and form the buns. There were four different burgers to get, and admittedly, I wanted all of them. Shrimp Katsu, Spicy Tuna, Soft Shell Crab, or Teriyaki Salmon.

This time, I got the Spicy Tuna Burger ($8), which had spicy tuna, avocado., cucumber, lettuce, and their house-made mango habanero sauce. Burgers come with a side of sweet potato fries, and I wanted some of that mango habanero sauce on the side for dipping.

What it looks like without flash

Of course, I probably should have learned from others and just used the wrapper to hold the burger together. It otherwise becomes quite the adventure. Still, a sushi burger is fantastic. Fresh ingredients, excellent rice, great fries. The mango habanero sauce has wonderful flavor and some kick, but of course was mild for me.

Wasabi Sushi has beer, cider, wine, and even sake. I had Culminations Phaedrus IPA, Little Beast Brewing's Bes (a farmhouse ale that does look like a wheat beer), and Commons Citrus Myrtle (a yuzu citrus myrtle that has sour beer qualities). All are amazing pairings with sushi.

My friend Steven Shomler was behind the bar (and you may see him there on Thursdays). He got me some lovely Momokawa sake. Can't say no to that.

But the panda wanted more sushi and alcohol. Done.

I loved the Treasure Island Roll ($9). Tuna, crab salad, masago, avocado, and cucumber with spicy sauce and eel sauce. But naturally, I wanted more spice. While Wasabi Sushi doesn't have anything nuclear spicy (yet), they doctored mine up with more wasabi sauce and sriracha.

All the wasabi on the side also went on the sushi, because I can't get enough of that, either. The Treasure Island Roll, just like everything here, is well worth getting. Velvety fish, crunchy cucumber, creamy avocado. Again, can't beat fresh ingredients.

And yes, more sake. In a blue cup. With the flash, it makes for a wonderful photo.

Phyu told me that their other endeavor, Puffle Waffle, is at Happy Valley Station. They opened for business on April 17. I will also have to check that out very soon. This cart specializes in egg waffles, a street treat from Hong Kong and Macau.

Again, big congratulations to Alex and Phyu for opening Wasabi Sushi's first brick-and-mortar! 9.25/10

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