Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

Ooka Lunch with Ryan

September 24, 2009

Ryan and I got to go to Ooka in Doylestown for Sushi today because Donna went bowling with Jojo and left us to make our own lunch. I have gotten several recommendations from Facebook friends and Chowhounds on how good the sushi is at Ooka so eating there has been on my Foodie to-do list for quite a while.  The recommendations were spot-on; the sushi was top notch, the venue was very comfortable and the service impeccable.

Miso Soup and Garden Fresh Salad with Ginger Dressing at Ooka in DoylestownBoth my meal and Ryan’s meal came with Miso Soup and Garden Fresh Salad with Ginger Dressing. The Miso Soup was one of the best miso soups I have ever had. A hearty broth with delicious pieces of Mushrooms, Tofu and Scallion floating in it.  The Garden Fresh Salad was pretty typical of other Japanese restaurants’ salads with the exception of the Ginger Dressing which was Creamy and with a Delicate Ginger Flavour as opposed to the usual version that comes with overwhelming ginger flavours.  We also tried some Japanese beer and went for the Sapporo brand. I actually like the match up of beer and sushi so it was working for me. Edamame and Shumai Appetizers at Ooka in Doylestown, PA

It was a little strange for me to have appetizers after soup and salad but that’s the way they do it at Ooka so we rolled with it and enjoyed them when the came.   The Fresh Edamame were served piping hot with Sea Salt. The little pods of Soy are fun to eat, slightly salty and moist to the bite. This maybe the perfect appetizer to go with beer, a sort of the Japanese version of peanuts.  The other appetizer was Shumai, little steamed shrimp dumpling with a Ginger Sauces. The dumplings were the perfect size and had a delicate flavour of shrimp and that dumpling flavour that seems to come with all dumplings. My Friend Doug over at American Greetings introduced me to Shumai a few months back and I am glad he did. They were excellent at Ooka.

Angus N.Y Steak Teriyaki Bento Box at Ooka in Doylestown, PARyan went for the N.Y Steak Teriyaki Bento Box.The Angus beef steak came with and order of rice, two California Rolls, Shrimp & Broccoli Tempura and a Japanese Treat.  The steak came medium rare and coated in sweet teriyaki sauce.  The rice was perfectly cooked. Both Shrimp and Broccoli Tempura were perfectly cooked and crispy but leaving the shrimp and broccoli fresh and delicious. The California Rolls were classic and even a little larger in diameter than I am used to getting. The dish also came with two Gyoza Pan-fried Pork Dumplings served with a Ginger Sauce. Ryan had not tried Gyoza before and despite being stuff from all the previous food he liked the delicate pork flavour, the slight char from the pan frying and the gentle ginger sauce.  He shared one with me so I knew he was pretty full when he starts to share his food.

Sushi and Sashimi Lunch at Ooka in Doylestown, PA

 I went for the Sushi and Sashimi Lunch Special.  It came with 3 pieces Sushi, 5 pieces Sashimi, and a Spicy Tuna roll.  The Special usually comes with a Salmon Roll but I upgraded to a Spicy Tuna roll. Both the Sushi and Sashimi were very fresh and the cuts of fish were perfect.  The Tuna almost melted in my mouth, the Salmon the same and Shrimp was fresh and sweet.  The Special also included Octopus.  I think Octopus is a great test for a sushi restaurant, cut it wrong and it tough, keep it too long and it’s tough, cook it too long or too short it’s tough. The Octopus on this plate was tender and flavourful. The Spicy Tuna Roll was creamy with a good tuna taste and spicy enough to make it interesting but no over powering like so many second class sushi places. The Whitefish and Yellowtail were delicate in flavour and perfect in texture almost little works of art.  The overall presentation, and I love good presentation, was excellent for this dish as well as the ones that preceded it.

Great flavours, great textures, great presentations, great service and great company – my son.  Net-net a great meal for us.  You should try Ooka if you haven’t already.

Read other reviews about Ooka here, here and here.

 Ooka (Doylestown) on Urbanspoon

Ooka  – 110 Veterans Lane, Doylestown, PA 18901-3412                             (215) 348-8185

Japanese Fusion

August 9, 2009

Spicy Tuna and Midori Rolls at Midori SushiFacebook Friend, co-worker and Social Media guru Marc and I went for Sushi for lunch earlier this week.  We both love sushi and usually just walk down George Street but that day we wanted to try some place different. A quick Google search and we found Midori Sushi just a couple of miles across the river in Highland Park.  We went and it was great. Not only great food but great value, we had miso soup, four rolls and ice teas for less than $20 each.

For my meal (photo top right) I had the Spicy Tuna Roll and the Midori Roll. The spicy tuna rolls (bottom right on the plate) were great with a nice heat, very fresh tuna and perfect sticky rice.  The sauce brought some extra heat making them very enjoyable. The Midori Roll is one of Midori’s Special rolls and it comes with Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail and Avocado on the inside and Sticky Rice with 3 different kinds of Tobiko on the outside. I found out that Tobiko is Flying Fish Roe and they come in multiple colours. The sushi chef used it here to finely decorate the Midori Roll making it like artwork. As for taste, the three fish combined into one excellent piece of sushi. Almost sweet from the sticky rice and avocado contrasting to the taste of the sea you get from sushi fish. The different textures of the fish, avocado, seaweed, rice and the multiple mini pops of fish roe make the roll a delicious experience.

Yellowtail and Volcano Rolls at Midori SushiMarc went for the Yellow Tail Roll and the Volcano Roll (Lower left photo) as his choices. Marc thought that his Yellowtail Roll (upper left on the plate) was excellent and one of the best versions of it he has had but it couldn’t hold a candle to the Volcano Roll.  That roll was a combo of Yellow Fin Tuna, Alaska Salmon, Avocado and Cucumberon the inside and Caviar and 2 kinds of Spicy Sauce on top. The roll was well named as the two spicy sauces brought the heat. Marc shared one piece with me and I usually like to add some wasabi to add some heat but it wasn’t needed.  The two kinds of fish brought the sushi flavour and the avocado and cucumbers brought the texture. An excellent roll and worthy of the trip to Highland Park and Midori Sushi.

We enjoyed the lunch specials and found them to be delicious and affordable. We hope to return soon and see you three. Enjoy.

Read other review about Midori Sushi here, here and here.

Midori Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon 

Midori Sushi– 237 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904  732-246-4511

Yeehaa – Ota-ya

June 18, 2009

otaya.jpg image by rdamstraIt was a special treat for me tonight as Ryan, Robbie, Donna and I ended up at the same restaurant at the same time.  This time is was Ota-ya in Lambertville.  We have gone for there before for the teppanyaki but that was booked up already so we ate in the main dining room. Donna and Robbie ordered the chicken teriyaki, Ryan the beef teriyaki and I got mixed seafood teriyaki.

Soup & Salad at Ota-yaThe teriyaki dinners come with Miso Soup and a House Salad.  Since Ota-ya is a BYOB we purchased some Asahi beer at Welsh’s liquor store to go along with the meal.  The House Salad comes with Ginger Dressing. The aroma of the ginger is fairly pronounced but fairly mild to taste.  The fresh veggies in the salad crunched and contrasted nicely to ginger dressing. This is the one salad that Robbie and Ryan both gobble up.  The Miso Soup was very pleasant with small dice of tofu, scallions and seaweed.  The miso broth was light and slightly salty. The floating bits of tofu, kelp and scallion contrasted nicely in texture with each other making the miso soup a success.

Sushi Rolls - Eel and Spider

The Sushi at Ota-ya is very good so Robbie and I could resist ordering a couple of rolls.  Robbie went for the Eel Roll and I went for the Spider Roll. The eel roll was both smokey and sweet with a nice crunch from the scallion slices. The Spider Roll is my favourite because of the nice mix of textures and sweet-salt taste.  This roll lived up to previous spider rolls.  What was interesting to me about the two rolls was they were served over a thick sweet soya sauce. The sauce was sweet but was missing the usual salty taste you get with soya sauce. That worked out as we had soya on the side to dip. I also didn’t use as much wasabi as I usually do as the do as the rolls were complete without them.

Chicken TeriyakiDonna and Robbie’s Chicken Teriyaki came with large portions of chicken covered in a thick teriyaki sauce and some stir-fried veggies. All the dinners came with steamed fresh rice on the side.  Donna described her chicken as moist, flavourful and sweet. The veggies were crisp, well cooked and very tasty. I think well cooked veggies are a mark of a good restaurant so I was surprised they were good here.  We asked Robbie his opinion, he nodded and kept eating. Another good sign LOL.

Mixed Seafood Teriyaki at Ota-yaMy Mixed Seafood Teriyaki arrived last and it was a very fine presentation as you can see in the photo. Plentiful Shrimp, Scallops and Lobster along with the same stir-fried veggies and rice Donna, Ryan and Robbie got.  The seafood were gently grilled leaving some nice char marks and flavour. I prefer Atlantic Lobster to Caribbean Lobster, but these tasty southern morsels matched well with the teriyaki sauce. The dense bay Scallops had a nice mouth feel and a sweet taste that matched also with the sauce. The Shrimp were flashed grilled keeping that sweet shrimp and texture you want in shrimp.

I have no photo of Ryan’s Beef Teriyaki as he attacked it as soon as it arrived. The meat went first followed by a few veggies. The description was meaty, tender and sweet from the sauce.  Wish I would have gotten the photo for you but would sooner have supper with my son. I am sure you understand.

Net-net great meal with all the family in one place at the same time.

Ota-ya have restaurants in Lamberville, NJ,  Newtown PA and Warrington PA.  You can read other reviews as here, here and here.

Ota Ya Japanese on Urbanspoon

Ota-ya, 21 Ferry St., Lambertville, NJ 08530      609-397-9928

Mobile Meals

May 1, 2009

Over the last couple of days I have been all over NJ and New York City.  Wednesday I went into the city to meet with agency folks doing some very cool stuff with social media on the web and even the Facebook work for Anthony Bourdain and the Hungry for More application.  After a great meeting I ended up at our NYC office having lunch with two co-workers.  The cafeteria on the 8th floor offers many options but I always go for their sushi since it’s fresh and always tasty.


 This sushi combination plate offers eight different sushi choices for $9.50.  In this combo the classic California Rolls and Spicy Tuna Rolls are paired with (going right to left) tuna, clam. salmon, egg, white fish and shrimp sushi.  A very nice combo that include enough soy sauce, ginger and wasabi to complete my sushi experience.  I have grown to love sushi over the years and this combo is a nice sample of what to like.  For the Spicy Tuna Rolls, the combination of the sweet tuna and heat from the spices goes well with the rice and seaweed wrap.  Dipping these into the soy and wasabi dressing that I created makes this an enjoyable bite. The California Roll offers interesting combinations of textures and flavours.  The fake crab in the California Rolls provides flavour in this roll along with the avocado and cucumbers, nori and sushi rice.  The very fresh fish dipped in the wasabi and soya sauce bring interesting taste  to my mouth.  For each fish you can taste the tuna, salmon, white fish, shrimp and clam along with heat of wasbi and salt of soya.  I find the egg an interesting addition to the combination and would not thing about fish and egg as a “normal” combo but the delecately cooked egg dipped in the wasabi laced soya sauce is actually very nice with taste of the egg coming thru the strong flavours of soya and wasabi.

I updated my Facebook page with this photo and almost immediately got a responses from several of my friends on how good the food looked and how they wanted to learn more about where I got the dish.  It maybe a timing issue since I posted the photos as my friends were about to go to lunch.

Mustang SallyAfter a great day of work, and that maybe difficult to says these days, I met my poker buddy Erika at Mustang Sally’s.  Mustang Sally’s is just a few blocks from our offices and on the way to Penn Station so it worked for both us since we both live in Pennsylvania.  I am still new to the New York Bar scene so I am now judge of how Mustang Sally’s ranks compares to others bars but I will comment on the food.  After quizzing our wait staff Erika and I ordered the beef quesadilla, chicken wings (medium) and vegatable dumplins.  The quesadilla was very tasty with the sour cream, tortilla, pico do gallo and spicy meat and cheese.  The chicken wings had some good heat but not too much, a flavourfull sauce and good portion size.  The dumplins with ginger sauce were bland and gummy.  The ginger sauce did make them editable but I would not order them again.  I did like the staff at Mustang Sally because they were attentive and responsive to my questions.

 Princeton Wine                                                                                                                                                                         

Thursday, I attended a session at the Innovation Lab series sponsored by Compass Healthcare agency on mobile marketing in Princeton.  It was an all day session of how healthcare companies like mine can change their stategies to take advantange of how consumers and healthcare professionals are using their mobile phones to increase the awareness and ultilization of our healthcare offerings.  It was a great meeting and the team from Compass did a great job of runing the meeting and making it interesting.  After the meeting they sponsored a reception at Mediterra, a great restaurant in Princeton.  In fact it was at Mediterra that I had my first meal with my boss Heidi, her husband Paul and co-worker Jon. I remember it as a great meal and a great start to my career in the United States.

The night at Mediterra was in a private room off the main bar with the attendees from the  Mobile Marketing session so it was a great way to get to meet the attendees.  It was a great private room with lots of light and an attentive wait staff serving great wine and draft beer.  The hosts selected three different bruschetta tp be passed during the reception.  The three choices included Gasbanzo beans & prosciutto; Olive tapenade & warm brie and Mushroom and taruffo. Each of the apetizers were tasty and served hot but for me unfortuately the they were all different examples of brushetta, way too much bread, cheese and oil.  This is hard for me because I don’t want to disrespect the host for the respection but they basically ordered three of the same thing.  It would have been nice to have a mix of three differnet aps.  I did like the mushroom and taruffo bread the best as the truffle oil on the mushrooms was very tasty and an nice contrast to the other breads that had too much cheese on them.  I hate doing a negative review but it is what it is.  I don’t think this reflects so much on the restaurant mut rather on the not thinking thru the options and how they work together.

Mediterra, 29 Hulfish St, Princeton, NJ 08542,           (609) 252-9680

A great couple of days but I hope the readers still take time to participate in the sandwich and salad polls if you haven’t already.   Thanks and leave any comments below.