Wandering around, looking for lunch one day, I was sad to discover that Kyoto of Japan, my former go-to-cheap-Japanese-takeout-style place had closed down… but in its place opened Nu Sushi. Curious, I snagged a menu and discovered that though it would also fall into the same category, it offered some items that Kyoto hadn’t.
The first time I went there, I was excited to discover they offered Japanese curry udon (or rice). I love Japanese curry, and with udon? Ooh! My big fear was whether or not they’d overcook the udon.
This entire meal was $8 – it’s from a section of their menu called the Luncheon Special, which is good from 11:30am to 5pm, served with salad.
The salad itself was pretty standard, although it was bigger than I’d have expected.
The ginger-carrot dressing was alright. I wasn’t wild about it but I’m rarely wild about this dressing, to be honest.
And yes, this was my curry udon (chicken). Hmm… I was sad to see only 3 pieces of broccoli, though the carrots were nice and tender-crunchy. The flavor was fine – not quite as pronounced as I’d have liked it, but it satisfied the need because where else down here can I get Japanese curry? (Seriously, where? If you know a place, feel free to TELL ME!) The udon was slightly overcooked, but not unbearably mushy; I think the heat of the curry on top of it might have kept it cooking.
I don’t understand why but apparently, I did not photograph what was underneath that huge layer of sauce. Weird. But there was some udon under there, I assure you! There was also way too much chicken for my liking sliced on top of everything; chicken breast, though it wasn’t particularly dried out or overcooked (nor moist, but the excess sauce fixed that easily). I probably wouldn’t order this again unless I really wanted Japanese curry, but mostly, I’d likely just make my own at home and bring it in for lunch.
A short while later, I returned and ordered from the same section of the menu again, this time ordering the house udon, which is described as “roast pork crispy gyoza & veggie” – this really intrigued me. Crispy gyoza?
Ah. What looks like Chinese style roast pork (char siu), on top of some broccoli and deep fried … well, it’s not gyoza, but it’s sort of like a dumpling-ish-thing.
A sweet-glazed piece of roast pork.
I really appreciated that they keep the soup separate from the noodles so you pour it over the noodles yourself. This does wonders for preserving the noodles’ integrity until you want to eat it.
Dumping the soup in – which was kept at a good, hot temperature – begot this. The sweet glaze off the roast pork mixed into the soup and added a nice depth of flavor; the soup appeared to just be regular beef broth. It had teeny bits of tofu in it; I hoped this wasn’t what they served as miso soup because um, it would suck to get that and be told it’s miso soup. It’s not… though having miso udon would be so awesome… mmm maybe next time I’ll ask for that.
There were bits of seaweed in there, too, which I didn’t mind.
The noodles were more al dente than they had been for the curry udon, though still a little too soft for my tastes. Honestly, though, for $8 and only a block away from my office, I’m not complaining. I’m happy this place has these items on their menu for those days when I really can’t get my act together in the morning enough to pack myself lunch – these are the kinds of things I crave in cold weather. Oh, and those crispy gyoza things weren’t that great – too over-fried, but I just kept them separate from the soup, and pushed them into the soup for a few seconds to loosen them up and make them more edible. Not a big deal at all.
On yet another visit, I decided to order from the section titled “All Day Box To Go” – which I assume to mean that it’s available all day (it’s listed as available from 11:30 – 11:30, which may be their hours of operation) and that it’s only available to go – it has a larger selection of items, ranges in price from $7-9, and comes with soup, salad, and four pieces of California roll. I opted to get the “smoky salmon” because the other items are mostly items I’m quite familiar with (gyoza and various teriyakis, tempura).
The box is quite generously large, with a good amount of everything. A good scoop of rice, salad, … though I didn’t photograph it, the miso soup that accompanied it was actually pretty good (and no, not the same as the broth I’d been given for my udon above). It tended towards the sweet side, but a natural sweetness, like some sweet vegetable had been steeped in it then removed.
The California rolls were pretty standard, though on the mushy side… which confused me because I can see cucumbers, avocado, and ‘krab’ – I’m not sure why I think California rolls should be a little more crunchy in the middle, if they’re missing something. Eating these made me realize I haven’t had California rolls in YEARS. They were sufficiently tasty and inoffensive, but what do you expect?
As for the ‘smoky salmon’ I’d been curious about – it was simply extra salted and peppered salmon that had been cooked well. The flavor was alright, though squeezing lemon juice generously over the top of it brought it to better places. They sat on top of a bunch of veggies cooked tender-crisp (which is how I prefer them!)- green beans, carrots, broccoli – pretty tasty. I probably wouldn’t order this dish again, but I could see the appeal for someone who wants cooked salmon that’s not teriyaki-style.
Yvo says: I will definitely be back as time goes on – the lunch prices are reasonable, the location is convenient, and so far, everything has been pretty tasty. Plus, they offer some items that I don’t see on all the local Japanese menus… I see this as a great addition to the neighborhood and a nice option for this style Japanese / lunch boxes (although their obento section is $16! must be HUGE) with mostly reasonable prices.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Nu Sushi!
recommended for lunch