Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fusion Sushi - Scottsdale

Last night Tara and I used the second of the three Restaurant.Com gift certificates we bought during their sale. This one was for Fusion Sushi in Scottsdale. It's located in the Target/Albertsons plaza on the SE corner of the 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright. It's a fairly new restaurant that specializes in Chinese and sushi. My main interest is that it is close to Tara's work and would be a good place to have dinner on nights she works late. The cheap gift certificate seemed like the perfect time to try it.

We arrived about 8pm and only a couple tables were occupied. Three or four people were sitting at the sushi bar that ran in an L-shape along the right side in front of open kitchen. Over the course of the dinner, several more tables filled up. We were seated promptly and looked at the menu.

It's a fairly straight forward menu. Lots of Chinese dishes, some specialty dishes that were house sauces with your choice of meat, some standard fried rice variations, and a long sushi menu. We started out by ordering the Chef''s appetizer combo (2 crab puffs, 2 vegetable egg rolls, and two steamed dumplings) while we decided on our main dishes as Tara was starved. We also got a Pepsi and a Sierra Mist for Tara and myself.

The app combo came out pretty quick, before we had actually decided on the rest. Our waiter dropped it off and let us have time to look the menu over some more. We decided on walnut prawns for Tara and I got a couple maki rolls, the Shrimp Crunch (shrimp tempura roll with crunchys on top) and a Sakura roll (tuna, salmon, white tuna, crab meat, albacore wrapped in cucumber). We set our menus on the outer edge of the table, ate the combo, and waited for our waiter to come back.

He was standing in the entry to the kitchen chatting with the waitress. He looked up, saw us eating with the menus set aside, and kept talking. He walked by our table, made eye contact with me, and went to the host stand to hang around. He then seemed like he was going to stop by, only to go and start talking to a girl sitting at the sushi bar about checking out apartments in the complex she worked in nearby. She gave him her card, and he then walked by us again to the front of the restaurant and chatted with the host, showing him the business card. Eventually he appeared to remember he was at work and decided to stop by and see if we were ready to order yet. He took our order and left.

The appetizer combo was good. The items all tasted fine and there were three sauces (mustard, duck sauce, and dumpling sauce) to dip in. We liked them, but Super Dragon has better ones for less.

Once we finished, they cleared the plates and our meals came out shortly after. Tara's walnut prawns were a deceptively small looking dish. A mound of shimp covered in candied walnuts were in the middle of the plate, with brocolli arrayed along the ends. I tried a shrimp and they were really good. Tara didn't think they'd fill her up, but in the end, she gave up with four shrimp left. She like them as well, although there might have been just a bit too sweet for her savory tastes.

My rolls came out a few minutes later. The Sakura roll was five pieces arrayed around a small bowl of some kind of sauce. It was never explained what kind of sauce it was. Small plastic swords (think garnishes for polynesian fruity drinks) were stuck through each piece to hold it together, a nice touch. Small dabs of different colored roe topped each piece. The roll was good, but the cucumber flavor and watery texture overpowered the fish flavors. Everything tasted fresh, but I think I would have preferred a regular nori wrapping. The Shrimp crunch roll came on a long, narrow dish. It was cut into 8 or 10 pieces, liberally sprinkled with crunchies and drizzled with eel sauce. It also was somewhat cold, like the sushi rice or eel sauce had been chilled. Or that it had been sitting under the a/c vent. The shrimp inside was warm, but the outer temperature seemed way too low. It tasted really good, but would have been much better at a normal temperature.

Overall, our meal wasn't bad. Service was somewhat lackluster. There was nothing wrong with the food. The bill came to $44 before the $25 gift certificate. We both felt it wasn't worth $44. At $26 after tip, it seemed like an ok value. We can stuff ourselves at Super Dragon with better tasting food for $26. The sushi rolls were nothing special and for similiar sushi prices, we can go to Hana and get fabulous sushi. Tara said she might stop in for their lunch specials, but we won't be back for a full-priced dinner.

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