Even though it’s freezing cold in Seattle, I recently got hit with a sushi craving. Not having had sushi in Seattle yet, I did a bit of research, and decided on Nishino’s. Since it was our first time here, we went with the exclusive omakase, which you have to reserve a day in advance. For $75, it’s a pretty good deal, considering the amount of food, and quality of the food that you get. Here’s what we were presented with:

Shrimp with wasabi cream sauce; salmon wrapped in seaweed; oyster with salsa; tuna wrapped in gobo; and seared tuna over cucumber:

This was the starter dish, and a nice ‘sampler’ of a variety of different seafood. Although I found the texture of the shrimp to be a bit strange, the flavor was good; just spicy enough yet not overpowering. The salmon was probably my favorite; simple, yet well executed. The oyster with salsa was also quite good; fresh, and a nice small bite, with a punch of flavor from the salsa. Both tunas were quite fresh, with the seared tuna being my favorite of the two.

Arugula wrapped in whitefish with extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil and shoyu:

This simple dish was quite good; especially with the sesame shoyu sauce.

Seared foie gras and seared tuna with shiitake mushroom and red wine soy reduction:

This had just about the right amount of foie gras; just a small bite. Probably not my favorite of the night, but good nonetheless.

Albacore tuna sashimi salad on mixed greens with toasted lotus root, with olive and sesame oil house dressing:

Adam and I agreed that this dish is about where the food really started to shine. I love a good sashimi salad, and this one did not disappoint. The tuna was incredibly fresh, the dressing was incredibly flavorful, and the lotus root added a nice, crisp texture to the salad.

Mochi powdered black cod, tofu, enoki mushrooms, and chrysanthemum greens in a smoky dashi broth:

Another standout dish. Not only was the dashi broth delicious, the black cod was incredibly light and tender, and the enoki and greens added the perfect touch. Really good.

Alaskan king crab and green bean tempura with lemon chili garlic sauce:

I believe Adam had a different version due to his shellfish allergy, but I loved the crab tempura. The lemon chili garlic sauce was delicious, but it did make the tempura prematurely soggy.

Curry seared halibut cheeks with Swiss chard sauteed in ponzu, with a cilantro cream sauce:

I am not, and never have been a fan of curry, or cilantro, but both added a really nice flavor to this dish. It was like a unique twist on fish and chips.. and it was really good!

Hamachi; otoro; unagi; tuna, salmon, and asparagus roll:

Finally, some sushi! These were all quite good, and incredibly fresh. My favorite was probably the hamachi, or the tuna, salmon asparagus roll. My least favorite was probably the unagi. Adam and I both agreed that eel just isn’t our favorite.

Green tea tiramisu cake with fresh fruit:

I’ve always loved Japanese cakes, because they tend to be quite light, and not overly sweet. This was quite good, with just enough green tea flavor, and plenty of fresh fruit. A nice way to end a very nice meal!

The interior of the restaurant was quite different than I expected; It almost looked like it used to be a French bistro inside rather than a Japanese restaurant, and didn’t have the typical Japanese ‘feel’ to it. No matter, the food is what counts, and the service was quite good. We’ll definitely return to try more of the sushi here, and probably to get another sashimi salad!

Cost: $$
3130 E Madison St., Seattle, WA 98112

(206) 322-5800

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