Home > Restaurants > Shiku – 2/20/2011

Shiku – 2/20/2011

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Location: 5310 Ballard Ave. NW

Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 4:30-10

Fri: 4:30-12

Sat: 12-12

Sun: 12-10

Happy Hour:

Mon-Fri: 4:30-4:30

Sat-Sun: 12-6

Fri-Sat: 11pm-12

We decided on sushi for Sunday’s dinner because it seemed like we had been eating a lot of bar food lately. Of the four sushi places in Ballard, we went the easy route and chose what has become our favorite, Shiku.

Shiku is sophisticated yet unassuming restaurant. On the small side with bench seating along the wall, a full bar and a small sushi bar. Other than pretty good sushi, I would say its claim to fame is a fancy, Japanese style toilet in the women’s restroom. One of those that’s a bidet and toilet in one with a heated seat. An entertaining thrill ride for a western ass.

Usually Shiku is fairly quiet but since it was the President’s Day holiday, lots of people were apparently craving sushi. The bench seating and sushi bar were full so J and I ate at the bar.

The Service:

Since we were sitting by one of the order terminals, we got fairly quick service. Everyone was polite and friendly. It did seem to take longer than usual for our sushi order to come but that was more likely due to the packed restaurant than the servers.

The Drinks:

We ordered the Hakutusuru House Sake (cold) to share. It comes in a carafe that has an ice pocket to keep the sake nice and cold. The Hakutusuru is very nice for a house sake. Smooth with a clear, fresh taste.

I also ordered a Cherry Saketini (3Olives Cherry Vodka and Hakutsuru Sake) out of curiosity since I’ve never before had a sake cocktail. Luckily the cherry vodka had a real cherry taste rather than that artificial, cough syrupy flavor that some flavored alcohols can have. Very nice, smooth end to the meal.

A note: Since this review was published J has tried Shiku’s WMD, their version of a Long Island Iced Tea. He has unequivocally declared it to be not only the best Long Island in Ballard but the best he’s ever had.

The Food:

We hadn’t eaten much, so we ordered more than usual.

Appetizers:

Pork Gyoza which were nothing special. Crispy outside with pork centers. I found them kind of flavorless to be honest.

The Bacon Wrapped Scallops were far better. Each skewer had two bacon wrapped scallops on it with a cherry tomato separating them. Very good. The scallops were cooked over a fire just to the point of firmness with a nice char on the edges. The bacon was cooked well rather than being slightly rare as I’ve had on other such dishes.

Sushi:

The four Unagi (eel) Nigiri were done quite well. The rice actually held together nicely for each bite of the huge, sweet, almost bbq flavored unagi. Nice, simple and tasty.

We also ordered a couple of their specialty rolls. First was the Zig Zag Roll, spicy snow crab, soft shell crab, avocado and cream cheese wrapped in soy paper with half a fried soft shell crab on the side. This was a mouthful. I liked how the coolness of the cream cheese counteracted the hot, fried crab pieces within the roll. The crab was really good and crabby with a nice crunch. And the extra hunks of crab were a nice addition.

The other roll we got was the Ninja Roll, a simple spicy tuna roll, double wrapped, breaded in panko and lightly fried. This one was a little spicy for me but J loved it. To be honest, when eating sushi rolls I’d much rather have the wasabi sinus burn than a hot sauce. The fried panko crumbs did give an unusual texture pop though.

The Price:

Hakutsuru Cold Sake: $7.00

Cherry Saketini: $7.00

Pork Gyoza: $.6.00

Bacon Wrapped Scallops: $7.00

Unagi: $12.00 for 4 pieces

Zig Zag Roll: $12.50

Ninja Roll: $9.50

The Verdict:

Due to the freshness of the fish, the good service and the comfortable ambiance, of course we’ll go back to Shiku. It’s an unpretentious restaurant with really good food. Unless the one sushi place in Ballard (we’ve been to three of the four) that we haven’t been to completely amazes us, I fully expect to continue to make Shiku our go to place for sushi. In fact, we’ll probably try to get through the other sushi places as quickly as possible so we can return to Shiku the next time a sushi craving hits.

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