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Moshi Moshi Sushi – 5/8/11

Website

Location: 5324 Ballard Ave

Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 4:30-11

Fri-Sat: 4:30-1am

Sun: 3-10

Happy Hour:

Mon-Thurs: 4:30-6, 10-11

Fri-Sat: 4:30-6, 11-1

Sun: 4:30-6, all night at the bar

I craved some sushi so we chose our destination from the remaining 3 sushi restaurants using the time honored method of rolling a d6. Moshi Moshi, the most up scale of the Ballard sushi joints, turned out to be our randomly picked destination.

We lucked out going on a Sunday. The Happy Hour menu is available all evening on Sundays when you take a seat at the L-shaped bar. Moshi Moshi feels kind of like a Belltown restaurant. A chic, industrial feel with muted tones and metal. A hostess at the door. Two levels of seating. A pretty nice place.

The Service:

Considering that Moshi Moshi was hopping, the service we received was quick and courteous. As usual for a sushi place, our order arrived quickly, even though we ordered a few things that were cooked.

The Drink:

I chose a small glass of Moon Ring sake which tasted light and ricey. J couldn’t resist ordering Demon Slayer sake which was nearly like water and better than the Moon Ring. Unlike some other sushi place, sake at Moshi Moshi is served as 4 oz shots rather than in a sake carafe.

The Food:

Since the Happy Hour menu had a great selection of relatively cheap choices, we decided to get a few items from it and one roll.

First appetizer, Edamame, steamed soybeans with sea salt. The bowl came to us still steaming. I found the edamame to be a bit overcooked making the beans mushier than I prefer.

Another appetizer we tried was the Agedashi Tofu, fried tofu with soy dashi, ginger, scallion and bonito flake. I’m not usually a fan of tofu but I’ve tried and liked fried tofu at a couple of places. This fried tofu was less fried and more like regular tofu with a slight covering of panko that got soggy real fast. Definitely had too much of the squishy, slimy taste that makes me not like tofu in the first place.

We also ordered the Beef Kushi Sashi, flat iron teriyaki beef on skewers. This turned out much more to my liking with tender, flavorful beef with a slight sweet and salty taste.

Next appetizer, the Gyoza, pan fried dumplings filled with pork, beef and shitake mushrooms with gyoza sauce. These, too, were very good with a nice mix of flavors and textures in the filling.

Our last choice was the Kalbi Short Ribs, teriyaki marinated beef short ribs. Like the skewers, the beef was very tender and lacked the gristle that I’ve found renders some kalbi short ribs nearly inedible.

For our roll we chose the Moshi Moshi 2.0, king crab, cucumber, shiso topped with scallions, scallops and salmon. Considering the array of appetizers, it turned out to be a blessing that this roll was very light compared to many sushi rolls. The creamy crab filling was delicious and the scallops and salmon were extremely fresh tasting. The only problem I found was that it was a bit on the small size for the price.

The Price:

Moon Ring Sake: 9.00

Demon Slayer Sake: 11.00

Edamame: 1.95 (Happy Hour Price)

Agedashi Tofu: 2.95 (Happy Hour Price)

Beef Kushi Sashi: 2.95 (Happy Hour Price)

Gyoza: 3.95 (Happy Hour Price)

Kalbi Short Ribs: 3.95 (Happy Hour Price)

Moshi Moshi 2.0 Roll: 14.00

The Verdict:

Moshi Moshi is a nice sushi place. The Happy Hour menu is incredibly inexpensive and has a great selection of good food. It’s possibly the best Happy Hour deal in Ballard. I could see us going back to Moshi Moshi for that alone.

But is it the best sushi in Ballard? … No, I still prefer Shiku. The sushi roll we had at Moshi Moshi, while good, wasn’t really worth the $14.00 they charged. If you’re going to spend that type of money on sushi, it should be fabulous not merely “good”.

Categories: Restaurants Tags: , , , ,

Shiku – 2/20/2011

Website

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.