Thursday, January 30, 2014

Machi Sushi Bar Review

Catering to the GF's cravings for sushi, we decided to give Machi Sushi Bar a chance on a random weekend night. So we hopped on GrubHub and ordered the usual.

House Salad [$2.50]

As part of the sushi/sashimi combo, a house salad was included. Machi Sushi Bar's iteration came with the typical ginger dressing. But the field greens featured offered an atypical twist from the usual Romaine lettuce. Fresh cucumbers rounded out this salad. 

Vegetable Tempura [$6]

Surprisingly, the veggie tempura survived the hazards of delivery and was crisply fried. It was not soggy at all. A sweet, yet tart ponzu sauce accompanied crispy onion rings, sweet potato with some bite, and fresh asparagus and broccoli. Delicious.

California Roll [$5]
Crab stick, avocado, cucumber

The avocado was creamy, the cucumber was crisp, and the imitation crab was ... well, imitation. Unfortunately, the rice at Machi Sushi Bar was subpar. Anyone who has ever seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi knows that the rice is just as important as the quality of the fish. In fact, it takes years to perfect sushi rice. While my expectations were not that lofty, I did not expect such large grain rice. The rice also lacked any seasoning and there was no vinegar to be had. Perhaps worst of all, the rice was essentially cold and in turn, completely overwhelmed the fish in the upcoming rolls and nigiri.

Tuna and Salmon Combo [$16]
Tuna roll, salmon roll, tuna nigiri, salmon nigiri 

Tuna Roll 

Maguro was decent, but could barely be deciphered through the glut of cold rice.

Salmon Roll

The salmon's fattiness actually managed to come through the rice however.

Tuna Nigiri

Maguro here was nice, once I took it off the rice underneath. With a slight dab of soy, it was clear that at least the fish was fresh.

Salmon Nigiri 

The same was the case for the salmon, which was prototypically creamy.

Yellowtail Scallion Roll [$4.50]

The bite of the scallion contrasted nicely with the clean, meatiness of the yellowtail.

Philadelphia Roll [$5]
Smoked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese

The cream cheese in the Philly roll managed to meld the rice together with the fattiness of the salmon and offered a nice bite. 

Sweet Potato Roll [$3.50]

The GF's favorite roll offered more crunch than sweet potato, but was a nice bite that was complemented nicely by the sweetness of the eel sauce. 

Dynamite Roll [$10]
Deep fried, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, white tuna, crunch, scallion, tobiko, spicy sauce, eel sauce, wasabi mayo, masago, scallion

The majority of sushi joints in Philly are non-omakase and as such, Machi Sushi Bar offers a variety of Americanized rolls with copious amounts of mayo. And that's perfectly fine in my book. While some may consider it blasphemy, I enjoy both styles of sushi. The dynamite roll was crispy and offered a nicely spicy mayo. The deep frying of this roll allowed the melange of sushi to be cooked, thereby muddling the flavors a bit. However, the tobiko and masago roe helped to bring out some nice briny flavors. 

I'm hoping that this was an off-night for Machi Sushi Bar's rice quality. I'm perfectly willing to give it another chance considering they offer a 3-roll special for $11.95 and take 10% off orders that are over $50 (which this obviously was). Delivery via Grubhub is quick as well, so Machi Sushi Bar can't be faulted there.

Machi Sushi on Urbanspoon

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