The newest addition to the tiny strip of eclectic and chock-full-of-variety eateries on Brighton Avenue in Allston, between Harvard Avenue and Park Vale Avenue, is Fish Market Sushi Bar, the teeny, tiny sushi restaurant boasting more than just great fish.
I was truly blown away with my dining experience. As an avid sushi lover for the majority of my life (I’m a New Yorker and we eat sushi as five-year-olds), I have been on the hunt for quality sushi that can cause instant happiness. After five years of my quest in Boston and surrounding areas, I’ve finally found the Holy Grail of Boston sushi.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Kayuga and their late night hours (hello, 2 a.m. maki run) and Zen 320’s supremely affordable, everyday half-price menu, but Fish Market has the entire package, and so much more.
When my fellow foodie and Brooklyn-native friend Jennifer and I entered the small locale, we were instantly enthralled by the decor. Clean lines, definitely feng shui bamboo plant placements, and extremely comfortable and well-cushioned lime green IKEA chairs greeted us upon entering. Our server, the only one in the approximately 20-seat restaurant, was enthusiastic and incredibly attentive.
After we ordered on our dry erase menu (brilliant and environmentally friendly!), he greeted us with a Japanese version of an amuse bouche: a baby shrimp tempura salad with the creamiest and perfect amount of dressing.‚ Off to a great start. We anxiously awaited our steamed shrimp shumai and vegetable and shrimp tempura appetizers.
The shumai was amazing with the delicate flavor of fresh sweet shrimp dominant over the light dumpling dough. The tempura was unlike any I have had. The shrimp were long and thin, and one bite superbly informed me I was dining on fresh fish. The vegetables were perfect, with the eggplant and enormous round of sweet potato shining. The appetizers were the perfect size for two, with two shrimp and two each of broccoli, zucchini and eggplant. The giant sweet potato being so large was easily sliced in half using simply our chopsticks (how MacGyver).
Next was the sushi, which came at just the right time. In fact, all the courses were presented directly as we were finishing the previous one. There was no extra waiting and no overlapping of courses which would make for food temperature issues.‚ The sushi was to die for. Phenomenal. I can’t get over it.‚ I digress here.
The breakout star was the rainbow roll, a sushi roll I nearly never order for belief that it is simple and a bit bland. This was no ordinary rainbow roll. The secret was the sweet egg which truly melted in my mouth with each piece of sushi. Topped with fresh salmon, tuna, shrimp, whitefish, and filled with crab, avocado, and cucumber and of course the wondrous sweet egg, this roll is the reason I could eat here every single day. I was so pleasantly surprised to be a convert to the ways of the rainbow roll that I was a bit upset I was sharing it.
The baked spicy scallop roll was delicious. It was served hot, after I saw the sushi chef/owner remove it from what appeared to be a toaster oven behind the sushi bar. It was extremely spicy, and extremely delicious. But beware; it’s not for everyone. I happen to adore scallop in sushi “" meaning it’s raw “" but others find the texture and flavor hard to stomach. If you’re adventurous I would definitely recommend trying it, and if you love scallop, you better try it. Also delicious was the spicy salmon, with the fish buttery and fresh and very flavorful.
As for dessert, we went whole hog and ordered the sesame ice cream, which I had never tried, and mango mochi. The sesame ice cream is definitely an acquired flavor. Most likely, savory food lovers will enjoy it the most as a good way to sneak dessert in. It had a rich roasted and deep flavor, reminiscent of coffee beans. The mango mochi was delicious and refreshing.
Overall, I highly recommend this little find and hope that it makes it through these tough economic times. But with their decent prices, good portions, flavorful sushi and other Japanese offerings, there is no reason they shouldn’t thrive.
Next up, finding quality Chinese food in Boston. Good cold sesame noodles anyone?