I have had the opportunity to review several sushi establishments here in Austin of late. Thus far, I have not been disappointed and fortunately for me (and the rest of Austin) Sushi Zushi is no exception.
Located on 5th, just East of Mopac, Sushi Zushi is located in a new building on the South Side of the road. It is a chain originating in Dallas and has been expanding to other areas, most recently here in Austin. Before my visit, I was a bit concerned about the parking situation, but found very convenient parking (covered no-less) inside the structure and directly behind the restaurant. Great for days like today when there is actually RAIN! Also great for most days in Austin when the sun can make your car a dry sauna.
After parking I walked through the back door, directly from the parking garage and was immediately impressed with the decor. Not to bright, yet not dark enough that you can not enjoy seeing not only your food, but the company you keep. The kitchen is open to the dining room, next to which is a small, yet comfortable Sushi Bar.
This day, I was a lone wolf and settled in to said sushi bar, a bit excited for what was to come. I was offered several menus, one each for lunch, main menu and saki. The main menu is extensive offering patrons the opportunity to order specific rolls, sushi pieces or sashimi. There are also the popular combination platters that have the most popular of sashimi and sushi. The lunch menu also has a variety of choices, mostly combination platters that include a Yakimeshi bowl as well as Miso Soup as accompaniments. Which brings me to another highlight of the menu – Yakimeshi and Yakitori (a Japanese fried rice and Japanese kebab, respectively) are also found on the Sushi Zushi menu, which is not typical of many sushi joints. This offers an alternative to those in your party that may be sushi-squeamish. Lastly, the Saki menu, although I could not partake, also offered a wealth of choices.
So, how was my lunch. It was pretty darn good. Seriously, I know that is anti-climatic, but I mean it. It was enjoyable. I ordered one of the lunch ‘combination’ platters. The Miso Soup was piping hot, and the seaweed flavorful with large creamy cubes of tofu that I thoroughly enjoy. The Yakimeshi that accompanied the platter was a welcome change in flavor between bites of sushi and sashimi. The fish itself was fresh, nicely cut and packed well with the rice. The rolls were also flavorful and well made. My only disappointment was the Yakitori that came on the platter, which was a bit flavorless, but not awful. Overall, it was a good experience.
Normally I shy away from chain sushi joints outside of Tokyo. I find they usually rely more on their name than the actual product. But this was different. Not the best sushi in Austin, but good and I will return, no doubt!