August 11, 2015

Restaurant Review: Masa Sushi (Princeton, NJ)

Lots of changes are coming up, including changes with this blog! 
These next few days will definitely be a preview of what's to come during the school year. During my free time from work and packing, I'll be soaking up as much as I can of home and saying goodbye to my friends --- meaning less cooking but more photos and experiences. I won't really be cooking all the much during the school year, so the recipe page will be on a hiatus for a bit, but there will definitely be photos, reviews, and shared experiences to come!

So now, onto the sushi! I've only been to Sushi Palace and Maki Maki, so it was great to check out a new place that's a little less expensive and closer with a great friend :)

Prices: about $19 per person for lunch
Location: Princeton, NJ
Portions: ranges from 1 piece sushi to 8 piece specialty rolls
Ambiance: very dimly lit, but is very cozy. Some of the tables were a little too close for my liking (the table next to us was extremely crass, but fortunately, they left before we started to order)
Servicenot the most attentive, but they did come by to fill our waters several times (to fill us up, perhaps? ;]). The food took a while to arrive, but that did give us a bit of a break. The waiter that was there was probably the nicest out of everyone who served us, but there's not much to really complain about.
  1. the sashimi seemed really fresh
  2. DON'T order the BBQ squid or the "crab" under the sashimi section
  3. they don't have as wide of a variety as their local competitor, Sushi Palace
  4. fewer vegetarian options than Sushi Palace, but they do have tempura specialty rolls (photographed below - "Godzilla") where the whole sushi roll is deep fried
  5. The sushi rolls were the same size as the ones you'd get in most restaurants, so they don't skimp on the filling/they uphold common standards
Verdict: This is definitely the place to come if you want an All-You-Can-Eat sushi experience for a lower price. Unfortunately, their variety isn't as wide as Sushi Palace, but we were stuffed  from what we ordered, so it wasn't too big of a deal. Right now, I'm in a bit of a food coma/post-Thanksgiving state, so the thought of more sushi isn't pleasing, but I think I'd consider coming back in the future. On the other hand, however, if I did have the option to go to Sushi Palace, I probably would go there instead (more variety with their appetizers, salads, and Japanese dishes aside from just rolls too). My friend, who went to Sushi Palace more recently, says it's about the same, so it's all about what you really want to pay for (higher price = more variety, lower price = less variety) and where you live!

Things that we ordered that I didn't photograph: aged tofu (just tempura tofu), BBQ octopus, sweet potato (tempura), and calamari

Sashimi: Salmon, White tuna, mackerel, inari (tofu)
Rolls: Dragon, Alaska, Peanut-Avocado, and Sunshine (?)

Note: their peanut-avocado roll uses honey-roasted peanuts like Sushi Palace, however, they're left whole like Maki Maki. I definitely prefer how Sushi Palace chops up their peanuts --- the chopped up peanuts still add texture but also blend better with the avocado in the roll, making it taste like actual crunchy peanut butter with the sweetness cutting through the richness. Have I mentioned I love peanut butter? 

Sashimi: Red snapper, Spanish Mackerel, "Crab" (don't order it, it's just imitation crab)
Eel cucumber roll and our leftover Alaska roll and Sunshine Roll

Note: This was my first time tasting red snapper and mackerel (both the regular and Spanish kind), and I definitely realize how different each kind of fish tastes. Most white fishes (flounder, tilapia) taste really similar to me, so i used to generalize the flavor of "fish" as one flavor (aside from salmon), but trying these different ones allowed me to understand that some have a fresher & cleaner taste while others taste extremely brine-y and fishy (ahem, mackerel). 

Godzilla Roll

I ate around the tempura exterior, and I have to say, it was really good. We both agreed that the sauce made the dish special!

xoxo, han

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