Su·shi [soo-shee]

Clean, refined, fresh, delicate… It is a subtle, luscious-melt-in-your-mouth feeling that can  be created with years of hard work and dedication, only to be presented in a tiny, bite-sized, modest piece of art. The simplicity of Oishii‘s artwork is commendable and will leave every patron with a happy belly while they linger delightfully in sushi bliss.

Sashimi, chirashi, inari, maki, nare, nigiri, oshi…

Oishii has a way with presenting sushi dishes in such a pretty way. It reminds me of the joyous feeling when you are surprised with a large bouquet of flowers- except in this case, this is much, much better. Is it possible to convince Edible Arrangements to make sashimi bouquets too?

Much like their dish presentations, the restaurant exuberates serenity and sophistication  that is fitting for intimate occasions such as special family dinners and romantic dates. In my case, my sister generously took my family to a spectacular lunch to celebrate some of our birthdays (she knows what we like).

We had an exciting array of food; sashimi and sushi appetizers, lunch combos that consisted of playfully petite plates that created a diverse and satisfying meal. And of course, it all concluded with a few scrumptious desserts.

We started with a colorful assortment of sashimi and sushi. The types of fish we ordered were Albacore (Tuna), Hamachi (Yellowtail), White Salmon (I know- I did a double take too), Botan Ebi (Shrimp), Ama Ebi (Shrimp), and Foie Gras with Truffle sushi.

The Hamachi was the best I’ve ever had. It was extremely smooth, buttery and did not have the fishy taste and smell most Yellowtail tends to have. Oishii is great at keeping the pieces of fish fresh. I had a piece of Yellowtail stored in the refrigerator just a few hours after and it did not even taste close to what I had when it was served.

White Salmon was an interesting choice as well. It was similar to the traditional Sake Salmon that people usually order but the taste of Salmon was more delicate. Other notable sashimi and sushi we had were Albacore and Foie Gras with Truffle (duh). The piece of foie gras served was immaculate. It was a ridiculously plump bite of guilty, juicy, fatty pleasures, and the luxurious truffle oil lingered until the indescribable sad, sad end. Dramatic? Yes. Truthful? Very. It was outrageously delicious!

The only negative criticism I have was that the Ama Ebi was especially disappointing. Ama Ebi is a small shrimp that has a sweet flavor; it’s like the candy of the ocean. The Ama Ebi served was very bland and did not have the plump texture and vibrant burst of sweetness I expected. For $3 a pop that’s size resembled a few strands of string tied together, I wouldn’t recommend ordering this. The Botan Ebi (the sushi picture with the fried shrimp heads) were something I regretfully did not try but heard was delectable.

Some things that I appreciated:
The soy sauce they provide is very light so you can never over-season your sushi. It always tasted perfect no matter how much you put on. I also really appreciated the size of the fish and foie gras served. Let’s just say that the little nugget of rice accompanied with it is completely hidden and you do not miss it when you have all that happiness going on on top. Overall, Oishii has excellent quality fish and I would be afraid for any sushi establishments in the vicinity. Really!

The lunch combinations we had were affordable and great for any day. Luckily, you do not have to wait for that special dinner or romantic date if you want to have a reason to try Oishii. For $30 (other lunch options are $20), we each ordered Choice D, Kaiseki Lunch. Most lunches are served with miso soup and salad. Our lunch comprised of: Salad with Sesame Dressing, Fresh Lobster Wild Mushroom Risotto, Seared Wild King Salmon Sweet Soy, Crispy Rock Shrimp with Lemon Aioli, Oishii Crab Cake, Spicy Tuna Salad Handroll, Grilled Miso Black Cod, Rocky Sushi, Sake Sushi, Maguro Sashimi and Hamachi Sashimi. I am exhausted typing… What a list! Mind you, these are very small portions but you will feel full.

My favorites were the lobster risotto, crab cake and spicy tuna handroll.

Next up was something I was anxious for since the first minute we sat down; Sautéed Uni with Homemade Pasta, served with fresh shaved truffles, topped with a poached egg. Oh lawd, lawd, sing to me!

Oh, hello there.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but although the site of it was so satisfying and scrumptious, the taste fell unbelievably short. Dare I even say, it tasted like chicken flavored ramen. For shame. My sister and I would have been disappointed if we did not order this at all, but because of the amount of salt in this dish, the truffle flavor was completely compromised. The poached egg and uni served as a great creamy sauce but the salt was overwhelming so you could not enjoy it. The homemade pasta was more of a ramen noodle, although that is fine, it was just unexpected. Sadly, I wouldn’t recommend this dish along with the Ama Ebi, especially for the hefty prices.

Lastly, we finally reached the end of the meal with dessert. Below is the Red Bean Crème Brûlée and Green Tea Tiramisu. 

Out of the two, I’d say the Green Tea Tiramisu was a smidge better. The green tea liquid at the base was sweet and light and complimented the rich and heavy Marscapone nicely. The Red Bean Crème Brûlée was delicious too. The red bean mixture was on the bottom (it’d be pretty unique if it was mixed in with the custard) and provided a nice twist to the classic French dessert (or British, but we’ll save that for another time).

Overall, my experience at Oishii has been very memorable because of the fresh fish, calming atmosphere and my wonderful family. For people that want to experience Oishii without the splurging, stick with the lunch combinations that range from $20-30. You will not be disappointed. In fact, I will probably only be coming here for lunch combos from now on (times are tough)!

You da bomb, Oishii. Keep that ridiculously fresh sashimi coming.
Total Meal: ~$400 (not including gratuity)
Servings: 5 people

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The Chocolate Truffle: Winchester

Juicy figs, bubbly champagne, sophisticated red wines, bold and earthy espresso… these are a few of the most enjoyable things in life. When they are rolled inside a decadent piece of chocolate that melts upon the slightest touch of warmth surrounded by a tasty, hardened shell, I couldn’t care less about eating actual figs or sipping on hot espresso. This is where it’s at.

The Chocolate Truffle is my guilty pleasure when I walk around Winchester center. After picking up some goods at CVS or a fresh cup of coffee at Starbucks, there’s nothing that ends the day better than a beautifully handcrafted morsel.

Started in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1990, Bacci Chocolate Design created this lovely boutique which can be found in two locations, Reading and Winchester. Owners Erin Calvo-Bacci and Carlo Bacci have done a wonderful job with all their products. Not only are they delicious, but they are also great ideas for gifts! Of course your friend will be happy if you buy a box of truffles for them, but what about chocolate dipped twinkies, chocolate bark, chocolate bars with bacon, chocolate pizza, chocolate buffalo wings, chocolate shoes- I had you at “bacon,” didn’t I? Many of these products are purchased locally as well, which is another reason why I love this little shop.

I believe each truffle is about $2, which is a bit on the pricey side- but I’d much rather pay an extra dollar for a memorable morsel than a dollar for something I feel indifferent about. Experiencing fig seeds popping inside of your mouth while you satisfy your sweet tooth is something everyone should be entitled to!

The Chocolate Truffle… is it really a guilty pleasure if I feel absolutely no shame?

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