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

Oishii Boston on Urbanspoon

Swish Shabu

A pot of boiling, steamy broth waiting to be flavored with various meats, vegetables, seafood and so many other things… that is the type of comfort food no tomato soup and grilled cheese could ever replace. Accompanied with a bowl of rice or noodles, you can taste your uniquely flavored soup at the final stage of the meal with a feeling of accomplishment; you made that broth, top chef!

If you are a “hot pot” or “shabu” first timer, here’s a quick run down of what you’re missing out on. This style of cooking comes from either Mongolia or China (still unknown) where you have a pot of simmering water or stock and an assortment of raw vegetables, meats and seafood. You cook them by dipping the foods in the hot water or broth and dab on some soy dipping sauce and other yummy condiments after; minced garlic, chilies, soybean paste, green scallions, and more. Life is all about enjoying simple pleasures, and there is nothing easier than dipping raw food in hot broth. Really!

I went to Swish Shabu in Fenway for lunch with some lovely Yelpers: Nicole V. and Alex B. (They have some great recommendations if you’re looking for good eats) As always, they picked a fantastic place for lunch. Although I usually go to the buffets because it’s $20 per person, all-you-can-eat, the quality is mediocre and the quantity is the only thing it has going for it. Over time, I learned with the right amount of people and a couple orders of high quality ingredients, you pay the same price or less compared to a buffet.

Vegetarian Combo - $12.50

Seafood Combo - $10.95

Meyers Organic Prime Rib Eye Combo - $20

Ostrich Combo - $15.95

Beef Tongue - $6

Vibrant and fresh greens, beautifully marbled red meat, and you know- other stuff, like ostrich meat and cow tongue. Can you do me a favor before you start to feel squeamish and freaked out though? Give it a shot. The cow tongue was one of my favorite plates and you won’t even think about feeling taste buds against yours at all. I’m sure that didn’t help, but that was for my personal amusement. Anyways, all the dishes were not portioned to fill you quickly, but sized in a great way that allows you to enjoy a variety of foods. For us, we were very happy with every dish and the massive amount of vegetables accompanying them. As for the ostrich meat, it was delightfully game-y and incredibly lean. It’s always fun to try something new.

When I looked at each dish’s price, I was ready to spend some money- $20 for a beef plate? Eek! But no, not that bad at all. Somehow, our table of four was very content and completely satisfied, all with a $66 bill. Not too shabby!

On top of the great food and surprisingly great price, our waitress was wonderful. She always had a smile on her face, filled our waters when they were half way through, and asked if we were enjoying our meal without being overbearing. It seems like the staff at Swish Shabu are all sweet, friendly, and accommodating while being efficient. Perfect.

All in all, I really enjoyed having hot pot here. Thanks to Nicole V. and Alex B., I now have another restaurant that I can happily recommend to others!

I double dare you to try beef tongue at Swish Shabu.
Total Meal: $66
Servings: 4 people
Swish Shabu Japanese Hot Pot & Sushi on Urbanspoon
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