One of the biggest perks linked with blogging about food is the sheer diversity of invites I receive to try out different types of cuisines. However, apart from the eminent upward shift on the scales, food blogging also has another major downside. Here I am ready to tell you all about our fantastic evening out at Chez Sushi, and every little detail and drool-worthy click is making me exceptionally hungry and eager to go back… right now, now!
Chez Sushi (or ‘in the home of’ sushi in French) is a very well-known chain among the sushi-munching dwellers of Dubai, and being a sushi lover myself, I was super excited when I got an invite to their Al Wasl branch last week.
The restaurant itself is a casual dining concept. The interiors are clean, spacious and decorated in the funky brights of green and orange that is associated with their logo.
On being seated, I couldn’t help but notice the blown-up replicas of sushi on the benches that served as comfy cushions. How cute are these?! They even have a giant stuffed edamame behind the sushi 🙂
These cutesy cushions are available on sale at Chez Sushi, and they have a range of other interesting Japanese collectibles up for grabs including transformer toys that turn into sushi, futuristic Japanese warrior dolls (that look like plastic, but ouch! They cost AED 700 and above!), and even training chopsticks.
For those of you who are not very comfortable with chopsticks, the training chopsticks set could well prove to be a good investment!
My daughter was given a chopstick training holder on her disposable chopsticks. At merely 4 years old, I’m mighty impressed with how well she works these beauties!
We started off our meal with a shared bowl of Miso soup. Many people find this soup very bland, and it really does take an acquired taste to really enjoy the delicately mellow flavors. The trick is to stir it at every spoonful to ensure you’re getting all the flavors, inclusive of the bits that get settled down at the bottom.
Here’s our serving of edamame. The ones at Chez Sushi have been coated with a delicious sprinkle of rock salt, and we munched on these throughout the meal. ‘Edamame’ is just a fancy name for boiled green soybeans, and they really pack a nutritional punch (click here for more details).
We tried Chez Sushi’s ‘Prawn and Coriander Gyoza with Ponzu Sauce‘. These little steamed dumplings are stuffed with minced prawn and fresh coriander, then pan-fried to give the outer coating a hint of crispness. The ponzu sauce on the side is a very commonly used citrus-based sauce for Japanese cooking, and lends a sharp salted edge to the dumplings when dipped.
One of our favorites from the night was Chez Sushi’s ‘Calamari Salad with Ginger Dressing’. A pile of deep-fried breaded calamari rings sit on a bed of mix greens that have been dressed in a very flavorful mix of tangy, sweet and ginger-hot. The characteristic heat of ginger steals the show, and despite his many efforts, Hubby could not get the recipe out from the Chef 🙂
We also had Chez Sushi’s ‘Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Chili Sauce’. This was by far the most filling appetizer on the table. The battered and fried balls of shrimp were enriched with the creaminess of a mayo-based sauce that had the slight edginess of chili. Delicious, decadent and satisfying enough to have as a main course.
What makes Chez Sushi stand out from other sushi joints? You can let your creativity loose here, and create your very own rolls! The ‘Let’s Roll’ concept is clearly broken down into 4 steps on the table mats (as can be seen below):
I had a go at rolling, and my creation was done with brown rice. I love the combination of salmon and avocado, so these took precedence in my sushi. I added mango to the mix, and it was finished off with a tangy-hot wasabi mayo. It was divinely good (if I may say so myself!).
We also tried Chez Sushi’s ‘Rainbow Maki’ and ‘Dragon Maki’. As the name suggests, the ‘Rainbow Maki’ is a vivid play of colors and features crab, avocado, cucumber and mayo wrapped with salmon, tuna and kingfish. What a mouthful! The ‘Dragon Maki’ in comparison is far less complicated and comprises of eel, prawn tempura, avocado, cucumber and unagi sauce.
Seeing I love salmon with avocado, the Chef created another version using these as the main ingredients. The Chef’s Choice was made of white rice, salmon, avocado, Unagi sauce and Japanese Mayo. Just look at how delicately cut the avocado slices are! This sushi was as delicious as it was pretty.
Which roll did I like best? Tough call! It would be a tie between my own creation and the Chef’s Choice.
As if our table wasn’t piled up enough, we were also served Chez Sushi’s ‘Fried Chicken Katsu Curry’. This is Japanese-style breaded and fried chicken that is served in an exotic barbecue sauce. The chicken goes beautifully well with the mound of white rice that was served on the side. The sauce has an interesting mix of flavors that are all at once robust, meaty and salted, yet vaguely exotic. It has this familiar taste I can’t quite place; perhaps it has the borrowed flavors of other Japanese sauces I’ve had in the past.
For our dessert round, we tried out the ‘Mochi’ at Chez Sushi. Mochi is popular throughout the Far East. These are essentially rice cakes that have been filled with ice-cream, and come in a variety of flavors.
Below from left to right is Chez Sushi’s Orange Chocolate Mochi, Wasabi Mochi and Blueberry Mochi.
Chocaholics will love the first mochi. The ice-cream inside is deep dark chocolate which goes beautifully well with the orange flavored outer coating.
The Blueberry Mochi is more on the fruity side. The sweetness of the vanilla ice-cream on the inside contrasts well with the tangy berry flavor of the outer skin,
However, the mochi I found more intriguing was Chez Sushi’s Wasabi Mochi! There is a hint of wasabi flavor both outside and in. It won’t bring you to tears, but you definitely get a hit of heat on every bite! Highly recommended to those who dare!
Fancy a free main course at Chez Sushi? You might just get lucky by simply downloading their brand new app! Check out the details below:
If you love your sushi (and fancy having a go at creating your very own combinations!), I highly recommend a visit to Chez Sushi. I visited the branch on Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (opposite Choithrams). For more details on their other branches, call Chez Sushi toll free on 800 SUSHI or visit their website. Get those chopsticks clicking!