Monday, June 28, 2010

Sushi, and Sake, and Scallops- Oh My!

At a recent fundraising event, "R" and I purchased a 5-course wine, sake, and dinner package for six guests at Shinto Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar in Strongsville. With high hopes and excitement, we found two other couples to share the package with and we set a date. I took care of making all of the arrangements with their General Manager, Brittany Swan, who was fabulous to work with.

We arrived a few minutes early and grabbed a drink at the small bar while we waited for the others. As we finally got situated around the hibachi table, we realized that the first course was already waiting for us: Tako Salad ($4.5)- thin sliced octopus in a sweet marinated soy sauce. The salad was light with just a subtle sweetness, and we were off to a great start. Next came their infamous Lobster Roll ($15)- South African cold water lobster deep fried in crunchy tempura batter, rolled in soy paper and stuffed with cucumber and daikon radish and served with a side of Jimmy’s famous lemon sauce. The manager, who was our lovely guide for the evening, told us that the roll has won several titles and awards in Cleveland. It was easy to see why. By deep frying the roll, it gave the outer layer a slight crisp. I have never seen this done before with a sushi roll, and I loved it! During this second course, we were also served a large portion of their Calamari Tempura ($7)- strips of calamari with assorted vegetables in a crispy tempura batter served with a savory tempura sauce. The calamari was lightly breaded, and the sauce was sweet with a kick of heat behind it. Everyone at the table really liked this dish.

The third course was the traditional House Onion Soup ($2)- a light chicken and beef broth home-stewed with crispy onions and sliced mushrooms and a House Salad ($2.5)- fresh salad with homemade ginger dressing. Both were very basic, but a great lead into the main course- Hibachi! We had our choice of protein, and most of us at the table went with scallops and a side of shrimp flambé. Our chef quickly prepared our meals right in front of us, with a show complete with fire and tricks of course (see above). Again, the third and fourth courses were very standard, but good.

Our final course was a great way to end the evening: Ice Cream Tempura ($4.5)- vanilla ice cream wrapped in thin pound cake with a light tempura batter and quick fried. For those of you that have never tried fried ice cream, I highly recommend it. The sweet, warm batter paired with the ice cream makes for a tasty bite!

Each course was expertly paired with sake or wine, with our hostess walking us through the history of the restaurant and Japanese culture. The atmosphere of the space is exactly what you would expect from a hibachi restaurant, but it was nicely decorated and they have a small patio for outdoor seating. Overall, it was a fun experience with a few of the dishes that were outstanding. They also told us about sushi rolling classes that are hosted once a week, and my ears perked up at that point. There may be some rolling in my future. Can I count that as "cooking"?

Shinto Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
17070 Pearl Road
Strongsville, OH 44136
(440) 878-3868

Shinto Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Yes, I think you can count that!