If I had to guess what might surprise out-of-towners most about Jackson’s dining scene, the abundance of sushi joints has to be near the top of the list. There are more than two dozen places in the metro where one can order sushi, and that’s not counting all the Asian buffets. (Of course, the vast majority of those shouldn’t be counted. Good buffet sushi is rare.)
With Jackson’s rather absurd preponderance of sushi providers per capita—I’m not complaining, mind you—making a choice about where to go and what to order can be a daunting task. So Eat Jackson is here with its first installment of a series designed to get good-tasting sushi in your tummy.
(Note: This is not a “best of” list. This particular writer doesn’t currently have deep enough pockets to taste every promising roll in Jackson to put together a definitive, or even a subjective definitive, list of “Jackson’s Top Sushi Rolls.” Think of this as more of a “Hey, Try These, They’re Good!” list.)
Now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s get on to the fishies and rice!
The Tiger Roll at Edo
The skinny: The roll tasted fine, but there was nothing exotic about the flavors. I have no problem with this, as tuna and salmon are my two go-to sushi flavors; unless the fish is bad, I’m probably going to like anything with tuna and/or salmon. What made this roll special was the sheer size of it. Each bite was huge. Unless you come with a big appetite, you may be satisfied with just the one roll. How many rolls can you say this about? Honestly, the only complaint I have about my visit is based on sheer aesthetics: The Tiger Roll looked absolutely nothing like it was depicted on the menu. I expect this kind of visual bait-and-switch at a fast-food joint, but not at a well-respected Japanese restaurant known for its sushi. At the end of the day, though, the quality and flavor of the food and the quality of service are the most important determining factors for me in deciding which restaurants to come back to. All of these things were present at Edo. I have heard some very good things about it, but this was my first visit since the “Haru” became “Edo.” I’ll go back, and I’ll eat more sushi.
The Hokkaido Roll at Hokkaido
The skinny: The fish was good, and the roll had a great all-around texture. My only complaint was the asparagus. I’m not huge on asparagus unless it’s grilled. I can already hear the peanut gallery: “Why’d you order it if it features an ingredient you knew you wouldn’t like?!” Well, I don’t hate asparagus. It gives the roll a great crunch, but the flavor was more pronounced than I expected. Everything else about it was great, though, and there was nothing wrong with the asparagus; I’m just not a fan. And the roll was beautiful. Seriously, just look at it. This is a place that knows how to plate sushi.
Summer Roll – a Surprise Find at Hokkaido
The specs: The Summer Roll is spicy tuna, cucumber, mango, honey, all topped with tuna and salmon.
The skinny: Okay, to be honest, this one was a surprise. I had decided to write about the Hokkaido Roll, but I was hungry and I needed something else to fill me up. As it turned out, the Summer Roll was not only my favorite of the two, but a new favorite, in general. I picked it because it had a unique combination of flavors, and I was not disappointed. Sushi is a cuisine that can lend itself to homogenization if one isn’t careful; throw the same few fish in different rolls over and over again, and eventually you’re going to run out of combinations. This one stood out for its spicy-and-sweet flavor combination. And again, great job on the presentation, Hokkaido. I’ve been before and I’ll come back for more. And I’ll recommend this roll, specifically, whenever the conversation shifts to sushi.
What’s your favorite sushi roll in Jackson? Let us know in the comments below!