Sushi is one of my favorite foods! I love all the rolls and sashimi and love myself a little wasabi soy combination! But what makes good sushi, and what makes a sushi restaurant stand out over another with the abundance all around as a must eat sushi spot?
I am outlining my favorite sushi restaurants (in no specific order) in the state of New Jersey! When I get my sushi itch, these restaurants stand out above the rest and for good reason!
Yumi- Sea Bright & Red Bank NJ
BYOB- Yumi is located on Ocean Ave and Broad St. It is small, unassuming, and ultra delicious! Walking in to Yumi is like walking in to a little restaurant off the street in Japan. It is dim and quaint, but serves up some mean sushi.
Get the “new” crispy spicy tuna roll. The tuna is fresh, the jalapenos add a nice kick, and the plate is beautiful to look at. Also recommended are the Mame-spider Roll which is soft shell crab, cucumber, and avocado as well as the Volcano Roll which is crabstick cucumber, avocado, and spicy tuna. Outside of sushi, the small plates of the beef teriyaki and the 12-hour pork belly are amazing! You can’t go wrong here. Find what you like and give it a whirl!
Aki- Bloomfield, NJ
BYOB- Sleek, quaint, and tidy, Aki delivers. The Sashimi Regular is a great entree that is light and delicious. The sashimi is super fresh and beautifully colored.
On this plate is 15 pieces of the chef’s choice. The Tiger Special and Chef Rolls are amazing; The Tiger Roll is spicy tuna, mango, avocado, tempura crunch inside, black, red, green caviar outside, while the Chef Roll is eel, crab tempura inside, salmon, white tuna, avocado, tempura crunch, caviar, outside. Other favorites are the Philadelphia Roll and Long Beach Roll. Awesome spot!
Xina- Toms River, NJ
BYOB- Xina is literally one of my favorite new spots. It is incredible. Located right before the bridge going in to Seaside, Xina is a restaurant that offers something for everyone! This menu overwhelms me in a good way because I want to eat everything on it, even outside of their delicious sushi. The Chilean Seabass roll is amazing and unique. I loved it so much, but watch out because each piece is a mouthful! The spicy tuna roll is simple, yet seriously the best basic spicy tuna roll I have ever had. It is just so fresh and tasty. Both of these rolls are pictured above on the cover photo for this article! The Treasure Island is an awesome appetizer consisting of salmon, tuna, and avocado.
Additionally the Crunchy Pepper Tuna appetizer is also awesome! Their entrees are amazing… outside of sushi, can I please recommend the fat noodles? Holy heaven! I just can’t explain how awesome this place is. I love how the owner came around to speak to everyone; he is so sweet and enthusiastic about the food. What care and perfection in to each savory dish!
Nikko’s Japanese Restaurant- Whippany, NJ
Full Bar- Nikko’s is a delight! Great place for business dinners that offers a full bar for everyone to drink something they like. Not only offering a full bar, but delicious sushi. Everything here feels authentic, even down to the kimonos that the staff wears! I love the Red Dragon Roll and the Mango Roll. Both are delicious! The Red Dragon Roll is eel and avocado on the inside with spicy tuna and caviar on top. I love rolls with mango after I tried it for the first time at a sushi place in Bridgewater, so naturally I enjoyed the Mango Roll which is spicy crunchy salmon with mango. Fresh and delicious! Love that Nikko’s offers Udon noodles on their menu too. Thier dinner entree menu is also robust; there is something for everyone!
Taka- Asbury Park, NJ
Full Bar- Eat your sushi in one of the hippest towns in the state! Taka offers an awesome atmosphere that you can get a little dressed up for, and also have the fun town of Asbury Park to cruise around in whether you want some after dinner bars or some coffee and dessert! For our appetizer, we got the crisp spicy tuna, which is pan-fried rice cake topped with spicy tuna and fresh jalapeno. Wow, very good! They were bite size too so they were easy to eat.
The taste was phenomenal. We also got the Red Dragon roll and the Jalapeno Shrimp roll, which consisted of steamed shrimp, pickled jalapeno, mango, and mint topped with salmon, wasabi mayo, and jalapeno masago. For those of you who don’t know, masago is just plainly roe (small fish eggs). I am not a huge fan of roe, but it did not bother me here at all. This roll was delicious and super fresh. The mint initially came off as a little perfume-like, but this roll was outstanding. There are so many good rolls here to choose from, and I am sure they’re all amazing. Entrée selection here is phenomenal as well; I had the Shrimp Curry which was tasty and not overpowering.
Koto Fusion Sushi and Poke- Long Branch, NJ
New to the Pier Village area, Koto is an unassuming gem that you must visit. The chef focuses on sourcing the best and most high quality ingredients Speaking of the talented sushi chef, he came from the well known 3 star Michelin restaurant Masa. If that doesn’t speak volumes to you, then you do not know sushi! Pictured here is the fantastic artwork of the New Jersey roll. Simply gorgeous. Bring your favorite wine and head on over to a sushi dream in Pier Village!
Well, there you have it! Comment below with YOUR favorite sushi spots in the state! Enjoy!