It isn’t hard to find sushi places anymore, but it is hard to find one that has good food, friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices. Kenko Sushi has all of that, and no lame mid 1980s music. The decor is actually cool, they have have Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and photos of France on the wall. This does not scream Japanese, but it does appeal to an international culture rather than a regional one.
They bring hot tea. Good on a very cold New Year’s Eve night. Its flavored with passion fruit and something else, but it is not your typical dry semi-bitter Japanese tea. This is light, flavorful and quite delicious. I had brought some cold sake that I had bought some time ago, but I am really enjoying this tea a lot more than the sake.
The menu is quite extensive, and its all interesting. My friend got the salad which he said was really good, and I opted for the miso soup since I needed something to warm me up. I love my shumai and gyoza. You know, something fried, something steamed. This was fine, not terribly flavorful, but it was just the starters.
So now its on to the main dishes. My friend is not too adventurous when it comes to international flavors. In fact, I am surprised he even wanted to go out for sushi, so its always interesting to me to visit a place that appeals to a “civilian diner” that thinks an ethnic place is good. And, true to its form., the food is good, but its nothing too extreme for moderate palates.
So out come the “specialty” rolls. As you can see the plating is perfection. However, I like my wasabi and ginger, I wish there was a bit more on the plate. But that is fine, we dig in. One roll was called a Volcano Roll because it was especially spicy and the tuna was chopped up fine and in the form of a volcano with the “fire” being the roe on top. It was good, and soon the heat of the spicy tuna started to creep up on my lips and tongue. The portion is generous by sushi restaurant standards.
But I am really hungry and I have not eaten anything all day and I know I have a full night of drinking on the way since it is New Years Eve. So we order another roll and some sushi Al La Carte.
They were out of red snapper so I got the scallop and mackerel which you see above. I can’t say for sure, but the scallop was either very rare or even raw. I did not get sick, so I assume it was fine, but it was a bit too smooth, not to say slimey, but not what I was expecting. The mackerel was fresh, not smoked or pungent like I am used to having. No complaints, just very different than what I expected.
The Blue Hill roll was spicy tuna, teriyaki and something crunchy. At this point from all the spicy tuna, my tastebuds are getting burnt out, but its all delicious.
We ate quite a bit and with the tip (which was more than 20% because it was New Years Eve) only came to $50. Its hard to go wrong here. Don’t expect the Japanese dining experience of a lifetime, but you will eat well, dine fine and have a very pleasant experience at a very reasonable price.
KENKO SUSHI kenkosushinj.com
200 Main Street, Lincoln Park NJ
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