Sushi restaurants typically fall into one of two categories: a bare-bones hole in the wall that serves fish so fresh it’s practically moving when it gets to your table, or an uber-chic, “oh, by the way, they serve sushi, too” dining spot that seems to have “gone fishing” when it comes to the food. Shumi, a just-opened Sushi and Japanese Restaurant in Ridgewood NJ, looks like it might have found the secret to giving raw-fish fans the best of both.
We popped in on a recent Friday night and loved what Chefs Kunihiko Aikasa (also the owner) and David Seo (whose resume includes gigs at Nobu and Sushi Samba in NYC) had rolled out for their new venture. The dining room is on the small side (aka reservations are strongly recommended), but the place literally lights up, thanks to an illuminated, sleek, L-shaped sushi bar where the master sushi chefs’ skills are always on display.
After placing our order with our friendly server, it wasn’t long before we were scarfing down our starters: super-fresh, translucent Fluke Usukuri ($13) and an order of sweet Shrimp Shumai ($8). Next, it was on to the entrees: a sampler of sushi rolls, brought out one at a time and each more inventive than the next. Standouts included the six-piece Shrimp Crunch ($13), which consisted of a Shrimp Rice Ball torched with Japanese Mayo and finished with an eel sauce, and the namesake Shumi Roll ($18): tuna rolled up in a caramelized spicy mayo, eel sauce, ebi, scallion, and crunchies. In a word, BEYOND!
Not a sushi lover? No problem. Shumi’s menu is chock full of other Japanese favorites, including tempuras, teriyakis, and piping-hot bowls of specialty ramen. We sampled Shumi’s signature flavor ($12), and it definitely delivered, with a generous portion (the small order was easily enough for two) of spirally noodles steeped in a miso broth.
Definitely something to look forward to come fall.
Shumi 70 E Ridgewood Ave, Ridgewood (201) 345-0808 Open Daily: 11:30am – 9:30pm B.Y.O.B. (or sake, naturally)