Food Porn: Wasabi (Hamburg)

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For about 4 and a half years I worked at the Circuit City located in the McKinley Mall “plaza”, and for those years my lunch options consisted of a Wendy’s, Mall food, a Burger King and a few pizzerias.  A diverse and ethnic selection it was not. Eventually a Panera’s moved near and in comparison it seemed like a 4 star restaurant.  Of course after I quit working at Circuit City (and they filed bankruptcy) a new Japanese explosion happened in Blasdell, NY (of all places).

In the last year there have been 3 new Japanese additions to Blasdell/McKinley Mall area.  Wasabi was the first, which got me very excited because their Elmwood location is known as being one of the best Sushi restaurants in Buffalo.  Then the completion of Fuji Grill 2 (which took roughly 6 years) was finished.  They also serve “Hibachi” (Teppanyaki) style meals, where a chef cooks your meal right in front of you while throwing around food/fire/knives.  And most recently, Mongolian Buffet is preparing to open where the now defunct chain Roadhouse was located; they also will be serving sushi and hibachi.

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So, this was my second time experiencing Sushi.  My first time I had forgotten to try some Sake'; so when Mike and I sat down for our meal, my eyes went directly to the Sake selection.  We ended up with some Nigori Sake ($9 ) which is unfiltered (giving it that cloudy appearance) and Mike enjoyed it while I was reminded why I don’t drink liquor.  In all fairness, I didn’t think it was going to be as strong as it was (which probably was light in comparison to other Sake) and I can’t drink any liquor since I’ve become a beer only guy.  However, it actually did have a sweet taste to it, and if you’re a person who likes to drink hard liquor, this is probably something you wouldn’t have an issue with.  If you like beer, they do have some Sapporo (served in there futuristic silver cans) that is delicious and might remind some of Molson.

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After going through their menu for a couple minutes, Mike was excited about seeing Toro on the menu.  Now, I don’t know that much about Sushi yet, but when something has “Market Price” next to the name that generally means it’s going to be expensive and good (turns out that it was $6 a piece).  For those who aren’t familiar, Toro is a prime cut of Tuna.  Located in the belly, the fish is generally a good meaty section along with being very fatty, combining in a buttery like texture when you eat it.  It was delicious, the texture of the fish was smooth and compared to the other tuna I ate later on, it was like eating a completely different fish.

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For the main course, I had a chef’s selection of 15 pieces of sushi (I chose the sushi wrap instead of the sashimi).  Basically the chef picked up what he wanted (which was cool because we sat right at the bar and got to watch).  All of the pieces were fresh and fantastic.  The shrimp was fantastic and the pieces of Salmon and Tuna were quality meaty cuts that weren’t stringy at all.  What stood out, though, was the crunch tuna wraps, they were amazing.  The crunch tuna almost tasted like fried noodles and I would recommend to anyone who is trying sushi for the first time.

Like my previous sushi experience, I had a really good meal and left feeling very satisfied.  However, I still feel that Sushi is a great appetizer and not so much a great meal because about 2 hours later I was starving and was ready to eat a half pound burger.  But if you live in the southtowns I highly recommend you try out Wasabi or one of the other new Asian options.  Sushi can be intimidating but they have some great entry level meals as well as great non-sushi options (noodle dishes/soups/teryiaki’s) that you can fall back on.  The Hibachi options are all grilled (no raw fish) and usually you get a great show.  So go out there and pass up the TGI Fridays or Applebee’s and try some Asian thats not in buffet form.

Wasabi-Hamburg on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Food Porn: Wasabi (Hamburg)

  1. “Wendy’s, Mall food, a Burger King and a few pizzerias.” ha, i remember we used to go to BK on campus almost weekly as freshmen.

    you’re sounding like an expert now on sushi/fish with only your second try of having it.

    does sushi fill you up? oh nm… “However, I still feel that Sushi is a great appetizer and not so much a great meal because about 2 hours later I was starving and was ready to eat a half pound burger.”

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