Food Porn: Tokyo Shanghai Bistro

Just a short time ago Tokyo Shanghai Bistro opened their doors on Elmwood Ave (near Toro) and I was fairly skeptical.  They offer an interesting mix of Japanese and Chinese and Sushi.  In my experience, a Chinese buffet with sushi is never a good idea, but walking into Toyko Shanghai I instantly knew this was nothing like our trip to Blasdell’s Mongolian Buffet.  At Tokyo Shanghai Bistro the buffet seemed to be secondary to the option of ordering dishes at your table (similar to West Seneca’s Chang Garden aka “fancy Chinese food”)

After scouting their menu online, I decided to try out their sushi.  It has been a long time since I last ate sushi, and from looking at their extensive menu of Sashimi and Rolls I decided to satisfy that craving.

My co worker and I both ordered Lunch Sushi specials which is a really good deal.  For less then $9 you get to pick two sushi rolls (one from column A and one from B…. each had different options…B was a much better column in my opinion) and were served a bowl of Miso soup (above) and their house salad (far above).  The salad was alright; I still am not a fan of the Miso Carrat salad dressing and my experience with Miso soup was fairly dull.  They both were decent (the fact that they were “free” was a huge plus) but I they really aren’t my thing.

For an appetizer, my coworker and I tried out their Crab Rangoons (or “Fried Wontons”) which are maybe #1 right now on my “Guilty Pleasure Food List”.  There is absolutely nothing authentic about the dish, but the combination of imitation crab meat, cream cheese and fried wontons is fantastic (not to mention the sweet and sour dipping sauce was delicious).  Bistro’s offering of this dish would definitely be in my top 5.

Salmon Roll (left) and Spicy Tuna Roll (right)

Eel Roll (left) and Tuna Roll (right)

I know I am still a nOOb when it comes to sushi so bear with me.  This is maybe my 4th “real” experience with sushi but I can already tell you that it wasn’t up to par with Wasabi, Fuji Grill, or Sea Bar.  To me the only differentiating factor with sushi is the quality of the fish (in my opinion rice and seaweed don’t really have a wide spectrum of taste).  The texture of the spicy tuna was a little off (a tad mushy) and the taste wasn’t anything special (seemed heavy on the cucumber, low on the tuna).  The Salmon roll was actually pretty good but didn’t blow me away or anything.

In retrospect I wish I had tried the Sashimi and properly tasted the quality of their fish since their rolls didn’t do much to wow me.  While I would definitely need another trip to Tokyo Shanghai Bistro to give it a fair assessment in terms of their sushi quality, I probably won’t be in a rush to get there.  The location is nice and the prices for lunch are awesome (and quite reasonable for dinner).  The inside looks fantastic and we had no problems with service (although the dilemma of where/who to pay came up…do we pay at our seats or the counter?).  But if you are looking for really quality sushi and especially in the immediate area, you can check out Wasabi or Kuni’s (or so I’ve heard with Kuni’s; I have yet to try it).

Tokyo Shanghai Bistro on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “Food Porn: Tokyo Shanghai Bistro

  1. Adam Pfleegor

    I agree 100 percent with the Kunnis comment. I have been a few times, one of my favorite places to stop in. Next time hopefully I will remember my camera for a little write up. But Kunnis is fresh with a wide selection. I would highly suggest giving it a try.

  2. Are you kidding me? I hope this restaurant closes soon, the food is subpar for being called a bistro.. Tokyo/shanghai/bistro? that’s like three different nationalities wrapped into one moniker that means “meh food.” I went on their grand opening week, excited for a sit down Chinese restaurant that was at least one step up from take away Chinese. I ordered certain qualifying dishes, much like you did, and found everything to be under-flavored, overcooked, and hastily plated. The sushi is downright awful… you can pick up much better at Wegmans, and if you want good sushi, don’t go anywhere else but Kuni’s on the Elmwood area.

    and for the respect.. its “Kuni’s”

    • Don Burtless

      very true, anytime a place tries to do too much everything usually fails. and my bad on Kuni, I have several friends who swear by it and it’s near the top of my “Must Try in 2010″ list.

  3. Jay

    Take the time to go to Kuni’s. It’s hands down the best sushi in Buffalo proper, maybe the best in Buffalo/surrounding. It’s good.

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