After getting tired of the same ol' sushi (a highly unlikely thing to say I know but when you used to work at a sushi restaurant, you eat alot of it!), we recently tried out the Sushi Nami Royale Dartmouth Crossing location. Since it was late afternoon, the restaurant (which was quite modern in design and included two adjoining teppanyaki tables) was quiet yet inviting. Perfect for another split shift lunch.
To start, we ordered the honey avocado salad and sushi appetizer to share. The salad, to our surprise, was not a simple bowl of iceberg lettuce but rather a mix of iceberg and romaine lettuce with shredded carrot, red pepper, cucumber, and edame (soy beans). The salad dressing, while a touch too sweet, consisted, it seemed, solely of avocado and honey so that both flavours were fully represented. At only 45 cents more than the house salad at another popular sushi restaurant, this salad was bigger, more nutritious, and a whole world more delicious. The sushi appetizer which included one piece each of salmon, tuna, snapper and shrimp nigiri as well as a three piece California roll was both fresh and delicious.
As a main we ordered three rolls to share: the Vegetable Dragon Roll, the Rock n' Roll, and the Mini Kamikaze. The Vegetable Dragon Roll, pictured on the left, was simply amazing! Essentially it's a sweet potato tempura roll covered in inari (sweet tofu), avocado, and grilled vegetables. What a wonderfully delicious, and beautifully constructed, take on the sweet potato roll. Now this is something vegetarians can get excited about! The Rock n' Roll, pictured on the right and at the very top of the page, was a roll with deep fried rock lobster and cucumber all wrapped in avocado then topped with tobikko (roe) and crispy fried onions, garlic, and ginger. WOW! While the lobster was a little tough in some bites, the flavour and texture of the fried ginger, garlic and onions took this roll to a whole new level! And look at it, it's art!! The last roll, the Mini Kamikaze, was a deep fried roll of snapper, tuna, salmon, avocado, cream cheese, and jalapeno served with spicy sauce. While the roll was warm and tasty, it was hard to distinguish the flavours from one another since the entire roll was deep fried. Also, in addition to the spicy sauce (mayo based I assume) there was another darker sauce served with the roll. Excited that this may be unagi (eel) sauce (ok, that may sound disgusting but it's actually a sweet soy sauce that's perfect with any kind of sushi), I dug right in. To my surprise, the sauce was not in fact eel sauce but rather had a sort of molasses flavour that did not compliment the other flavours in the roll at all. So, while the Mini Kamikaze was yummy, the sauce made it a little strange but not so much so that we weren't able to finish every single piece!
Sushi in Halifax will always seem expensive to me (especially after living in Montreal where there is incredible all-you-can-eat sushi for 20 bucks!) but Sushi Nami Royale was worth every penny. It was fresh, exciting, and delicious. With a huge menu of interesting appetizers and a long list of fusion maki as well as cheaper 'tsu-nami hours' (because my sushi discount is sadly no more), you bet we'll be back soon. Perhaps even 'a guide to sushi' is in order....