Perhaps you have noticed that one of the things I miss most about being in the U.S. is the food. Most of the time I am relieved that I live in Al Ain instead of in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but not when talking about food. The restaurants in Al Ain are really nothing to write home about because living in Al Ain means living in the land of little food options.
So you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to review a sushi restaurant in Abu Dhabi. One doesn’t typically think of the UAE and sushi in the same thought, so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. Was it going to be worth the drive to Abu Dhabi? Was it going to be like the sushi in Portland? Would the fish be fresh?
My first step was to check out Sushi Central’s website. Already I was impressed. Places in the UAE are not known for having quality websites if they even have a website at all. But Sushi Central has a great website including a menu with pictures. The pictures were enough to leave me hungry and happy that I accepted the invitation.
When my friend and I arrived at the restaurant, it was fairly quiet. I expected more of a crowd for a Thursday night, but maybe with the quickly approaching start of Ramadan and summer break, people decided to stay home.
Our waitress, Donna, was very attentive without being suffocating as it can feel sometimes in an empty restaurant. She was great at making suggestions, pleasantly answered our questions, and offered to show us pictures of the menu from her iPad.
Then we moved on to the sushi rolls. We ordered a salmon avocado and cream cheese maki roll, a crispy-skinned salmon uramaki roll, and a California roll. The rolls were fantastic. They even had the spicy mayo for dipping sauce (which is one of my favorite parts of getting sushi). Everything tasted fresh and just as good as I would have had back home.
After the rolls, we continued on our delicious dining journey with chicken yakitori served with fried rice. The rice was moist without being greasy, and the chicken had a nice flavor especially when dipped in the teriyaki sauce.
At this point, we were both full and satisfied, but we decided to share a dessert anyways. We had the banana tempura with chocolate sauce. This was our least favorite part of the meal. It was good (clearly since we finished eating all of it), but not as good as the rest of the meal.
The staff was friendly, the restaurant was clean, the food was delicious. I will definitely be going back for another visit. My only wish was that they would open a second location right here in Al Ain.