IMG_0044The shrimp tempura roll was a standout, but the new-to-us peanut avocado roll (right) was missing a note at the sushi counter. Or is it a bar? (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)


IMG_0039PieHole and frequent lunch companion Brian McCourt rolled down River Road into Fair Haven to give Sansu Japanese Steakhouse a try for lunch. At 12:45, there was plenty of parking in the adjacent lot.

Last week, we singled out Edie’s Luncheonette in Little Silver because it had a lunch counter, one of the few in the area. McCourt took umbrage at my reference to the sushi bar as a counter and insisted it’s a bar, not a counter. In any case, that’s where we sat and ordered up some green teas while perusing the menu.

Sansu has a creative and distinct array of house rolls, from the Summer Breeze (mango, cucumber, shrimp and crab in rice paper) to the RFH Bulldog (fried tuna and white fish with spicy mayo, eel and miso sauce). Unfortunately for us noontime diners, none of the house specialty rolls are on the lunch special menu.

Lunch specials range from $10 to $12 and come with a salad or bowl of miso soup. We both opted for the 3 Maki Combo ($11.95).

Between us we had the shrimp tempura, two spicy tuna rolls (one a hand roll), salmon avocado and spicy crab rolls. We also ordered up the peanut avocado roll simply to try something we’d never tried.

We watched to rolls being made and plated and then re-plated after a slight mixup. Both starving, we sampled the array of rolls. The shrimp tempura was a standout. McCourt noted that the key to good shrimp tempura rolls is a still-crispy and warm fried shrimp while the exterior rice stays cool, and Sansu’s shrimp tempura roll delivered.

The tuna and crab rolls satisfied, and the wildcard in our order, the peanut avocado roll was interesting but not something we’d likely try again. It tasted exactly like you’d expect peanuts and avocado to taste together: the satisfying crunch of the peanuts with the creamy avocado needed one more element, perhaps something a bit sweet added to the mix.

Sushi is personal. One of us mixes wasabi into his soy and sits at a sushi bar, the other sits at a sushi counter and keeps our wasabi separate from the soy sauce. What about you PieHole readers, what are your sushi practices?