Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Kyushu Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar - VA Beach
I have not eaten at every sushi restaurant in town. Doing so is becoming an increasingly impossible feat as it appears that every new shopping strip now comes with a sushi restaurant. Fortunately, I don't really need to try anymore. I was introduced to be best one about 8 years ago. It is Kyushu. I love it for several reasons, but the number one reason is that they have the freshest, best tasting fish in town. Their fish is consistent every time you visit, lunch or dinner. Honestly, you can take away all the interior decorations, service, fancy food arrangements, prices, whatever. With the abundance of mediocrity available today for sushi the key determining factor must be the taste and quality of the fish. Kyushu simply nails it.
I dined there last Friday evening with my husband, who happens to be the person who introduced me to Kyushu. He's probably been eating there for well over a dozen years. Kyushu is in a shopping strip on Newtown Road, not the most fashionable address in Virginia Beach. In fact, the New York bus depot has moved in next door, taking the location down a notch or two in my opinion. However, I seriously doubt they would ever consider moving, nor would I really want them too. In today's world of constant change, where most possessions are disposal in value, it is somehow reassuring for me to know I can step away from Kyushu and come back a year later to find it exactly as I left it. The interior is about as fashionable as the location. There are basic tables and chairs which are very close together. No secrets from your neighbors while dining at Kyushu! The sushi bar is not just for decoration. On busy nights and at lunchtime the seats will be packed. This was a typical Friday night and it was jammed packed. We seemed to arrive at a good time, as most of the tables were turning over and we were seated right away.
The same people are always working there, from the servers to the sushi chef. Once you go there enough they get to know you, but regardless they greet everyone who enters and say "Thank you!" (kind of loudly) to everyone when they leave. Once seated your server will great you with a warm towel for a pre-dining refresher and take your drink orders. They have the basics, but no extensive beer or wine list. You can choose from a couple of Japanese beers, plum wine and Sake, in addition to the usual suspects of sodas, US beers, etc. Whenever we dine out for sushi I will order Sake. I love it and feel like it is the perfect complement to the food.
We ordered a la carte, mixing up sushi and sashimi with a California Roll, Volcano Roll and Mussels appetizer. If you are a mussel eater I strongly recommend that you try this broiled delight. I simply can't NOT get them. They are my favorite. These are mussels in an open faced shell, topped with a "secret" sauce and lightly broiled. You can watch these being cooked because the broiler is behind the sushi bar and up high, over the stove, right about at eye level. The plate comes to the table with the sauce still sizzling. I have also had their fried oysters and recommend these to fellow oyster eaters. They are cooked to perfection with a light tempura batter. All of the sushi and sashimi selections were delicious. The Volcano Roll was very tasty but also very rich. Most sushi is not what I would consider filling, so I warn you that this roll is heavy.
Service is always brisk. It is the kind of place where you have a primary waitress but everyone working there will wait on you. Although the restaurant is somewhat kid friendly, I believe Kyushu is better suited to older kids who may have a bit more self control and manners. My six year old is not quite ready in my opinion. There is a pretty decent chance that her volume and inability to sit still could hamper the dining experience of someone else, especially since the tables are so close together.
So leave your fancy pants and high heels at home, throw on your favorite jeans and head out to Kyushu for the best sushi in town. You will not be disappointed.
Kyushu Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
400 Newtown Rd
Virginia Beach, VA 23462-5619
Monday - Friday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Monday - Thursday 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday - Saturday 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm