Samurai sushi isn’t super savory

John Greer

Among a crowd of Japanese restaurants in Bowling Green, Samurai Hibachi and Sushi does little to differentiate itself from the sushi-serving pack. 

The fried calamari marked an inauspicious start. The texture hit the mark. The fried coating was crispy and the squid had an appealing chewiness. The flavor, however, was nonexistent. Its aftertaste resembled the flavor of the batter more than anything else. The dark, sweet dipping sauce substituted one problem for another. It overcame the unappealing aftertaste, but it left each bite tasting cloyingly sweet. 

Samurai does not offer any simple or ordinary rolls like spicy tuna or salmon. Instead, it opts for more rich and extravagant choices. The menu is full of all manner of rolls offering extensive combinations of different fish and sauces. Some even come fried. 

The Ginja roll came stocked with a bevy of ingredients. Generous slabs of tuna and salmon were draped upon a roll filled with crab and eel. Oranges and reds mingled with browns and yellows to form a visually striking and appetizing meal. While the sushi did not taste as bright or potent as the visuals would suggest, the flavor of the fish exuded a pleasant, clean fattiness. Spicy mayo and eel sauce contributed sweet and spicy notes. The sweetness of the eel sauce was overpowering, but a dab of wasabi and soy sauce sufficiently balanced it out.   

The “Tom and Jerry” roll was similarly striking in appearance. Spicy tuna, crab and avocado enveloped a roll filled with more spicy tuna and crab. The combination proved spicy without becoming overpowering. For the amount of fish packed into the sushi, the flavor was pretty subtle. 

Samurai’s sushi was not bad, but for all the ingredients loaded in and on top of its sushi, the end result was a little disappointing.