Local Spotlight

Uni Sushi: A Taste of Japan, and a First Taste of Raw Fish

Nestled between a movie theater and a boutique in The Woodlands Market Street lies a little piece of Japanese cuisine. Uni Sushi offers a great variety of sushi for all palates.

Up until my visit to Uni, my experience never wavered from crab with cream cheese, avocado and cucumber -- sometimes I would add some wasabi to spice things up. So, my first trip to Uni Sushi was a first for adventurous, sushi-eating for me.

The outdoor seating facing the Central Park at Market Street gives the restaurant a relaxing and casual atmosphere that is fitting for the shopping center. Upon walking inside, the modern, trendy decor makes you feel like you've stepped into an upscale New York restaurant. The walls are decorated with ruffled curtains, the ceilings are adorned with contemporary chandeliers, and the oval-shaped bar is inviting for happy hour cocktails or an evening out with friends. It's cool and chic, with the food to match.

The menu is filled with interesting, intriguing items. Other than an array of wonderful sushi roll concoctions, Uni has a menu filled with hot and cold appetizers, soups and salads, and entrees for the sushi-fearing crowd. From avocado miso soup and seaweed salad to rib-eye beef rolls and firecracker chicken, this menu has something for everyone. I will be back to try more of the dishes here.

My friend and I decided to split a hot appetizer -- the baked avocado. Now, this doesn't exactly sound like a common appetizer you would find in a Japanese sushi restaurant, but it should be.

The avocado is halved and baked with a giant mound of shredded crab and shrimp and a bright-orange spicy Japanese mayonnaise. Underneath the crispy, yet smooth, pile of shrimp and crab, the avocado was creamy and luscious, staying true to the avocado flavor. The spiciness and bold flavors from the crab and shrimp gave the avocado the perfect kick without taking away too much from the fresh avocado.

Deciding on the appetizer was a lot easier than choosing a sushi roll. Like I said, I have never had nigiri sushi or sashimi -- I've always been a little nervous to have raw fish. It's one of those texture things I just can't get over. But I ventured out of my comfort zone because the menu is full of exciting and intriguing sushi rolls. I decided to try a sushi roll topped with a raw piece of fish. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.

All of the specialty rolls have appealing, sometimes funny, names -- Watch Your Butt, U & I and Beef Fajita. I chose the Scuba Diver Roll, mainly because it came with soft shell crab and avocado (two of my favorites), but the tuna and salmon pieces on top of the rolls made the roll.

I didn't know what to expect from the raw fish, but I was surprised and pleased. I expected it to be slimy and well, raw, but it didn't taste that way. In fact, I quite enjoyed the taste. It was slightly chewy, but very smooth. An added bonus is that it holds the sushi rolls together more, like a ribbon on top of a beautiful package.

I also appreciated that the entire set of rolls was not the same. It becomes tiring eating the same thing over and over and over again, but out of the eight rolls, four had salmon, two had tuna and two had avocado on top.

This won't be the last time I come to Uni Sushi. After a few baby steps, I think I'll have the courage to try sashimi, but for now, I have at least 16 more specialty rolls to try, and I plan to do so.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn