Shrimp Twice Not So Nice?

Oriental Spoon - Asian, Sushi (3 Stars)

It was Friday and we were hungry. The usual "What do you want for lunch" conversation started between the few of us brave enough to drive into the office on an unusually sunny Friday in Bellevue. As it turns out, there's a "mainly sushi" place in Factoria I had yet to try and Rob kept saying, "It's pretty good, man. Really!" So off we went to Oriental Spoon.

The inside is like a quintessential Japanese cafe, complete with the red, black, and white decor you'd expect to find from a place trying to be "Japanese". The menus are printed on the wall with
large pictures and adequate descriptions of what you'll find on each rice, noodle, salad, or sushi roll plate. Prices are actually higher than you'd expect ($8-$10 per roll), but the rolls in particular are quite large and have eight pieces each instead of the usual four or six you find elsewhere. You also receive a bowl of Miso Soup and they are currently offering a 10% off their regular menu price so you'll save a buck or two.

As we waited for our sushi rolls to arrive, we received med
ium-sized bowls of Miso Soup. The soup was slightly salty, a bit sweet, and actually good. In most cases, Miso soup tends to have chunks of tofu bobbing around with carrots or other veggies, but this bowl just contained the broth and some scallions. The portion is generous and I only ate about half of so I'd be sure to have room left to sample the rolls.

The first roll to arrive was the
Fantasia. Inside was shredded cream cheese crab with slices of avocado and cucumber. Small shrimp top the roll along with a rather sweet sauce. Both Rob and I ordered this roll and we thought it was "okay". When I asked if he could really taste the shrimp, Rob said, "Kind of" but ultimately we decided, "Well, the sauce is sweet". The sauce is actually a bit overpowering and the sushi roll filling acts more as a change of texture than it does offer distinct flavor.

Shrimp Twice roll used the common crab, avocado, and cucumber innards along with tempura shrimp inside and thin slices of shrimp on top of the roll. The cream cheese shredded crab inside was actually almost as strong a flavor as the "twice" shrimp, which left me thinking it would have been tough to taste the difference between this roll and a California Roll. When paying about $1 per bite of roll, I was hoping it would have melted in my mouth, but really just turned out to be about as average as expected.

Rob and I both thought the Crispy Hot roll was the best of the three. It also uses the shredded crab and cream cheese along with slices of avocado and cucumber, but includes large shrimp inside the roll. The "hot" comes from spicy, delicious tuna and the "crispy" comes from tempura flakes. This roll easily had the most flavor of the three and the spice and crispy certainly made it more interesting and flavorful than the other two rolls. Rob did mention that the spice caught up with him a bit, so if you're meek on spices you may want to pass on this roll.

Overall, Rob's takeaway comment was, "Well, it's certainly better sushi than you'd expect to find from a place like this in Factoria". The service is very quick and it is nice to be able to add some variety to the usual sandwich, Mexican, and Thai lunch cuisine.

Oriental Spoon on Urbanspoon


alice said...

Rob's comment is interesting considering you could drive 5 minutes into the main part of Bellevue and get much better sushi. Nice review.

Jared K. Wengert said...

In all fairness, Tokyo Japanese Restaurant is in the same Loehmann's Plaza in Factoria and does have better sushi. I just haven't been there in ages. :)

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