Sushi on Chapel, New Haven, CT – Restaurant review

A few days ago, my brother and I went to a Japanese restaurant, Sushi on Chapel, with the purpose of having Korean food. This was as close as one gets to Korean food in the Yale area.

The location of the restaurant is not bad. Not too far away from Yale, on Chapel Street (One of Yale’s few high streets). It is located in the ‘underground’. The interior of the restaurant is pretty neat, on the surface it looks pretty high-class. Dimly lit with very little windows.

(Note to self: next time will take more photos of the restaurant with my crap phone, or maybe finally get a professional blogger camera)

The restaurant, which sells a variety of Japanese dishes such as miso soup, donburi, but mostly sushi and sashimi, also has a small menu section for Korean. Apparently, the restaurant owners are Korean.

We didn’t order much: Bulgogi set, spicy fish salad, house salad, and uni sashimi. That all surprisingly came to $40+ including tax!

Here are images of the food:

Spicy fish salad
Spicy fish salad

Spicy Fish Salad (taste review): they used a Korean sweet red chili paste for the dressing. I think they used some kind of tuna fish for the sashimi, and some other kind of lean white fish. They were surprisingly generous with the fish, but not with the salad – hence making the salad too sweet. When asked for more salad, the waitress made us make another order for house salad which cost $4. Not impressed.

Although I loved the ginger salad dressing popular in the Asian restaurants here in the US.

Over all, the sashimi was fresh, the sauce was tasty, and the price was only ~ $12 (or perhaps less?). Pretty good for the amount of sashimi given.

Uni sashimi
Uni sashimi (two pieces placed prettily in half a lemon)

Uni (sea urchin) sashimi (taste review): I didn’t order the sushi version because I was greedy, and their policy was you get two pieces of seafood with sashimi, and only one with sushi. I’ve been craving uni or scallop sashimi ever since I’ve come back from Thailand. $5. Totally fishy. I’m not an uni connoisseur, but I have eaten enough fresh seafood/sashimi to know what is fresh and not.

Addition of lemon/soy sauce/wasabi/pickled ginger was a must with this dish. 

If you are an uni fan, you may be disappointed.

Tip – Squeeze the lemon bowl so the juice comes out and mix with the uni. And is also fun to do.

I stupidly didn’t take any photo of the beef bulgogi set my brother ordered. So here is a google image to give you the picture:

bulgogi
www.trifood.com

It definitely didn’t look like this. The beef was dry and thinly sliced (hence dry), and there were mostly vegetables. Nearly $20 (forgot the exact price) for about 3/4 cup of dried beef, mounds of veggies (carrots, onions, and some peppers?), a bowl of purple (50/50 white) rice, and house salad with ginger dressing. This was definitely an overpriced but heart healthy dish.

I wouldn’t recommend this dish (although the seasoning was pretty good).

Conclusion: 

Positives – Healthy = they mostly served purple rice in their sushi rolls, rice bowls, etc.

– Tasty = tasty food that is mostly tasty because of the store-bought sauces

– Fresh = fresh veggies, and fresh cheap sashimi fish.

– Affordable = only some of the menus.

– Atmosphere = pretty lively with lots of college kids filling the tables.

Negatives – Minimalistic space = the tables are super small, especially for two, which takes away from an enjoyable dining experience.

–  Mediocre service = the waitress who was serving us wasn’t very friendly. And made us pay for another order of house salad instead of adding a few leaves to our leafless fish salad.

All in all, this restaurant is not bad for eating sushi – the sushi rolls looked colorful, healthy, and delicious (don’t know about the price though). Personally would not recommend the Korean dishes. Well, it is a Japanese restaurant after all.

– Izzy