Feeling peckish at work, I sent out a Facebook message with a simple theory: A new sushi house in Little Italy + hungry bloggers = one great reason to get off the internet.
At first glance, the menu here is pretty diverse, slightly expensive (in some areas) and includes a couple distracting spelling errors like, "Japenese".
We laughed, we cried, we ordered... then we braced ourselves as the waiter informed us that they had a "massive amount" of roll orders and so ours might take a while.
First up, some surprise house appetizers: Miso soup, edamame beans and glass noodles.
All three were pretty standard and a good lead in to our ordered apps like Gyoza ($4.95) and Tempura ($5.95). The tempura being especially nice, with very light and flakey batter.
As we waited for sushi and other dishes, the waiter arrives again with more glass noodles.
Waiter "Did I bring you noodles yet?"
Me: "Yes, we had some. Thank you."
Waiter "Oh, okay. Sushi will be here soon." (leaves)
Rannie: "Noodles. A diversion tactic."
Expecting the worst, we kicked back with our tea, but thankfully the rest of the food arrived in decent time.
Pictured at the top, Stephanie's Dynamite Roll ($5.95) and Veggie Maki ($3.95) are first on the scene. Dynamite (with real crab meat!) looks and tastes great. It's one of the best she's had in town.
We're joined shortly by Salmon Maki ($3.95) and an Unagi Handroll ($4.95) for Rannie and Sameer.
All dig in and approve. Sameer loves the handroll and Rannie is being held over by good salmon but still awaiting his bigger order.
Non-sushi arrives: Brilliantly colourful Yaki Udon (beef, veg, noodles, $10.95) for me and steaming Oyako Don (grilled chicken & egg on rice, $9.95) for Sameer.
A thumbs up from him and he enjoys his Don, but my dish is clearly the prettier sibling. Lots of chopped vegetables and thin strips of beef make it as vibrant as it is tasty. It appears on the "Light Courses" menu, but is generous enough to serve as a great full meal. I wound up donating noodles to the others as I was already near full on appetizers.
A while later, the house speciality finally arrives. Haru Sushi ($13.95), Rannie's big finale, turns out to be worth the wait.
While perhaps it's nothing groundbreaking, the sashimi is beautiful, fresh and flavourful (which is impressive considering we've been there nearly two hours already).
It comes along with another surprise dish as well. This time, deep fried squid legs. Whether this is standard or just a token to say, "thanks for waiting," it was welcome and delicious as well.
We sit around chatting with no sign of the staff nor the bill - which can be good or bad depending on your company. We enjoyed chatting and spending some time away from work, but if you're alone, well, you might consider bringing a book.