Sherman's Food Adventures: Satomi Sushi

Satomi Sushi

Naturally, when in the The Bay Area, there are many options for eats.  Staying within the East Bay has certain limitations, but we weren't interested in driving out to the city this time around.  We were mainly here to visit family and staying in Fremont was our plan.  So when we were deciding where to go for Japanese, everyone agreed on Satomi Sushi out on Thornton Ave.  Expectations were tempered as they all stated that it can't compare with San Francisco, but it is definitely solid for Fremont.  We were okay with that and made our merry way over.

We went a little aggressive with the menu and kicked things off with the Melting Albacore Tuna consisting of imitation crab meat topped with a thick slice of albacore tuna, flying fish roe and green onion.   Resting on a bed of shredded daikon, it appeared the tuna was drizzled with a soy vinaigrette of some sort.  The result was a fairly mild-tasting concoction with the butteriness of tuna on top of imitation crab (not sure why they advertised it as snow crab though).  Next up, we had the Tempura Combination consisting of ebi, sweet potato, golden squash, green bean, broccoli and carrot.  The batter was crunchy and fairly thin, but pretty greasy at the bottom of the pile.  They needed to drain the oil better before serving.

Off to a couple of rolls, we had the Gangsta Roll consisting of hamachi and cucumber on the inside with salmon and fresh water eel on the outside.  We picked this one since it was one of the few that did not feature a California roll as the base.  As such, there was more brightness and the taste of the sea from the hamachi and salmon.  Since the eel was only on alternating pieces, we couldn't get the taste of every ingredient together much.  Unique and impressive-looking, the Victoria Secret Roll sported spicy tuna and cucumber with deep fried sea bass and spicy scallop on top.  Predictably, the roll had more impact due to the spice, but it wasn't over the top.  The fried bass on top added a very light crunch and body while the buttery scallops added another layer of texture.

Now those rolls were good, but nothing compared to the Greg Roll.  It was a monstrosity where the base roll was an oversized California roll topped with a ridiculous amount of wakame mixed with various chunks of sashimi.  One person would have a hard time finishing this.  As big as this was, it wasn't a complicated creation.  In fact, it was pretty darn simple.  As such, think of it as a large Cali roll with the crunch from the wakame and tangy sesame flavor that goes with it.  At first, we were planning to put in 2 orders of the Gyoza, but upon realizing it was fried, we only got one.  Reason being is that we aren't huge fans of the fried version.  With that being said, these were fine with a crunchy exterior giving way to moist tender pork and cabbage.  Loved that they supplied us with enough sweet vinegary soy dip to dunk them into.

Since everyone wanted raw fish, we got the $60.00 Chef's Sashimi that sported 50 pieces.  It included bonito, salmon, hamachi, albacore tuna, bluefin tuna, striped sea bass and escolar.   Beyond the portion size and good value of the plate, the fish was actually quite good.  As evidenced in the picture, there was a nice sheen and good color.  There was a escolar on the plate and my personal preference would to have something else, but it is okay to be eaten in small quantities.  I particularly liked the hamachi as it buttery and sweet.  It didn't end there as we also got a selection of Nigiri with tamago, unagi, hotate, salmon, hamachi and striped sea bass.  Again, the fish quality was good and everything ate well.  The rice was a little on the drier side but was chewy.

For our cooked items, we got the Chicken Teriyaki and Tonkatsu.  Wow, these were very large in portion size.  If we had known, we wouldn't have ordered both of them.  Unlike the version where the chicken is fried then topped with sweet thick sauce, this was fried up where it was marinated and placed on a hot cast iron plate.  Hence, it ate drier and less sweet.  As for the tonkatsu, it was crunchy while sufficiently tender inside despite being lean.  We loved how they supplied us with plenty of tonkatsu sauce on the side.  So as mentioned in the intro, my expectations were not very high considering Satomi is essentially a neighbourhood sushi joint.  However, it not only succeeds in that respect, I believe that the food is even a notch above that while providing good value at the same time.

The Good:
- Well-priced
- Solid eats
- Friendly service

The Bad:
- Gets quite busy and finding a table is difficult
- Still not too sure about the escolar


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