Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Macku Sushi

I'll admit, I never went to Kaze sushi in Roscoe Village though I had heard of it before closing. Lucky for me the family business didn't end, it just moved. This time the brother of Kaze has the name on the door, Macku Sushi. I knew this wasn't your ordinary local sushi joint, but I was presently surprised with the menu offerings and execution of this upscale Japanese establishment. Ironically enough of all the different plates Erica, Alyssa and I tried, the sushi was the least impressive. Everything else from the soup to the dessert was very tasty and noteworthy for the presentation and overall quality. I might go back for some special sushi, but more likely return to try the entrees I missed this time around. Whatever you choose though Macku is no secret, and the limited tables could make getting a reservation tricky. I wasn't the only person who wanted to see what the other half of that family could produce.

As for what we ate, we started with my favorite Japanese starter, gomae. This wasn't any ordinary gomae, as it was served with a fried banana and sweet potato crisps. While I prefer my gomae simple and served chilled with sesame peanut sauce, I do take some blame for not reading the menu closer and reading the fine print. It's not what I expected, but I appreciate the varying textures and combination of flavors from the spinach, sweet bananas and crispy sweet potatoes. The presentation, like everything else served, caught my attention.

Our server also informed us of the specials that evening, including an asparagus puree soup that sounded too good to pass up. I am glad we didn't, as the soup was by far Erica's favorite dish of the night, and it could have been mine as well. As with everything else, the presentation was top notch with flavors to match. Who would imagine consuming white asparagus soup with foie gras and a raspberry reduction in a Japanese restaurant?

It doesn't stop there. Alyssa was craving agedashi tofu, but it wasn't offered on the menu. Lucky for us they could accommodate our needs and presented us a large square of tofu with garnishes and some ridiculous sauce. Erica doesn't love tofu so Alyssa and I did the damage, and we did it quickly.

After all of this, we did order sushi too. In retrospect we probably ordered maki rolls that do a poor job of highlighting the talents of the sushi chefs working hard in front of us at the bar.We went with the classics: spicy tuna, hamachi and spider salmon. The fish was fresh, but the rolls were lacking in flavor and served with too much rice. Next time I will stick with either sashimi or maki rolls that are more creative, such as the one that requires the blow torch.

Just to make sure we turned over every stone, we ordered the dessert platter, featuring fresh fruit, mochi and green tea ice cream. I'm not sure who's idea that was, but we sent back a clean plate. The mango, apple and oranges were all cut in unique designs, and the chocolate mochi and green tea ice cream hit the spot at the end of the meal. This was just another example of the high class presentation and food quality served in a quaint neighborhood Japanese restaurant.

Even though we didn't order sake (not sure how we missed that), the total bill for our 3 starters, 3 rolls and dessert came in around $60. That qualifies as good value in my book, especially for what you receive. I enjoyed Macku for the different perspective on Japanese food that is usually forgotten between sunday night cheap sushi BYOs. I would return, and recommend, to Macku to explore the rest of the raw fish offerings, as well as the other entrees (Cod, Venison, Duck or tempura). This city could use upscale "sushi + more" places, I'm just glad one is close to me.

Note: you can order out for pick-up OR delivery

Macku Sushi on Urbanspoon

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