>> Monday, April 02, 2012
This is the second restaurant post in the new series, Welcome to My New Hood. Other posts includes Rafiki Bistro.
I am always suspicious when I hear a name like “Fusion” in the name of a restaurant. In my mind, FUSION = NOT AUTHENTIC, which then begs the question of how good can the food be?
Clearly, Super Fusion Sushi is quite popular in Boston. The location that we visited in Cambridge is actually their third location. They started out in Brookline and quickly got the reputation of being a very good, authentic sushi bar with reasonable prices. A second one opened up in Watertown soon afterward. Finally, just about a year ago, this third location in Porter Square opened up.
Considering there is quite a lot of competition in the Porter Exchange Mall (unofficially the “Little Tokyo” of Boston), you figure it has to be decent in order to stay in business, right?
We decided to walk the 10-minute trek from our house to find out.
What immediately caught my eye were the surprisingly reasonable prices. Most normal rolls were $8.50, with some "Chef's Special" ones costing $10.50. There was a healthy variety of nigiri, including toro (fatty tuna belly), uni (sea urchin), and saba (mackerel).
A number of creative, “fusion”-type rolls were prevalent throughout the menu, including classics like Rainbow roll and Caterpillar roll and more creative ones like Cambridge roll (Eel tempura with cucumber, topped with tuna, torched with spciy mayo, eel sauce & tobiko) and Batman roll (Tuna tempura w/ spicy mayo topped w/ grilled eel, avocado & eel sauce).
Toro (fatty tuna belly), Saba (mackerel), and uni (sea urchin).
We decided to try a number of nigiri. I seriously believe Super Fusion Sushi wins the prize for the largest nigiris in Boston. The rice ball was about twice as a large as a normal rice ball, and likewise the fish on top was similarly huge (just look at that toro!). Because we had not expected each nigiri to be so big, we majorly over-ordered and had a really hard time finishing the dinner.
The quality of the sushi reflects the prices. For cheap, take-out sushi, it’s acceptable. However, you can clearly tell that the fish is frozen (not fresh), and some of the pieces were really not that great. I would especially avoid the chutoro (tuna belly), which didn’t have good flavor, tasted frozen, and was still pretty expensive. Certain classics, like the yellowtail and salmon, were decent, but overall, the nigiri was very average.
Instead, I would stick with the “fusion” rolls, which don’t rely so much on the inherent quality of the raw fish to taste good. The spicy salmon rolls were reasonably tasty (I do have a weakness for any kind of spicy mayo in general), and some of the rolls were quite creative.
Having said all that, I still think Super Fusion Sushi is definitely a good value for the money. You don’t even have to order as much as you usually do because their portion sizes are so humongous. I think you'll fare much better if you get fun, creative rolls as opposed to simple nigiri.
Free dessert - green tea cream, tapioca, and azuki bean
How does it compete with the nearby sushi places in Porter? Well, it's different. It's less authentic than places like Blue Fin, but you definitely get a lot more food for the same amount of money. I'm not sure if I'd go back for a sit-down dinner. However, I would consider ordering platters of rolls if I were having a party at my house or something. It sure beats a platter from a supermarket!
Super Fusion Sushi (Cambridge)
1759 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140