My grandson had a birthday recently. As usual in our family, the celebrant selects the restaurant where we gather. When I heard of his choice, I smiled, grateful that his taste in food has evolved. For his 23rd birthday, he picked Tani Sushi in Clayton. Though we are a family of many tastes and opinions, no one could find fault with that. The trendy bistro serves up high quality sushi and sashimi from its sleek space in the Centene Plaza. Tani offers fusion-style sushi as well as classical Japanese dishes, variety enough to suit the most fastidious or finicky diner.
Just What Is Sushi?
Some people are reluctant to try sushi. After all, it’s just raw fish, right? Wrong. The raw fish is called sashimi and served without rice. Sushi is a combination of raw fish and rice flavored with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt shaped into pieces or formed into rolls and often wrapped in seaweed. The nigari-sushi is sliced raw fish atop a mound of rice. Maki-sushi is strips of fish and vegetables laid in rice and rolled inside nori (dried seaweed) to make a long cylinder that’s cut into rounds.
Sushi connoisseurs tell us it’s important to note the nuances of freshness, texture and purity associated with the Japanese food. Pay attention to how it feels, as well as the taste. When prepared by nimble chefs, the pure, subtle quality of the ancient delicacy is like a spa treatment for the taste buds. When you’re unable to get to Tokyo or New York for a sushi fix, Tani’s is a good back up.
Take a look below at the colorful specialty rolls, salads, and starters we shared during the course of our birthday evening.
Sushi Eating Advice from TV Chef Anthony Bourdain
“Don’t dunk your nigari (raw fish atop a rice mound) in the soy sauce. Don’t mix your wasabi in the soy sauce. If the rice is good, complement your sushi chef on the rice.” (Take advice with a grain of salt—or a jolt of soy)
Tani Sushi Bistr0, 7726 Forsyth Blvd, Centene Plaza, Clayton. Open: Lunch: Weekdays 11a-2p; Dinner Mon-Thu 4:30p-10p; Fri 4:30p-11p; Sat 5p-11p. Parking: Street meters are free after 5p and free on weekends. Valet parking and free garage parking with ticket validation. Reservations: Unnecessary for lunch; but strongly suggested for dinner.