Chef Sake's

I have been craving sushi for weeks and I've been trying to hold off until I can get my hands on some sushi grade tuna to make some poki, but alas I couldn't do it.  I caved and went to Chef Sake's to get my fix.  It's like I'm a junkie or something.  Anyways, Chef Sake's is located inside a shopping mall on Old Shell Road, near the University of South Alabama.

My brother and I ordered a veritable feast. There were five rolls and five pieces of nigiri.  Since most people order only one or two rolls a piece, I think we went all out.  Chef Sake's starts off a meal by bringing guests a soup; but instead of the expected miso soup, they bring you a clear but flavorful broth with some mushrooms in it.  It's serve with a side of crispy fried wonton strips and it's not that stale stuff other places serve.  I love it and was hopeful it would set the stage of things to come.

We ordered four individual rolls and the chef's special, which is a spicy tuna roll and five pieces of nigiri.  Some of the rolls were better than others. My favorites were the crazy and fireball rolls.  The crazy roll consist of shrimp, spicy tuna, cream cheese and jalapenos ($7.99).  It was very well balance and I love that the jalapenos are raw.  There's a very welcoming crunch and bit of heat that comes with each bite. The fireball has double the amount of tuna.  There's tuna tar-tar inside and then slices of tuna on top.  It's served with siracha, spicy mayo and scallions. The black dragon roll consist of spicy tuna, tempura crunch topped with eel and avocado then topped with red tabiko, eel and white sauce.  I liked the flavors here as well.  The spicy roll and the nigiri were pretty average.  One thing I noticed here that was different than any other place I've been to is the fish is room temperature.  I didn't know if I should be concerned since we are talking about raw fish.  However, I did not get sick so I guess they know what they're doing.

Alabama roll
We also ordered the Alabama roll.  It's just basic philly roll that has been dipped in tempera batter and fried.  This is usually ranks really high on my list, but I just didn't like Chef Sake's version of it.  I think it is the batter itself that I did not care for.  It made the roll more spongy than crunchy.  The texture just didn't do it for me.  Luckily, my brother thought it was just fine and gobbled it up.

Chef Sake is a quaint place.  There's a rather large sushi bar on one side and tables on the other wall.  I went during lunch and it can get pretty hopping.  I've seen more people getting to-go orders than sit down but I'm told it's popular on date nights and especially when there is an event across the street at the Mitchell Center.  I would say service was adequate.  My waitress was nice but not very attentive.  She didn't come check on us very often and our drinks were left empty for a while.  The prices aren't bad either.  The rolls on the lunch menu were all under $10.  There are some special rolls that can get up there in the $3 to $15 range.  

Chef Sake's Restaurant and Sushi Bar on UrbanspoonChef Sake's has a website but it's very basic.  Click here if you want to check it out. 


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