7 May, 2009
Restaurant Review–Asuka, Morrisville *Renovated*Posted in : Dining in Morrisville - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
Asuka *Now Haru Japanese Cuisine*
101 Keybridge Drive
Sushi rolls: $5-14
This Japanese sushi and fusion restaurant is decorated with copper-toned walls and the occasional splash of Japanese décor, such as a bamboo-patterned panels and vases of pottery sprays that mimic cherry blossoms. The booths and tables are inviting and the straight-backed black chairs are elegant. Light jazz plays in the background.
Asuka has a buy one get one free sushi special similar to that of Shiki Sushi and Sushi Love in Durham. They also offer the ubiquitous sushi boats that I am definitely ordering somewhere someday, just for the thrill of having a large wooden boat on my table. Sushi ranges from simple maki rolls to deluxe ones with many ingredients.
The entrees are more modern in their inspiration than the standard tempura and teriyaki offerings, though those are available as well. There is also an extensive sake menu and we were quite impressed with our waiter’s knowledge of the different brands and types available. I shared a bottle of the Ozeki Karatamba with a friend and found it to be an intriguing dry sake with a bit of pear and a dash of sugar.
I began my meal with tempura soft shell crab (I know, not very adventurous) that was slightly fishier in taste than usual, yet did not stop me from eating the whole thing. The tempura batter was heavier than I like. I then tried the sunomono salad, which consisted of poached crab, fish and eel, I think, served over a bed of lettuce and drizzled with a rice-vinegar dressing. The dressing was nice and light and easily the best part of the salad. The seafood was all right and there was no seaweed as advertised.
Everyone else on the table had sushi and it was beautifully presented, often arranged in a curve rather than simple straight lines. My companions raved over most of it and for that reason, coupled with a great waiter, good sake, and a relaxed ambience, the restaurant ranks a step up from where I’d place it for my food alone. Guess I should have tried the sushi.