Determined to find an excellent sushi restaurant in Newark, I constantly asked friends and coworkers whether they knew a place to get quality sashimi.
Newark isn’t necessarily a city renowned for its sushi, so when I heard good things about Sushi House 21, I knew where my next night out would be.
Sushi House 21 rests quietly on Adams St., away from the hustle and bustle of Ferry St. Emblazoned on the front of the restaurant is a massive mural depicting a woman sipping hot tea (you can’t miss it). There’s no parking lot, but street parking is easy on weekdays.
The interior of the restaurant was beautiful, warm, and inviting. I sat down at the table and perused the menu. After looking over a variety of interesting menu choices, I chose to stick with sushi, however, the duck confit almost made me abandon the raw fish for the evening. After considerable time struggling to decide what to order, I opted for the peanut butter dumpling appetizer and the kamikaze roll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, topped with eel and special sauce).
Around the time my food arrived, the place began to fill up. The waitress/co-owner had told me it was a slow night when she took my order. It appeared this was no longer the case. By the time my food arrived, the restaurant was packed to the brim.
Presentation is important, especially in Japanese cuisine; and the dumplings lived up to the lofty standards. They were arranged thoughtfully on the plate with a beautiful garnish on the side. The peanut butter sauce was sweet, but not overpowering, and the dumplings were juicy and delicate. The only negative was that the peanut butter sauce made it difficult for a chopstick-novice like myself to grab (experts needn’t worry).
The Kamikaze roll also benefitted from its aesthetically pleasing presentation. The eel on top was lacking in flavor, but the other fish tasted unbelievably fresh and satisfied my sushi cravings I’d been having for months.
I had heard the dessert was amazing, but ultimately couldn't resist walking to nearby Nastos Ice Cream and indulging in a cone. Next time I will try the cheesecake, which I heard is divine.
Sushi House 21 deserves a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The food and service were superb, but it seemed to fall short of some of the sashimi places I’ve dined. I’d go back anytime now that Newark finally has a go-to sushi joint.