With the exception of a few chain restaurants, pubs, and fast food joints, southern Rensselaer County is kind of a foodie wasteland. Our most exciting food news in the first part of the year was the opening of a Taco Bell on Route 4 in North Greenbush. Which I think speaks for itself.
With that in mind, I was excited to see that the latest new restaurant is The Sushi House in West Sand Lake, in the building that was formerly home to the Arlington House. There are a couple of other sushi choices in the area (Nishiki on Route 20 in East Greenbush, and Okinawa in Wynantskill), but neither are particularly noteworthy, and could still be a little bit of a hike for people coming from the far edges of the County. So I would love to see The Sushi House succeed, both to demonstrate that the business climate is ripe enough for more restaurants to open here, and also because I would love a solid sushi spot in the area.
I decided to check out the place for a late lunch yesterday. The Sushi House has a nice menu of typical Japanese fare with a sprinkling of Chinese options as well. We first tried the Crystal Shrimp Dumplings, which were fairly basic, but tasty.
The dough was a little sticky and chewy, but the inside was filled with nice plump pieces of shrimp.
I noted a lot of interesting sounding specialty rolls on The Sushi House’s menu, so we decided to try three different varieties.
I liked that the rolls were not absolutely drenched in sauces, as is the case at some other regional sushi restaurants. I also liked that there was a generous side of ginger (my favorite accompaniment!). The spider roll and dragon roll are items that you would find on most sushi menus, and they were comparable to other versions that I’ve had around Albany. The batter on the soft shell crab in the spider roll was slightly off, possibly because of too much salt. We enjoyed the dragon roll, however, which was packed with nicely crisp shrimp tempura and had generous portions of avocado and eel on the outside. The proportions were spot-on, and the ingredients were fresh tasting.
The standout of this sushi sampling was the lemon roll. There was something kind of simple and satisfying about the combination of spicy salmon on the inside, with a hefty slab of salmon on the outside, avocado, and a thin slice of lemon. At first glance I wasn’t sure how the lemon would work, and thought perhaps the rind might be too tough. But it was sliced so thin that the rind wasn’t an issue, and the bright pop of citrus with the rest of the flavors was great.
I don’t feel like this was necessarily the best sushi I’ve had in the Capital District, and service was a bit off at times, but it was good enough that I would like to come back and try a few more specialty rolls that looked creative. I think with more time to fine tune service, The Sushi House could really shine as a food asset in a location that desperately needs it. If you’re thinking about trying it, go in the next few days! There is currently a 15% off special through the end of the month.