Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Some Rolls on the Wild Side at Tank Sushi


Photographs: Lindsey Howald Patton

There is arguably better traditional sushi to be found elsewhere in the city, but if you're looking for some of the most inventive, saucy, flagrantly fusion-style maki around, Tank Sushi on the North Side has you covered.


From the Gorilla (shrimp tempura, crab, cucumber, cream cheese, spicy tuna, deep-fried lotus root) to the Hotate (unagi tempura, chili mayo, seared scallop, mango, spinach tempura, sweet soy), fried stuff tends to feature prominently on Tank's signature maki menu. And among them, the Robusta ($18) is shamelessly delicious. A flavor bomb of lobster; fried, fruity banana tucked in piping hot; and a ruby spill of flying fish roe (tobiko) get a rough-and-tumble shell of crisp rice and sesame seeds. From the top down, a honeyed sesame sauce soaks in.


The Orange Crush ($16) is a healthier but no less delicious invention, where roe features prominently. The gentle-tasting roll of steamed rock crab, a blanched stalk of asparagus, and avocado is topped with salmon and dotted with the fish's soft, jewel-like, slightly salty orange spheres. The smaller green roe is also tobiko, infused with wasabi for color.


Tank's brief but tasteful nigiri and sashimi menu is followed by a few chef's specials. There, the ama ebi shooter ($7) has a nice Japanese-style brunch-drink-of-champions thing going on. It's a sweet, salty, and slightly tart blend of ponzu and sake, muddled with chive and a bit of sriracha. The crowning touches are a raw quail egg and the tender sushi-grade prawn dropped in (ama ebi means "sweet shrimp").


For dessert, look no further than the so-called egg roll ($6). Thin cigars of warm, oozing, all-American chocolate chip cookie dough are wonton-wrapped and deep-fried, then drizzled with thick chocolate sauce and served with a sweet raspberry puree.

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