Located in Center City is a wonderful neighborhood restaurant called Bleu Sushi, which opens its doors to every customer in a welcoming atmosphere while offering a delicious array of foods from their sushi bar and kitchen.
When my friend and I sat down to speak with the owner of Bleu Sushi, Hendra Yong, he explained that it means a lot to him to know each person that comes in, because he wants to make sure that you feel happy when you leave. This starts the moment you walk in; I watched as he greeted everyone who walked in by name and making them smile and greet him with equal familiarity.
And the care that Hendra Yong takes to ensure each guest’s dining experience is a memorable one does not end there. The meals he chooses for his menu offers the highest quality of ingredients that he can find, regardless of the rising costs to purchase them for his kitchen.
“I wouldn’t offer something that I wouldn’t eat, so I only use ingredients I would eat in my food,” explained Hendra Yong. He continued, “I use higher quality ingredients because you cannot compromise on quality. You can taste the difference.”
As we sat down sharing the abundant meal family style, we could taste that difference; an abundance of flavor hit our taste buds with every bite. There was no need to mask the taste of the sushi by dipping it into soy sauce—we took each piece whole and enjoyed the melding flavors on our tongue. Like their new menu item Main Street which incorporates a delightful amount of spicy tuna, wrapped inside of organic soy paper with a spicy Japanese sauce (which has a mildly savory and spicy after-taste that lingers) and topped with torched shrimp.
We also shared several other dishes off of Bleu Sushi’s new menu items; the Madison roll is unlike any roll you would normally see—the roll offers Shrimp tempura (a sushi staple), however, they top it off with torched Pepper Jack cheese and a dollop of pesto sauce and then sprinkled with crispy garlic. I am always game for trying something new, and my curiosity was immediately rewarded. This may be a unique option, where the roll seems to marry Italian flare with sushi, but the outcome was well worth it; the roll was absolutely wonderful! We ate another roll that also incorporated pesto sauce on top of it: the Walnut Theater was equally flavorful and palatable only it used Japanese Oyster tempura instead of Shrimp.
Partaking from more of the new items on their menu, we also enjoyed a hearty and warm dish called the Gyūdon from Bleu Sushi’s Hot Stone Bowl selections. Gyūdon consists of thinly sliced beef that is cooked with ginger and shiitake mushrooms with furikake rice; it has a variety of textures that comes together in a pleasing balance of flavor and made me smile with every bite. It had some softness to it but with the hot stone bowl, it created crispy rice that added a pleasurable crunch to the dish.
There were several dishes that we shared with Hendra Yong and his family, all of whom are humble and genuine in their desire to make you feel welcomed and full when you eat at Bleu Sushi. And with the level of care taken to ensure you are consuming a delightful meal, I can assure you that whatever you order will satisfy your taste buds, as the meal I shared did for us.
I know that once you taste for yourself their appetizing menu you will want to go back, however, there is even more incentive to go: Bleu Sushi is offering a chance to win an opportunity to indulge your senses with a variety of foods from their menu.
On December 3rd, they will draw a name live on Instagram for a $300 gift card (go to @bleusushi for a chance to win by reposting one of their posts, and to see the drawing live). And stay tuned because they have even more exciting giveaways in store! Now that should make your holiday season seem even brighter!
Amaris Pollock is a freelance writer and photographer covering the local restaurant scene. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for requests.