The bottom line: An upscale sushi option in the Ballentyne area
After a bit of a hiatus from the QC food scene I am happy to report that I am back! And of course my first meals were Thai food and sushi. No surprise there, right? I have spent the past five months in French culinary heaven and while that was great I missed my Thai, Vietnamese, and sushi cuisines. I was meeting some friends for lunch and they picked Jade Asian Fusion for our sushi excursion and you can bet that they didn’t get any complaints from me.
Jade Asian Fusion is located in the Ballentyne Village shopping center. It is on a second floor overlooking Mellow Mushroom and several other restaurant. The movie theater is also adjacent so it could make a good dinner/movie spot. If you are looking for pricey sushi that is. There were four of us at our table and two ordered sushi as a compliment to their meal or two of us as the main meal. Go all in or go home, right? I started with the seaweed salad. It was beautifully plated but was served on a bed of cucumber sticks. Which is good, if you want cucumbers. This to me served more of a purpose of making the salad look bigger than it actually was. The salad was good. There wasn’t really anything about it that would distinguish it from the many served across sushi restaurant. It did have the gelatin addition which I am not a fan of but it’s hard to find one without it nowadays.
Ah the sushi. You see that sushi plate above? It wasn’t all mine. Really I am not that much of a pig (sometimes). Let me start with my friends dish and then you can decide for yourself how much of a pig I am. My friend had the Ballentyne Roll which is made with tempura shrimp, snow crab, avocado, cream cheese, topped with tobbiko and drizzled with a BBQ eel sauce. It’s really a pretty roll. It’s not my kind of sushi roll (I prefer nigiri or sashimi) but it is delicious. Upon first bite you can feel the various textures, crunchy, soft, smooth. You can also taste the combination of flavors from the sweet of the sauce to the creaminess of the cheese and avocado. I had one bite. Just one. The other roll you see pictured is the California roll. It was your standard California roll made with crab stick, cucumber, and avocado. According to the menu it had masago but I couldn’t really tell if it made a difference. That also wasn’t mine but I had to try it right? Pretty much the rest you see pictured (with the exception of the smoked salmon nigiri) was mine. I had the tuna and crab nigiri, the salmon and tamago (egg) sashimi, and the cone you see pictured is the spicy tuna temaki. I won’t go into detail on each but suffice it to say that it was all very fresh and tasted just as it should. If you regularly eat sushi in this style then you know that it’s all about the quality of the fish. I have no complaints there. The spicy tuna temaki was also delicious. It had a slight crunch and a small kick.
Two dish that deserve a honorable mention are the Pad Thai and the Yakisoba. They were ordered by two of my friends. The first one is made with flat rice noodles and stir-fried with chicken, and bean sprouts. No onions at the request of my friend. The second noodle dish is the Yakisoba, this are noodles stir-fried with cabbage, carrots, and chicken. Both of my friends mentioned that they were ‘good’ and didn’t give me a description beyond that. I could have kept on prodding but I was too busy gorging my share of the sushi.
Overall, will I make Jade my regular sushi and asian dish spot? Not really. I think that there are other places that serve the same quality at a better price. However, it is a very convenient sushi spot for those in the area looking for the upscale dinner type atmosphere. They also had a big variety of food so it’s a place where you can go with the picky eaters that are not into sushi and there might just be a dish for everyone.