When: October 10th, 2008
Where: Sushi Creek (Queens Creek, Arizona)
What I Had: Appetizer: Albacore Tuna (prepared with a special sauce and jalepenos). Main: Cherry Blossom Roll composed of unagi, crab mix, and cucumber with tuna, salmon, white fish, shrimp, and avacado on top. Dynamite Roll made with salmon, cream cheese, avacado, and cucumber, baked with scallops and spicy mayo, topped with tempura flakes, masago, and eel sauce. Lion King, a California roll, with salmon on top, smothered in spicy mayo and baked, topped with masago, green onions, and eel sauce.
What I thought: I expected a decent dining experience based on the word of my step-mother. She said it wasn't the best in the Phoenix area but it was good. Sushi Creek is in a shopping center so it has the standard store front with glass windows and a glowing sign. Inside however it was a comfortable and cozy atmosphere with a walk up sushi bar, tables and booths. It was a nice mix of casual and elegant. They had baseball playing on flat screens at the bar and nice candle lit booths and tables throughout the rest of the eatery. It also seemed to attract a various group of people from young 20 somethings up to families with children.
Maren made the choice to order the Albacore tuna. She made a good call ordering it "special." When dining in an unfamiliar town it is a good idea to take someone who knows the ropes of local restaurants so they can clue you in on "specials". This happened to be a delicious one. The tuna was lightly seared and topped with a delicious sauce and fresh sliced jalepenos. I will admit it is hard to take a good piece of fresh tuna and make it better, but our sushi chef did so. This honestly may have been the best part of the meal. However, it was only our appetizer.
We ordered three of the specialty rolls for our entrees. They were big too. Each roll consisted of about 8 pieces and all of them were topped with some sort of fish. So the portions were great. Especially for the 9-15 dollar range. The Cherry Blossom was probably the most simple of the three. Due to that fact, it was also the most refreshing and precise in flavor. The fish was fresh and the roll highlighted each of the ingredients to the fish on top to the crab mix in the middle.
Next was the Dynamite Roll. It was "ok". On paper it sounds fantastic. It's basically a Philadelphia roll topped with scallop. When tasting, however, we found out that combining all these ingredients creates something almost to rich for the taste buds to handle. It was still tasty, yet, the scallop overpowered most of the roll and cream cheese only added to the overpowering richness. This roll needs to be scaled back somehow to really make it pop on the palate.
Last we sampled the Lion King. It's unique name is really what catches your attention. After reading the description your tongue stands at attention. Although it didn't totally live up the expectations it was still scrumptious. I think this one would be better cold rather than baked. It has all the ingredients to compromise a delicious sushi roll, yet it comes across as to complex. It ends up being hard to differentiate each component but still tastes great.
As a celebration of family this meal was a success. As middle-upper class sushi it was a success. As a strip mall restaurant it was a success. Really it was hard to go wrong with Sushi Creek and it was a good Friday night treat.
Pros: Delicious sushi at a great price in a atmosphere suitable for everyone.
Cons: Over complex flavors. Service was slow.