Takara Sushi spring menu preview

March 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

{Disclosure: I was invited to this event by Takara Sushi and provided with ludicrous amounts of delicious food for free. I was also given a gift card to use on my next visit and two gift cards to give away on the blog. All opinions and newly tighter clothing are my own.}

A couple of nights ago I had the pleasure of attending a spring menu preview at Takara Sushi in New Tampa.

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I grabbed my IRunMommies friend Kelly and my blogger friend Raffi and we headed out into rush hour traffic to make our way from St. Pete to north Tampa. Luckily the good company easily offset the terrible traffic, and we made it before they ran out of sushi.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-1

I loved the modern, ocean-inspired décor of Takara Sushi.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-2(say, “Hi!” to my awesome food blogger friend Jennifer, of Mangiamo!)

I was only joking when I suggested that they might run out of sushi. Be prepared for a jealousy-inspiring mouth-watering parade of food photos to follow. They fed us well.

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Here was our menu for the evening:

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Starter

 

Ceviche

White fish marinated in lime juice, tossed with celery, red pepper, red onion & cilantro

 

Avocado & Tofu Salad

Chopped tofu, avocado, cherry tomatoes tossed in a honey miso dressing

 

Crab Cake

Lump crab over wilted spinach, topped with alfalfa sprouts, served with mustard aioli

 

Dynamite Mussels

Baked mussels with mayo, scallions, smelt roe & wasabi

 

Spicy Tuna Bowl

Spicy Tuna, avocado, mango, smelt roe & scallions tossed in a spicy sesame sauce, served over mixed greens

 

Sambuca Shrimp

Shrimp, sauté with fennel, shallots & red pepper, tossed in a Sambuca red curry coconut milk with cayenne seasoning

                                                                                                                      

 

Main

 

Miso Seabass

Grilled with sweet sesame soy, served with asparagus and white rice

 

Gal Be

Korean barbecue short ribs with onions, carrots & green onions, served with white rice

 

DJ Roll

Crab salad, avocado, cucumber & cream cheese, wrapped in soy paper & rice,

served panko style with eel sauce & yum yum sauce

Naruto Roll

Tuna or salmon, crab delight, asparagus, wrapped in cucumber, served with ponzu or vinaigrette sauce

Salmon Delight Roll

Spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado & scallion, rolled in rice & seaweed, topped with salmon, lemon slices & smelt roe

Yummy Sumo Roll

Tempura shrimp, crab mix, avocado, asparagus & cucumber, wrapped in seaweed & rice,

topped with tuna & salmon, served with eel sauce & spicy mayo

White Dragon Roll

Eel, crab, cream cheese & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice,

topped with escolar & avocado, served with spicy mayo, eel sauce & yum yum sauce

Tiger Eye Roll

Salmon, cream cheese, crab, asparagus, cucumber, smelt roe, scallion, shrimp, wrapped in seaweed & whitefish,

topped with spicy mayo, baked, served with eels sauce & spicy mayo

Torched Salmon Roll

Tempura shrimp, crab delight, avocado & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice,

topped with torched salmon, tempura jalapeno, served with eel sauce & spicy mayo.

Surf & Turf

Shrimp & crab salad, red onion & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice, topped with torched thinly sliced beef,

cilantro, smelt roe, scallion & tempura onion, served with house special sauce & cilantro aioli

Jabadahut Roll

Tempura grouper, avocado, red onion, cucumber, crab salad, rolled in seaweed & rice, topped with tuna,

served with tempura scallops & crab salad with eel sauce, yum yum sauce & sweet chili sauce.

                                                                                                                                            

 

Dessert

 

Tempura Fried Ice-cream

Vanilla ice-cream wrapped in pound cake & a tempura batter served with chocolate, blackberry & raspberry sauces

 

If you are thinking that seems like a lot of food, you would be correct. We were given tasting portions of everything, but Takara also provided us with photos of their regular-sized portions. I’m going to show you both, so you’ll know what we had as well as what you will get when you visit Takara (and you are going to want to visit them ASAP, believe me).

First up was the Ceviche.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-3White fish marinated in lime juice, tossed with celery, red pepper, red onion & cilantro

As you can see above, I also tried several of their flavors of infused sake. I tried the Fuji apple, White peach, and Lychee flavors. I think my favorite was the Fuji apple. The Lychee tasted like sweet perfume. I noticed on the Takara Sushi Facebook page that if you check in on Facebook there and leave a post on their wall you can show the post to your server to receive either a free shot of infused sake or a free Mochi ice cream!

When I posted that photo on Instagram one of my friends basically asked, “Is this Spanish or Japanese?” Takara definitely had some progressive menu items, deliciously fusing Japanese flavors with preparations usually seen in other cuisines. The ceviche was delicious. The regular menu size portion looks like this:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-2

Next up was the Avocado and Tofu salad:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-4Chopped tofu, avocado, cherry tomatoes tossed in a honey miso dressing

The avocado and tofu have a similar texture which was interesting and the honey miso dressing was so good.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-1

Crab cake! Who doesn’t love a crab cake!

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-5Lump crab over wilted spinach, topped with alfalfa sprouts, served with mustard aioli

The use of panko instead of traditional bread crumbs made this crab cake extra crunchy and awesome.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-3

Dynamite Mussels:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-7Baked mussels with mayo, scallions, smelt roe & wasabi

It’s very hard for me not to do a Jimmie Walker impression in my head and say that these mussels were DYN-O-MITE! Because they were.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-5

I don’t think I’ve ever had mussels with mayonnaise before, and I highly recommend it.

Spicy Tuna Bowl, or spoon in our case:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-8(Thanks to my friend Carlos of Carlos Eats for snapping this photo with my camera for me.)

Full portion:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-12Spicy Tuna, avocado, mango, smelt roe & scallions tossed in a spicy sesame sauce, served over mixed greens

Sambuca Shrimp:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-9Shrimp, sauté with fennel, shallots & red pepper, tossed in a Sambuca red curry coconut milk with cayenne seasoning

The red curry coconut milk sauce in this dish was incredible. We were all oohing and ahhing over it.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-11

Wow, what a great meal. Oh wait, that was just the appetizers! I had to start pacing myself at this point because I KNEW that sushi was still to come. But not quite yet…

The first main course tasting was the Miso Seabass.

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The lighting in the restaurant was very dim by this point as it had become dark outside, so I had resorted to using my flash. But you can really see the difference between my little point and shoot photos versus the professional ones, I know. The full entrée portion:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-8Grilled with sweet sesame soy, served with asparagus and white rice

Next up was Gal Be, or Korean short ribs.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-11Korean barbecue short ribs with onions, carrots & green onions, served with white rice

I was really trying to save room for sushi at this point, but the short ribs were so delicious. I know Chad and the boys would really love them.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-6

And finally, drumroll please…the sushi arrived!

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Wow, so beautiful. I feel sorry for all of our +1’s because they had to sit there drooling while all us bloggers snapped photos. There were literally chop sticks poised over the THREE platters identical to the one above that were placed on our tables. It was sushi heaven. My plate (before I went back to snag more pieces later):

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Here are all of the rolls broken down into menu portions:

DJ Roll

Crab salad, avocado, cucumber & cream cheese, wrapped in soy paper & rice,

served panko style with eel sauce & yum yum sauce

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-4

Jabadahut Roll

Tempura grouper, avocado, red onion, cucumber, crab salad, rolled in seaweed & rice, topped with tuna,

served with tempura scallops & crab salad with eel sauce, yum yum sauce & sweet chili sauce.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-7

Torched Salmon Roll

Tempura shrimp, crab delight, avocado & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice,

topped with torched salmon, tempura jalapeno, served with eel sauce & spicy mayo.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-15

White Dragon Roll

Eel, crab, cream cheese & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice,

topped with escolar & avocado, served with spicy mayo, eel sauce & yum yum sauce

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-16

Yummy Sumo Roll

Tempura shrimp, crab mix, avocado, asparagus & cucumber, wrapped in seaweed & rice,

topped with tuna & salmon, served with eel sauce & spicy mayo

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-17

Naruto Roll

Tuna or salmon, crab delight, asparagus, wrapped in cucumber, served with ponzu or vinaigrette sauce

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-9

Salmon Delight Roll

Spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado & scallion, rolled in rice & seaweed, topped with salmon, lemon slices & smelt roe

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-10


Surf & Turf

Shrimp & crab salad, red onion & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice, topped with torched thinly sliced beef,

cilantro, smelt roe, scallion & tempura onion, served with house special sauce & cilantro aioli

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-13

And finally, there was a Tiger Eye Roll, but I somehow have lost the photo in all of my file transfers! So sorry Takara. I’m going to see if I can get it from one of my fellow bloggers and I’ll update.

Tiger Eye Roll

Salmon, cream cheese, crab, asparagus, cucumber, smelt roe, scallion, shrimp, wrapped in seaweed & whitefish,

topped with spicy mayo, baked, served with eels sauce & spicy mayo

 

Everything was just so delicious. I think my favorite roll may have been the White Dragon roll, but it would be really hard to say. I just really love Unagi (eel). Plus, isn’t the dragon super cute?

As we were all loosening our belts and rubbing our bellies, our server showed up with one more over-the-top item…Tempura Fried Ice Cream.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-15Vanilla ice-cream wrapped in pound cake & a tempura batter served with chocolate, blackberry & raspberry sauces

Um, can you read that tiny font? WRAPPED IN POUND CAKE! As if ice cream and tempura batter were not enough. It was amazing, needless to say.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote Takara Sushi-14

Thank you so much to Takara Sushi for a wonderful evening. I will definitely be making the drive from St. Pete to New Tampa again with my whole family in tow. Eugenia, the owner, was so gracious and sweet. She said to me, “I love your blog! I am addicted to it! I don’t know why, but I can’t stop reading!” Haha. She stole my heart with that. Thank you so much Eugenia!

So would you like to try some of this delicious fare for free? Eugenia is so nice that she gave me two $20 gift cards to give away to two of my readers! Just leave a comment telling me what your favorite type of sushi is and I will have Mack pick two winners by April 1st. This giveaway is closed. The winners have been notified via e-mail. Congratulations to Meghan and Ann!

And it would be so nice if you would “Like” Takara Sushi on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. I won’t be checking up on that, but it would just be nice.

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Facebook www.facebook.com/takarasushitampa           Foursquare www.foursquare.com/takarasushifl

Twitter www.twitter.com/takarasushifl                            Website www.TakaraSushiTampa.com

Takara Sushi is located at 4913 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33613

Cya!

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