Aug 01, 2013 02:49AM ● Published by Style
Photography by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group
My first impression of new sushi restaurants is always based on a particular menu item.
Raw fish, you ask? Well, no, it’s actually fried fish—soft-shell crab to be exact. When fresh and cooked correctly, soft-shell crab is the eighth wonder of the world, and Kanpai’s creation scored remarkably. It was served perfectly—lightly breaded, deep-fried and paired with ponzu for dipping. In a word: incrediblydelicious. (Yes, it deserves its own new word to describe it!)
After departing soft-shell-crab heaven, we moved on to another appetizer, the Fireball, which featured spicy tuna, cream cheese and jalapeños, all stuffed inside inari, then fried with panko and served with teriyaki sauce and spicy mayo. It was so stunningly delicious we ordered a second.
We decided to go unconventional on the rolls: chicken and veggies. “Chicken?” you inquire with an incredulous look? Yes, chicken. The first that we ordered was the aptly named Colonel Sanders—a mix of fried chicken, teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo and green onions. For the veggie selection, we went with the Vegi-Ten—tempura yam, carrot and zucchini with sliced avocado, teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds. Once again, we were impressed.
I also decided to go for a standard Tekka Maki Tuna roll. Firm and delicate—without being too fishy or too plain—it was obviously an excellent piece of fish, which speaks volumes about Kanpai’s chef and his ability to choose and buy fish—a job criterion that’s fundamentally important to the success of a sushi restaurant.
In addition to the food, the beer was served very cold—just how I like it—and the wine selection was also good with no surprises. While we didn’t partake in any sake drinking, the bases seemed covered quite well with their offerings.
The real question is, “Did Folsom really need another sushi restaurant?” My head was leaning toward no, but after this encounter, my eyes and taste buds were immediately moved to—yes!
Kanpai Sushi, 1013 Riley Street, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-983-7174, facebook.com/kanpaisushifolsom.