FOOD: Okinawa Sushi & Grill [Hoboken, NJ]

While the Mile Square City might seem small to outsiders, those who frequent the cozy town know that its size does not hinder the options for eating and drinking. No matter the cuisine, there are more than enough spots that allow those up and downtown to claim their local favorites–therefore I am always curious to see how new restaurants will fare alongside the veterans. With this in mind, I paid a visit to Hoboken’s newest Japanese fusion joint: Okinawa Sushi & Grill.

Okinawa Sushi & Grill recently popped up in the Newark Street strip mall with neighbors including Dunkin Donuts and Hoboken Vine. Though the dining room is on the smaller side, it is capable of comfortably accommodating a group of six, but is ideal for cozier dining with two or four. Their menu is predominantly Japanese delicacies but what makes this a fusion restaurant is the Pad Thai and additional Entrée section, which includes dishes like General Tso’s Chicken and Shrimp Teriyaki.

For this trip to Okinawa Sushi, I was on a specific mission to try the Japanese cuisine and started off accordingly with a bowl of edamame and a green salad with ginger dressing.


Green Salad with Ginger Dressing

I also took the opportunity to sample the Kani Salad, which is crab and cucumber finely shredded and tossed with crunch and tobiko, and Okinawa gives you the option of mixing it up with mild or spicy mayo. I usually put in spicy mayo as a special request so I was delighted to see this as an already considered option. The salad was satisfying as a whole with an acceptable cucumber:crab ratio and just the right crunch and spicy kick.

Kani Salad

Okinawa also has plenty of other hot and cold appetizers that exhibit some more of their fusion flare including rock shrimp, Thai spring rolls, and fried cheese wontons. A few of their cold appetizers piqued my interest like Spicy Tuna Pizza and Wasabi Cracker–but with my main mission still in mind, I had to skip the intriguing starters (for now) and forge on to sample some sushi.

Front to Back: Yellow Dragon Roll, Golden Coast Roll

My first move at a sushi restaurant is to read through their special rolls–this is not only where I am most likely to choose my main course from but the creativity can tell you a lot about where you are dining. A restaurant’s special roll list is an opportunity to stand out by instilling memories of overwhelming flavor and satisfaction that other places don’t offer, and Okinawa jumped at this chance. The Yellow Dragon Roll is comprised of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and avocado wrapped in rice and soy bean paper, topped with a drizzle of spicy mayo and eel sauce. The Golden Coast Roll packs tuna, salmon, and avocado inside with mango, red tobiko, and drizzled with yuzu mango sauce. Both rolls were filling and delicious as they were filled with good chunks of fish and fruit.

Front to Back: Spicy Yellowtail Roll, Yellow Dragon Roll

The standard Spicy Yellowtail Roll was also a success with a good helping of fish mixed with a creamy spicy mayo and finished off with a little bit of crunchy tempura flakes. If you are not a fan of scallions, I would recommend requesting them to be left out as they were generously included and the flavor was strong.

After dining at a restaurant that is new in town, only one question remains: will I go back? When I consider Okinawa Sushi & Grill, the answer is yes. Tasty sushi with good portion sizes at reasonable prices makes it  worth another visit to further explore what their menu has to offer–including their Tempura Cheesecake.

Okinawa Sushi & Grill
400 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030