The ancient art of dining meets modern ingredients and design at Feng Asian Bistro, where delicate geometric forms adorn both the walls and rice-covered plates. Cozy up in a stone-spangled alcove and dip into Feng’s lunch and dinner offerings to find yellow-tail jalapeño starters ($12), eel-cucumber sushi rolls ($6), and entrees such as miso-glazed Chilean sea bass ($16 lunch, $27 dinner). Enterprising eaters can tackle their fare in the main dining room, the lounge, or the sushi bar.
With practiced flips and slices, a Yume hibachi chef sears scallops and filet mignon on sizzling Hibachi grill with equal parts showmanship and culinary prowess. A billow of flames funnels steam into an overhead ventilation chamber whose polished metal reflects carved wooden ceiling borders, a labyrinth of glowing lights, and hungry pizza-delivery boys peeking in the windows. When the kitchen doors fly open, a friendly server erupts into the dining room, his arms lined with made-to-order udon noodles, tender teriyaki chicken, and shrimp and veggies in light tempura breading. These entrees join artfully wrapped sushi and sashimi on tables, the grain of whose wood is so prominent it could be carved from tiger's eye stone.
The menus at Sakimura's two locations change regularly in order to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ newest culinary muses. The Simsbury location is known to intermingle traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary flourishes, with specials taking forms such as foie gras with sweet miso sauce. Both locales’ sushi chefs also invent their own creative rolls, such as a deep-fried Godzilla roll and an Out of Control roll filled with shrimp tempura and topped with seared pepper tuna.
Diners seeking a hot dinner can gather around hibachi grills and watch as chefs sear their choice of shrimp, chicken, scallops, filet mignon, or any number of other gourmet ingredients. The hibachi rooms' smokeless grills and modern yet warm decor combine to create a pleasant dining experience.
Waiters are usually the bridge between diners and their food, but that's not always true at Umi Sushi + Tapas. Sure, they serve some of Chef Kohei Kishida's meticulous dishes, but so do moving conveyor belts. Color-coded according to price, the belt's plates sport both sushi and non-sushi bites, from shrimp tempura rolls to spicy tuna and salmon dumplings.
The rest of Umi's Japanese feasts emerge from the kitchen. Here, Chef Kohei draws inspiration from Japanese gastropubs to craft small plates like fried octopus fritters and edamame croquettes. He also assembles build-your-own sushi rolls, which diners can create from an extensive selection of fixings that includes crawfish salad and sweet mustard miso. Likewise, patrons can assemble their own bubble tea from flavors like lychee and honeydew, or enjoy myriad other libations, such as sake-spiked cocktails.
Toshi provides a chic stage for innovative maki makers to exhibit their roll-terrorizing reflexes. An extensive menu boasts both raw and expertly cooked options, such as noodles, surf and turf, and combination dinners. Beef tataki introduces the best of both worlds with seared slices served cold with a special sauce ($7.75). Sip on sake ($4–$13 by the glass) while supping on the Volcano roll: a mountain filled with tempura-flaked spicy tuna, salmon, and yellowtail and erupting with hot sauce ($12). One of Toshi's most frequently requested entrees is the lobster tempura, a debonair crustacean that abandons its bourgeois shell for a refined tempura crust ($19). Desserters can leave with a tummy full of ginger ice cream ($2.75), while those who prefer a night in with off-duty sushi chefs can opt for delivery (good for orders over $25).
Ginza's menu fuses classic Japanese dishes with contemporary adaptations, earning its Bloomfield location second place for Best Japanese Restaurant in the 2011 Hartford Advocate Readers' Poll. A sushi dinner arrives tableside with an assortment of nine sushi pieces around either a tuna roll or a california roll ($20), and the french dragon lights up the night with smoked eel and avocado atop nori-wrapped shrimp tempura ($15). At the Ginza's Bloomfield location, chefs man hibachi stations to cook up grilled chicken ($17), steak and scallops ($22), and lobster tail ($29) fresh, and made-to-order. Other fusion-inspired eats include sake-marinated short ribs accompanied by Holland leeks, wild mushrooms, baby carrots, and red-wine demi glaze ($18), and the miso-broiled Atlantic salmon with baby bok choy and Peruvian corn bathing in miso as well as a sweet and spicy yet vulnerable sauce ($20).