At Ruyi Restaurant, towering orange flames flare up from each hibachi grill, where masters showcase culinary prowess for hungry audiences while searing up a menu of scallops, filet mignon, and lobster. At a bright blue sushi bar, knives slice through fresh seafood, preparing chef specialties such as the Lemon Tree maki, where avocado cuddles up with siso leaf and cucumber, waiting for a goodnight kiss beneath a blanket of tuna, salmon, and lemon. Classic Chinese dishes round out the pan-Asian menu, topping white tablecloths with marinated mongolian steak and spicy szechuan lamb. Behind the bar, underlighting sets bottled spirits aglow before they accompany bites and fuel wagers over how many sushi rolls a date can hold in his or her mouth.
Sushi Box's menus draw from the culinary traditions of Japan, Thailand, and Korea, filling white-swathed tables with pan-regional dishes. Chefs glaze entrees of beef ribs, stir-fried kimchi, and thinly sliced pork with incendiary sauces, earning praise from the Boston Phoenix in 2009 for their ability to "showcase the joys of Korean cuisine." They also simmer vegetables in thai curry sauces and fill their specialty maki with premium sushi ingredients, including sweet-potato tempura and nori harvested by mermaids.
Though its menu is sprinkled with common dishes such as shrimp tempura and salmon teriyaki that you might find at any Japanese restaurant, Ponzu is anything but typical. Elements of Japanese, Malaysian, Indian, and even European cuisine flood each meal, from roti prata Indian bread topped with curried chicken and potato to more than 30 house special maki rolls and Portuguese-style fish baked in tinfoil. The chefs take a keen interest in their diners’ health as they prepare entrees in vegetable and soy bean oils, avoid adding MSG to dishes, and add weights to the end of chopsticks to boost patrons’ strength. As diners dig into the spread of Eurasian cuisine and clink glasses of sake—Ponzu offers a choice of more than a dozen types including hot and sparkling—they’re surrounded by pale yellow walls and the calming luminosity of pendant lights.
The chefs at New Ginza have a way of preparing and arranging fish that makes it look almost like art. The ruby red of fresh tuna against pearl-white beads of rice, compliment the white-stripped pink of raw salmon or nearly translucent white of albacore. That artful plating is fitting considering the contemporary look of the dining room. Bright, natural wood walls are cozy and almost cabin-like, sharply contrasting with modern touches such as a sleek black-and-marble sushi bar. But though they offer more than 25 types of fish, the chefs at New Ginza don’t limit themselves to sushi. They also prepare classic pork or chicken katsu or broil scallops or yellowtail with house-made teriyaki sauce. And, for those who like to do things themselves, stone grills appear tableside so that diners can sizzle their own sirloin steak, salmon, and shrimp, just like they used to do at sleep away camp.
The Boston Globe called Super Fusion “A Flash of the Unexpected” for a reason. While the menu doesn't overlook typical sushi choices, the chefs' real creativity shines through in such specialty rolls as dragon maki with sweet potato and eel or sake papaya maki with fried papaya and cream cheese. Among the more than 100 dishes, there is also a menu section devoted to entirely to salmon, which is crusted with king crab, grilled with black Tobiko, or wrapped in rice paper with fresh papaya, asparagus, and cucumber. To wash down the creative eats, the restaurant offers beer, wine, and sake, while those who abstain can opt for green tea or simply request that their soup be served with a straw.
The chefs at Yoki Restaurant can prepare all types of Japanese delicacies, from nama-harumaki appetizers with raw salmon and jumbo shrimp to hibachi steak. But sushi is their specialty. Behind the bar, sushi chefs slice raw fish to serve as sashimi or create maki rolls such as the ninja maki with shrimp tempura and eel. Four of the most popular rolls are named for local sports teams; the Patriots, for example, tops white tuna and cucumber with rainbow tobiko and three types of fish—precisely the list of ingredients that New England's quarterback shouts during every snap count.
Sports can be found elsewhere at Yoki—namely on the flat-screen TVs that anchor the restaurant's modern vibe. A rounded bar aglow with bright, multicolored lights creates a sleek Tokyo vibe that contrasts nicely with the dining room's high-top tables, long banquettes, and private booths.