Tiger Sushi — April 23, 2010

25 04 2010

Tiger Sushi
2841 South Lyndale Avenue
Minneapolis

www.tigersushiusa.com

To start the weekend, we headed to Uptown and ducked inside Tiger Sushi just in time to escape the rain. The outer walls made entirely of windows allowed us a view of the trickling drizzle, but the middle of the restaurant – featuring the expert sushi chefs and bartenders at work – held the action.

Kick in the Pants roll

Tiger Sushi’s atmosphere is modern and clean, with an expansive space that can serve crowds of sushi fans while leaving enough elbow room for even the novice chopstick user. We chanced not making reservations, which allowed us time for a pre-dinner drink. Hardly waiting fifteen minutes, our waiter brought us to two seats at the sushi bar where we could watch the pros fill each roll to order.

Tiger’s menu offers exciting choices, with options for younger palates or the sushi-averse that make it a great spot for all kinds of groups. Each item is full of creative energy (though a few too many things are served tempura for my own taste), which is carried through from presentation to taste.

We had come for the fish, and wasted no time putting in our order. Our strategy was to get one thing at a time, asking for our next item when the previous one arrived. The opening request: a side of Tiger’s own creamy Screaming Sauce – an outstanding dipping concoction that we used on almost every bite. Not made for the meek, it consisted of pickled Habaneros, garlic and onion, with a zing that lasted us well beyond each swallow.

Tiger Balls and Dyna-mighty with Screaming Sauce in the background

First up: a “Kick in the Pants” roll, filled with tuna, ginger, cilantro, mint leaves, cucumber and sprouts, and topped with marinated tuna, jalapenos and red tobiko. This was the most interesting item we tried, and probably the one we enjoyed most. It had so much going on and kept our taste buds busy. Next: the “Dyna-mighty” –  a roll with yellowtail, microgreens and cucumber. It was crisp and cool, and snuck drips of the Screaming Sauce into the center of each piece. Alongside it, we ordered Tiger Balls: salmon served over rice, shaped into a ball and sprinkled with seasoned sesame seeds. The balls were plain and ordinary, but the fun shape was perfect for dipping into our zesty sauce or wasabi-infused soy sauce, which boosted its flavor. We finished with a simple avocado roll, ordered solely as an excuse to give our tongues a final taste of Tiger’s signature sauce.

Hands down, Tiger’s sushi was the best we’ve had. Each roll tasted fresh and clean with a pleasant crispness that proved it had been made minutes before. Even the rice was worth noting. One of the recommendations we’d gotten for Tiger read – hip atmosphere with high-quality rice. We thought skeptically, “Really? The rice is what people are raving about?” But it’s the absolute truth. The grain’s perfect texture and subtle flavor undoubtedly made each piece taste like the greatest sushi we’ve yet experienced.

Service was slow but friendly, prices were reasonable, and the ambiance was minimally sophisticated. With a cool vibe and phenomenal eats, Tiger Sushi deserves every vote in its favor. It sure has ours.

RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Ambiance/Environment: ♠♠♠♠
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠ 1/2
Service: ♠♠

Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠♠ 1/2
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠♠

Total bill: $65

Tiger Sushi 2 on Urbanspoon

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