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Nisen in Woodbury, New York


Ranking: 8Read Full Review


  • Food6-7(OK)
  • Pricing5(Not a Cheap Date)
  • Atmosphere8(Cool place)
  • Service8(Great)
  • Selection7
  • Value7

The Review

After checking out their menu online (lots of mango!) we were both excited to hit up Nisen Sushi in Woodbury. Read plenty of reviews online before showing up - everyone said this was the spot. I just wish someone would have recommended bringing an extra candle "light" for the table. It's a very dark environment if you plan on taking photos.

In Woodbury, NY, in the middle of a shopping center, outside hangs a very cool, modern, upscale NISEN sign. Walking in, the place has some sweet decor with beads and large hanging art and decorative plants, and a small area that looks like a dance floor. Look down, see the "NISEN" shining from above.

They did have a DJ that played good music all night. I remember telling Michael that the music was actually awesome which you won't find at a more traditional sushi restaurant.

Overall, it reminded us of Aji 53 a little in that both are not the more traditional places. Our coats are checked and the gracious manager Ron seats us. First time we ever had someone take our coats.

Throughout the night Ron and our server Luke were very attentive, but not just with us. We noticed Ron giving love to the room, making sure everyone was enjoying the food, including the couple next to us that apparently didn't have a killer experience on Valentine's day.

Our glasses were always full (with $20 bottles of VOSS water) and our plates were constantly being changed for clean ones (including the SOY SAUCE dish). We sit at our table and I have to say they are a little close to one another. Michael had to move our seats because he felt too cramped and couldn't find room on the table for his arms. You can (and almost have to) fully engage in the conversation around you or enjoy eavesdropping.

  • Kinka Sake

    The food. Our knowledgeable server Luke tells us about Kinka Sake - it was just bottled in December, is unpasterized, air shipped to the restaurant and the freshest sake available in NY. We tried a bottle. It is easily best sake we've had, tasting incredibly clean and smooth, with fullness and smooth fruit tones at the end.

  • Blue Fin Toro Sashimi Our first dish is Blue Fin Toro sashimi served with wasabi aioli and truffle oil. It is plated on small individual spoons full of soy sauce and it is very good. The fish is fresh and the truffle oil and parsley are nice touches.

  • Another shot of Blue Fin Toro Sashimi

  • Spicy Tuna Gyoza Next was Spicy Tuna Gyoza. It is a spicy tuna filled wonton that is deep fried and served with guacamole and spicy mayo sauce. The dish is heavy, but has a nice subtle spice and the guacamole is better than most Mexican restaurants I've been to. It's very fried and very saucy - I'll have to let you try it and decide on this one. We're not fans of fried.

  • Mango Madness roll We're next served two sushi rolls. Our waiter Luke thought we'd like the Mango Hawaii Roll after reading we liked the Mango Madness roll at Aji53. The roll is full of salmon, avocado and mango and topped with lots of sliced mango (3-4 fresh strips) and a mango sauce, with a small hint of habanero. The roll is bursting with mango flavor, but it tastes a little artificial due to perhaps too much sauce. It's a must to order but request light sauce or to have the sauce placed on the bottom of the dish.

  • Another shot of the mango madness, up close.

  • 2012 Volcano Roll The 2012 Volcano roll makes up for it though and this was one of our favorites. It is coconut shrimp and mango inside and topped with a mixed salad of chunks of delicious scallops, kani, mango sauce and wasabi aioli. It is lighter than most, Michael refers to it as "the Atkins Volcano Roll" and the sweetness of the shrimp blends well with the other flavors. If you've been to RA Sushi in Cali or any other mainstream sushi restaurant in the world that serves up nasty, drenched, warm this and that all over the dish, you'll appreciate the light taste of this volcano roll.

    Michael took 200 pictures of the mango in this roll.

  • Another shot of the Volcano Roll.

  • And another. Emphasis on the mango.

  • A giant boat, literally, of sashimi next We had a giant boat, literally, of sashimi next. All of the fish was served on ice and the presentation was complete with sushi mats and blinking lights. This thing could have been a space ship in disguise ready to take off, so eat quickly. On the boat was: king yellow tail, king salmon, sweet shrimp, otoro, orange clams, king crab, live scallops, kumo oysters, California uni, Japanese sea bass, salmon, toro and baby yellowtail. Out of all of this, we were most impressed by sea bass and toro. The sweet shrimp had a weird tang and taste of the oysters was masked in an overpowering spicy sauce.

    Couldn't quite capture the colors and lighting on this dish due to dark lighting in the restaurant.

  • Scottish Goat, TNT, Spicy Lobster and Pankgo Eel Next we dove into more sushi and ordered a Scottish Goat, TNT, Spicy Lobster and Pankgo Eel.

  • Another shot of the three rolls.

  • The Scottish Goat The Scottish Goat was unique. It is seared ginger salmon and goat cheese inside with a jalapeno salsa, balsamic glazed portobello on top. If you like goat cheese I would order this and as someone who doesn't love them, the mushroom on top was very taste.

  • The TNT The TNT had a strong fish taste and was made up of Blue fun toro, tuna, avocado, mango, garlic chips and truffle soy. I was hoping for a little more from the roll and did not taste the garlic.

  • The Spicy Lobster The Spicy Lobster, which combined with the Mango Hawaii would be more like Aji, was very tasty with spicy lobster, avocado, cucumber, mango and some crunch. We're a bit biased on this roll because we love mango but I wasn't screaming bloody murder after tasting it. It's a good roll.

  • The Pankgo Eel The Pankgo Eel was another roll we liked. It was avocado, mango, sweet soy creamy yuzu sauce and topped with panko pieces of eel - which was sweet, crispy and enjoyable. Majority of the rolls stayed together and the only wounded soldiers came from the Pankgo, where the eel often fell off too.

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