Ebisu Sushi & Japanese Restaurant - Tumon's Newest Brings Out The Best
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
Ebisu Sushi & Japanese Restaurant has only been open for just over 2 weeks, so it is still a brand new restaurant. Though I didn't expect to do a full review when I first sat down at the sushi counter, I was convinced by the end of the meal that I would be remiss in my duty as food guy if I didn't share the secrets of this gem of a restaurant with you!
"Ebisu" in the Shinto religion is the god of good fortune as well as the god of fishermen. Regarded as the deity of all occupations, Ebisu is especially known to be the god over farmers, fishermen, and commerce, so he could be called the "businessman's god". Statues and images of Ebisu depict him as a smiling and bearded figure, often holding a fishing pole or line with a large sea bream attached or tucked under his left arm. A gold statue of a smiling Ebisu is perched atop the sushi display case at Ebisu Sushi, an auspicious indication for things that will soon follow.
Located in the center of Tumon in that strange triangle-shaped two-story building just north of the Holiday Resort, Ebisu is easy to spot since it has a huge red ball denoting the Japanese sun right above its doorway. Ebisu's chef/owner is Fumi Nakamura. Fumi-san's prior experience as a cook in France some years ago familiarized him with cuisine Francaise. However, it's his cuisine Japonais that he's specializing in now. On Guam, he worked a few years for Bistro-tei Yokozuna and had the Yakitori Factory in GPO. It's to his credit (and our pleasure) that he now is working in an environment that allows his culinary genius to flourish. Fumi-san is joined by his wife, Rie, along with a very knowledgeable server, Liezl Delacruz, who is a seasoned veteran with on-spot recommendations! You'll need those recommendations as the dinner menu is immense and includes appetizers, a la carte items, salads, sushi, sashimi, curry & rice bowls, soba and udon. Dinner lasts from 6 pm til midnight, Mon-Sat. At lunch you'll find set menu dishes weekdays from 11am-2pm. Ebisu is closed on Sundays.
Fumi has personally designed and rebuilt the interior of this restaurant, which previously was Beef Bowl Uchiya. The new look is modern and lean, with dark wood tones.
I ordered a large Asahi Beer ($8) and started with an appetizer, of Hiyayakko (chilled tofu w/green onion, ginger, and bonito flakes, $4). This was a refreshing and flavorful beginning.
I ordered a Torikushi (grilled skewered Chicken with teriyaki sauce or salt 2 pcs/$4.50) since I wanted to try something like Yakitori. I had this with salt rather than the sauce, and also ordered a Butakushi (grilled skewered pork with teriyaki sauce or salt 2 pcs/$4.50). The pork was made from sliced pork belly enhanced by adding little dabs of hot mustard that was placed conspicuously on the plate. With the beer, these made good snacks...not big portions...just chasers.
Liezl recommended that I try the Rainbow Sushi Roll ($10), which is made with shrimp, tuna, salmon, and avocado on top of a California Roll. When she told me to try this, I had just ordered a Small Assortment of Sashimi ($15), which was delivered first. Beautifully arranged with shredded radish and shiso (perilla) leaves, its glistening appearance promised an uncompromising freshness with portions of maguro (tuna), tako (octopus), ika (squid that was rolled and cut with a shiso leaf layered within), tai (sea bream), and sake (salmon). As much as I enjoyed savoring these with my wasabi shoyu mix, it was the arrival of the Rainbow Sushi that stole the show!
If the California Roll (uramaki) already has delectable ingredients(crab, avocado, and masago-capelin roe), imagine adding to this a top layer of exquisitely fresh and flavorful shrimp, tuna, salmon and more sweet avocado. It does have a rainbow of colors, except the bands have a stunning originality - I don't think I've ever seen avocado, salmon, shrimp and tuna fused together like this. The real pleasure of course is in the eating, and the California roll core puts this creation in a league of its own. Sushi lovers - this one's for you!
Another one that we sampled (I was fortunately joined in part of this eating by Yoko, who had dropped in to place a take-out order) was the Cranchy, as in crunchy, Roll ($11), made with tempura and BBQ "eel" atop a California roll. Fumi had made this to give us a different texture and taste because there was no eel, just that delicious savory sauce used on unagi. There are other sushi creations on the menu such as Salmon Skin, Spicy Tuna, Philadelphia (that uses Philadelphia Cream Cheese), Yellow Submarine (cheese atop a California roll), Spicy Hamachi, Sunrise, Caterpillar (BBQed eel, avocado and crab), Spider (soft shell crab and avocado), and Canadian (salmon roe "ikura", salmon, avocado, and cucumber). The Canadian ($13) was being placed in Yoko's take-out order and looked simply divine. I thought that Ebisu's take-outs would be considered art pieces if you took them to a party...people wouldn't know if they should eat them or put them on display!
If you do lunch at Ebisu, you can have such set menu items as like Tonkatsu ($10), Chicken Katsu, Ebi-Furai (fried breaded shrimp), Kaki-Furai (fried breaded oyster), Shoga-yaki (grilled pork with ginger), and Grilled Fish (salmon or mackerel). You can also get a Tempura Set with shrimp & vegetables for $12, a Maguro Sashimi set for $13, and a Sashimi assortment for $18.
Ebisu Sushi and Japanese Restaurant is the vision of a man who has come to Guam to raise his family and to pay homage to a God who represents hard work and labor. This is how legends are created and how they grow. Ebisu will soon be a name associated with creative sushi and late night dining...it'll become a rendezvous point for business types who like the fresh taste and quality of the ingredients used. It would not be stretching it to say that Ebisu will be a "dining temple" where all the working class will come to pay homage to the god, Ebisu, and praise him for bringing forth the best of land and sea!
Contact them at 646-3735 to order take-out or for further information.