Care to Join the Sushi Club?

2006.Nov.10 Friday

in Restaurants

“Have you heard of avoidance behavior? I have and I don’t want to talk about it.”

– Kevin Pollack, Comic Actor, The Whole Ten Yards

Buenos Aires – There is a chain of sushi bars scattered throughout Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay (or as their website puts it, Uruaguy), called Sushi Club. They’re easy to spot when you run across them, they’re bright orange. Really bright orange. That’s on the outside. On the inside they tend towards sort of dimly lit. We sat outside. It was a beautiful day, the sun shining, the Dems having won (at that point) the House and a good percentage of governorships (that’s the extent of my political commentary). I’ve been avoiding Sushi Clubs… not so much out of any particular intent as they just didn’t look that interesting – too homogenous, too commercial. But we were in Las Cañitas, and sushi was on our minds, and there was one at Ortega y Gasset 1812, Baez 268 beckoning. Why not?

Sushi Club selectionI’m of mixed mind after sampling their wares. We decided to go for the sushi libre option, 76 pesos apiece, or $24-ish, which gave us the option to order any sushi, sashimi, rolls, etc. that we wanted in unlimited quantities. Our waitress offered to start us off with a large platter of mixed selections and then we could followup with whatever we wanted. Since it was our first time there, that seemed a good approach. Unlimited sushi is certainly a delightful concept. This particular Sushi Club’s selection was quite fresh, and obviously beautifully presented. The salmon was pristine, and delicious. The octopus was well flavored and quite good as well, though the sushi chef seemed to suffer from an inability to separate the pieces of octopus from each other – leaving them connected here and there in daisy-chain fashion. The basic salmon rolls were quite good, and even a few of the combinations, like the “smoked roll”, were interesting. Wasabi was plentiful, though had clearly been mixed up from powder much earlier and had lost a fair amount of its pungency. That’s about where the good part, and it was really good, stopped.

The white fish of the day, unidentified, was, to put it charitably, chewy. The shrimp were watery and tasteless – clearly frozen for way too long. An inordinate number of the roll selections suffer from the overuse of cream cheese. And several, the “Andale!” roll, for example, were simply appalling (some sort of odd eggplant filling and then the whole thing topped in pasty poorly made guacamole). The ginger was cut as thick as a piece of shirt cardboard and had roughly the same texture, though the flavor was good.

So, in the end, a mixed experience. If one is willing to be limited to salmon, and fairly simple salmon at that – skipping over most of the combinations, one can eat quite well at this particular Sushi Club (and I’m betting the menus are pretty much the same at each, though quality might vary). If one is looking for any kind of variety in fish, and creativity that’s not just experimentation for experimentation’s sake, this is probably not the best bet. My original thought of too homogenous, too commercial still stands. There’s better sushi available here, this one’s only a block away from Moshi-Moshi which we liked quite a bit, and across the street from Yoko, which we haven’t tried yet…


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