On an ordinary Saturday, I was craving good sushi, so I started to research and found the Fish Market randomly online. Because the reviews were mostly people raving about the quality of the fish and the excellent food in general, we decided to give it a shot. And I am so glad that we did.
Located in Allston in the opposite direction of Le’s, Fish Market is a small sushi restaurant with only about five tables and the bar seating. When we arrived, we were shocked at how small the restaurant was, but as the saying goes, looks are deceiving – we left the restaurant happier than ever.
Prior to arrival, we had learned that Fish Market’s Avocado Ball won the Most Memorable Dish Award, and so ordered it to see what the fuss was all about. The dish was beautifully presented, with the thinly sliced ripe avocado wrapping the fish pieces inside in almost a perfect ball. The colors were pleasing to the eyes, and made our appetites increase immediately. The lemon and the bayberry not only added to the presentation, but also enhanced the dish, bringing acidity and tanginess to balance the avocado’s smooth, buttery taste.
Another cold appetizer we ordered was the Truffling Tuna, a tuna dish with black flying fish roe in truffle butter. This was amazing! The butter tied all the flavors together: the saltiness of the caviar, the subtle onion and grassy scent of the scallions, and the fresh and thick cuts of tuna. The bayberry, again, cleansed the possible remaining greasiness from the palate, making it ready for the real deal: the nigiris.
I’m one of those people who always have to order nigiris, thinking that sushi places cannot deserve to be called good if they do not have the nigiri down. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the colorful rolls wrapped with avocado and the tempura rolls with sweet eel sauce on them – however, I more often choose the simple yet delightful nigiris over others when craving sushi.
One word for the sushi: beautiful. The balance between the amount of rice and the thickness and size of the fish was flawless, with not a grain of rice lingering while the rest of the sushi already went down. Not only that, the fish was very fresh, and I did not taste even the slightest hint of steel flavor that can be tasted when the fish loses its freshness. The rice was good too, firm enough only to be picked up and lightly clamped enough to disperse as soon as it entered the mouth.
The highlight of the highlight was the Kobe Beef Sushi. Priced at five dollars, this nigiri is on the more pricey side; however, it was worth every penny. The Kobe Beef is seared on one side only to heat the fat and trap the juice on one side, and is then made into a sushi, which is finished with sweet soy sauce sauce-based glaze and scallions. I never thought beef and sushi rice could go so well together!
Another thing I loved about Fish Market was their plates and dishware, which they used remarkably to create simple yet classy presentations. The color and shine were alive, enhanced further by the leaf and the snow white rectangular and oval plates. I believe that it is of utter important to feed the eyes before letting the taste buds indulge in the flavors, so the plating was a huge plus. Hands down, it was one of the best sushi experiences I had.
We returned to Fish Market not too long after our first visit, and tried a different appetizer, the Scallop and Sea Urchin. Although fresh, this tiny dish did not stand out and I did not think it was worth the cost – I would rather order the Truffling Tuna.
On our second visit, there was a Sushi set that included an Otoro piece and a Blue Crab Handroll, so we ordered that. Although I was not the one who ate the set, I could see that he was completely satisfied, especially with the Otoro. To the right of the Otoro is the Botan Ebi. It was definitely sweeter than other shrimps I have tried, and I really appreciated the freshness that allowed it to be served raw; however, I do not think that my palate is sensitive enough to tell a major difference and choose this shrimp over others (unless I’m going for the texture, which was almost like a squid).
Because the Kobe Beef Sushi left a strong positive impact from the last visit, I had to order it again, but this time, I also ordered the Foie Gras Sushi. The Foie Gras is also seared, and is then topped with truffle and scallions. The foie gras felt like the whole animal’s worth of flavors was trapped into that tiny piece, which then melted, spreading to combine with the rice. It was such a short moment of intense flavors from such a small piece of food, and I was almost sad when it was gone.
Unfortunately, the Kobe Beef Sushi, on the other hand, was not as good as the one from last visit. A different chef was making the sushi that day and he overcooked the beef which results in a tough piece of meat that remains like a gum while the rice goes down. Because we were so blown away from the very same sushi during the first visit, we were slightly disappointed. It was good regardless; however, because the first piece we tried was so good, the slightest fault took away from the experience.
Although the second visit was not as good as the first one, I will still be going back whenever I’m craving some fresh and delicious but more affordable sushi. In fact, I like this restaurant so much that I’ve been recommending it to everyone and anyone who’s been asking about a good sushi place. I even plan to bring my parents here if they ever come to Boston to visit me.
170 Brighton Ave
(between Harvard Ave & Parkvale Ave)
Boston, MA 02134