Friday, January 27, 2012

Sushi Club

The search for that mouth-watering ever so delectable morsel of raw-fish goodness seems to be  like finding a needle in a haystack when it comes to being abroad. Most places offer you what I like to call the cream cheese roll of doom where you take some rice and roll it up, stuff that sucker with a big 'ol slab of cream cheese, put in some microscopic pieces of raw fish, and slap on some seaweed and voila! you have yourself an "authentic gourmet Japanese" dining experience. Oh the horror. The worst part? It usually costs you an arm and a kidney. So, in hopes of finding that ONE decent place where I can actually swallow what's put in my mouth, a friend and I headed over to Sushi Club.  

The restaurant's concept is a unique avant-garde Asian dining experience and when you first enter the establishment, it looks more like a lounge than a restaurant. With a well-stocked bar, dim lights, white leather chairs, city image projections, completely random mix of American music and a walkway that I personally thought looked like a mini dance-floor, I had a moment of confusion as to whether I was there for some sushi or for some cocktail chuggin', culo shakin' partay. When I was finally able to get my bearings, we were seated on the top level right by a wall to wall window with a nice view of the street below.

So where does it all go downhill? Starting with the waitress speaking to us in English. I should have known that that can't possibly indicate anything close to "authentic" sushi. But the inner optimist in me hoped to god that it wasn't so. Unfortunately, one brief look at the menu and I knew not to expect too much. Almost 90% of the rolls contained my best friend, Mr. Cream Cheese. Wooo... I've officially walked into my worst nightmare of a sushi restaurant. But after taking another look at the prices, I had a new wave of hope wash over me because for what they were charging, I expected BIG portions. But again, la culpa mia, for wishful thinking because our rolls were almost laughably small. I get it, gourmet food is supposed to be served in teeny tiny portions for whatever reason, but this place was trying way, way too hard to be "gourmet".

View from our table

Our "free" miso soup shooters. I say "free" because although they were supposedly "on the house", we each had to pay a 2 EUR table service fee.

1/2 Spring Roll (left): filled with avocado, salmon, and prawns. If there were prawns in that thing, they must be the invisible kind because I sure as hell did not taste nor see any prawns. Overall it was just a simple salmon roll that wasn't bad but definitely not worth 14 EUR (entire roll).
1/2 Oceanic Roll (right): filled with raw tuna and caramelized mangoes and then topped with avocado and teriyaki sauce. I really had high hopes for this one, but to my mouth's great disappointment, it failed miserably. The tuna was way too fishy which in sushi lingo means it's not fresh... at all. 16 EUR (entire roll).

1/2 Crazy Roll (left): My friend did the unforgivable and ordered a roll with CREAM CHEESE. At the very least, it had some eel and avocado, so I'll forgive him just this one time. But, for a roll that's supposed to be "wrapped" in salmon... it hardly looks wrapped.... 14 EUR (entire roll).
1/2 Citric Roll (right): stuffed with cooked prawns, tempura, and cucumber and drizzled with a citrus sauce. 15 EUR (entire roll). No comment on this one because quite frankly it doesn't look like it deserves a comment.

The best advice I can give you is to STAY AWAY.  Yes, the ambience is great, and yes the service was great (it better damn well be amazing if we're being forced to pay for it) but the most important part of a dining experience a.k.a. the food, sucked. BIG TIME. Even if I had these rolls for free, I would still think it was pretty bad, so to pay 15+ EUR for a sad excuse of a sushi roll is like a big fatty kick to your balls. More energy and attention was put into the ambiance and dining experience rather than the actual food and that's a crime against humanity that cannot be pardoned. In all fairness, as I was walking out, I saw people with some cooked dishes such as chicken and it looked good, but definitely not 20+ EUR good. The only positive thing about the food is that you can order half of a roll which means one of two things: you order only half a roll and leave the restaurant hungry and wallet only semi dented OR you can try many different rolls, although in my humble opinion, it's not even worth it. You'll walk out 20+ EUR poorer and so hungry that you might walk over to a burger shop on the same street and order yourself some meaty goodness. So, if you like sh*tty food at high prices, then Sushi Club is just the place for you!

Sushi Club
Plaza Santo Domingo
Madrid, 28013
Barrio: Palacio
+34 91 542 80 80

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