When I planned a two day trip to Cambridge (in the UK, not Boston), I was so excited to see there were four – FOUR – Japanese restaurants in the city! Oxford is severely lacking in sushi restaurants. We have Edamame Japanese restaurant, which serves an extremely limited sushi menu only on Thursday nights (?!), and the newly opened Soo She sushi bar in the Covered Market which has 4 stools and is not open for dinner. I’ve only eaten there once as every other time I’ve tried, the seats have been taken, which is not a surprise. And of course, I don’t count Yo Sushi! as a proper sushi bar as the food isn’t all that great (the rice is has too much vinegar in it and the tuna is always grey), is way overpriced, and is so… chainy.
My first Cambridge sushi was at J Restaurant, which bills itself as fine Chinese and Japanese dining. It was a Sunday night – and there was a huge football match on the tele, so the restaurant was deserted, save one other table of guests (who were Japanese). Hubs and I started with edamame (cooked perfectly, and served with just the right amount of salt) and steamed shrimp dumplings (perfect all around!). I went on to have a tuna maki roll, a salmon maki roll and two pieces of eel nigiri. I’m not sure what hubs had as I was so completely focused on my lovely dinner. The tuna and salmon rolls were delicious – fresh and flavourful. No complaints whatsoever. But the eel, which is something I love so much I save for last because it’s like dessert, was very disappointing. It didn’t have the sticky sweet sauce which unagi always has, and the eel was so rubbery I made quite a mess of the rice trying to bite it in half.
I liked this restaurant very much. The decor is simple, yet nice. The service was great. The prices were fine – not too high, not too cheap. I would definitely eat there again, but would probably skip the unagi.
84 Regent Street
Cambridge, CB2 1DP
UPDATE TO THIS REVIEW 30 June 2013
J Restaurant is now known as Genki Restaurant, though the website at the moment is still J. The owner has changed, but the staff and the chef are the same. The restaurant has been renovated, and now includes Korean Barbecue, with grills on every table. They seem to have dropped the Chinese in favour of the Korean, but maintain the sushi. I ate here last week and the sushi was good, although the tempura roll was not crispy like it should have been. The tempura didn’t seem like it was freshly cooked to order, as it was room temperature and a bit soggy. The Korean barbecue was fun, but as I don’t have much experience, I didn’t really know what to order. My husband and I shared an order of Salmon with bean sprouts with a sesame sauce. The salmon was lovely and sashimi quality.