January 23, 2012 by
At work, I have the pleasure of going to lunch in Metro Birmingham. In general, we try to go to various restaurants in an effort to find unique and tasty meals. There are good meals, bad meals, and extremely memorable meals. Today brought a very memorable meal, but not for the reason I expected.
We ventured to Jinsei Sushi (http://www.jinseisushi.com/) this afternoon. Located in SoHo in downtown Homewood, Jensei is a quaint little Sushi restaurant with an excellent decor. Today’s selection: The Jinsei Special roll, the Alabama roll, and the Wagyu Baby Burgers. Being the semi-Foodie that I am, I was extremely excited, if a bit skeptical, about the Wagyu Burgers. How could I pass that up?
Let’s talk about the rolls first.
The Alabama roll is described on the lunch menu as having: “tempura shrimp. avocado. tuna tataki. spicy dressing.” This was a rather enjoyable roll with just the right amount of spice. Add some wasabi, top it with a sliver of ginger, and dip it in soy sauce… this is a tasty bite. I would definitely order it again. This was the highlight of my meal.
The Jinsei Special roll is described as having: “tuna. yellowtail. jalapeño. cilantro.” This roll was good enough, but wholly forgetable. Though the menu specificaly calls out the jalapeño, we struggled to get any hint of heat from the pepper, even when eating a piece unadulterated.
That said, the sushi was decent and worth a repeat visit.
This brings us to the Wagyu Baby Burgers; an exciting premise that just left me angry. When these slider style burgers hit the table, I could tell something was just off. I am all for simple presentations and this fit the bill: a crusty roll, the burger patty, and a simple sauce (in this case: horseradish). There was a side of tempura vegetables served with Ponzu sauce as well, which was a bowl of tangy goodness.The vegetables were cooked perfectly and had a great crunch.
I look at the patty, a dark, dry, tough hunk of meat. If this was truly a Wagyu burger, then what I was served was criminally overcooked. My excitement turned to annoyance with the first bite. With each bite, irritation. After I finished these burgers, I just got angry. Even slathering the burger with the ponzu sauce couldn’t save this catastrophy of a dish. With a little education on Wagyu Beef, you’ll discover why my expectations were more than a little dashed. Needless to say, I will not order this entree again. One might argue that I shouldn’t have ordered a burger at a sushi restaurant. Consider this a lesson learned.
So our quest concluded with a bitter disappointment. Will we return to Jinsei? More than likely, as the sushi was quite good. Next time, we’ll take on a wider variety of rolls and sashimi.