When we walked into Ryu Sushi last night, my friend John looked around, noticed the two disco balls hanging from the ceiling and said, “This place looks like it’s awesome.”
He was totally right – Ryu oozes atmosphere. In addition to the disco balls, there’s a long sushi bar, a few TVs, and several large Japanese paintings (the one we were sitting next to was a Lichtenstein-esque collage depicting people in the throes of what looked to be some rather serious ennui). The main dining room is cozy and dark in a way that makes you feel sort of like you’re eating underground.
The waitress left a menus and a checklist on our table – you look at the menu, then check off the items that you want (in the quantities that you want) on the checklist.
I started with the spicy crab soup. It was a small, appetizer-sized bowl of spicy broth, mushrooms, green onions and lots of imitation crab meat. As far as soup goes, it was near perfection. The only improvement I would make would be to put it in a bigger bowl – after I finished, I sat there and had a little internal debate with myself on whether or not it would be OK to order seconds.
We split four sushi rolls: a Kaisu roll, a deep fried salmon roll, a Tokyo roll and a Crazy roll.
The Kaisu roll was the most unique. Instead of seaweed, the soy-sauce soaked crab, avocado and mayonnaise came wrapped in a long, thin slice of cucumber. The crunchiness was nice, but it was difficult to eat it all in one bite.
The rest of the sushi was excellent. The deep-fried salmon roll was filled with salmon, masago and cream cheese. The Tokyo roll had tender raw tuna, avocado, crab and cream cheese. The Crazy roll wasn’t too insane – it was stuffed with crab, avocado and masago and topped with raw whitefish and green onions. The rolls were a little heavy on the masago – it seemed like it was used like mortar anytime there was available space. That said, all of the ingredients were incredibly fresh and the presentation was lovely.
Ryu’s rolls are a little bit different than other sushi restaurants in town. Some of the standards (like crunchy crab and California rolls) are there, but there are a bunch of creative rolls and specials. The prices are extremely fair, with most rolls between $5 and $9.
Ryu is open daily until 9 p.m.
5137 Summer Avenue
Memphis, TN 38122