Step Into Fall ... Sushi

Mitsuba's menu goes seasonal.

Readers will probably get sick of hearing this, but I love sushi. Sure, the prospect of eating raw fish is comparable to donating your body to Dr. Frankenstein's lab for some, but I maintain they just haven't been properly converted yet.

Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between one sushi place and another. After all, the core items on the menu remain the same. Every sushi place you go to will offer a standard menu of approximately a dozen items that you can find in any sushi restaurant across the country (you can read more about this .) The only difference from one place to another will be in the quality of the fish.

Which is part of why it's important to recognize a sushi place that manages to stand out. On a recent trip to , I found the difference in a new selection of fall-themed rolls, including a Halloween roll ($14) which contains tempura pumpkin on the inside and crab, eel and avocado on the outside.

Tempura is when an item has been battered with wheat flour and cold water (one place I used to frequent in Washington, D.C. used sparkling wine) and deep fried. This can be done with pretty much anything from shrimp to asparagus, but in all my years of eating sushi I've never seen tempura pumpkin before.

My advice of you want to try the Halloween roll is, make sure you're hungry. Sushi can be very filling, and sushi with deep fried contents can be even more so. Plus the generous amount of rice that comes both inside and outside this roll means if you're only mildly peckish, you'll end up taking the remaining contents home. And trust me, nobody likes day-old sushi.

If you are not famished, the Wonderful roll ($14) is a good alternative. With five different colors of caviar on top, it almost looks like it should be called a Rainbow roll, except that name is already taken. The Wonderful contains tuna, white tuna, salmon and yellowtail fish on the inside, and with the combination of the caviar outside it offers texture as well as taste, and lives up to its name.

The Wonderful roll may be wonderful, but should you wish to try something seasonal and out-of-the-ordinary, you can't go wrong with the Autumn of New Jersey roll ($14), another fall special that almost looks too pretty to eat—but once you start, you'll find it impossible to stop. Instead of being wrapped with seaweed paper and rice, this comes wrapped in tuna and contains no rice at all. It contains spicy lobster and king crab, avocado and mango and is simply delectable, hitting all the right notes of citrus, spice and succulence. By the time I finished, I found myself wishing it could be autumn in New Jersey all year long.

Mitsuba is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m. Dinner hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 237 Main Street in Chatham. They offer delivery for a minimum order of $30. Take-out is also available. For more information, call (973) 635-3888 or go to www.mitsubachatham.com.

Madison Station October 07, 2011 at 02:02 AM
Takuma lacks in decor. It reminds me of a corporate cafeteria.


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