Sushi Friday III

Iron Chef Sushi & Hibachi Bar, Wallingford

930D North Colony Road

Wallingford, CT 06492

203-265-2000

Of course I am once again behind on the monthly Sushi Friday entries. This review was supposed to go up in February. I think part of the reason I’ve procrastinated is that Iron Chef left me absolutely cold. It had some good features, but why it got “best dining” from the R-J seven years in a row remains a mystery. Far be it from me to criticize a former employer, but I disagree wholeheartedly.

What I like: The parking. It’s in the Stop & Shop plaza, so there are a generous number of spaces.

The place presents a dramatic appearance, dark in the back with the front windows on that day letting in bright sunshine.

The soft jazz made formed an unobtrusive background.

No smells wafted through from the hibachi room.

Before I placed my order, I thought I saw the assistant sushi chef pull out a can of Pringles, but he did it so fast I wasn’t sure. He handed me a small dish with spicy salmon – on two potato chips. The crunch and the salt of the chips perfectly complemented the spice and fat of the salmon. It was the best part of the meal.

The chef made the presentation of the sashimi a true work of art with shiso leaves and daikon shreds.

What I don’t like: The parking. The people who go to that Stop & Shop are the rudest drivers I have seen outside of New Jersey. I had three near collisions driving a few yards into the place. Then I nearly got run over walking into the restaurant even though I was in a crosswalk.

Extremely bland miso soup added nothing to the meal.

The price was was pretty much of a shock at $12.95 for what was supposed to be 12 pieces of sashimi.

The fish consisted of three pieces each of tuna and yellowtail, and two each of salmon and red snapper. It lacked the bright crisp flavors that I’ve come to love.

The sushi chef and his assistant don’t get along, making for an unpleasant dining experience as they work right next to each other and right in front of the diners.

The wait staff seemed confused about who was supposed to bring what – water, soup and so forth. There was much hustling around for what seemed like a very few customers. And the service took far longer than it should have.

The racket from the hibachi room nearly drowned out the music.

Conclusion: My visit at the end of January was my first and last.

Overall score: C-

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