Theres just something happy about Nhinja Sushi & Wok.
Maybe its the way the colors of the employees T-shirts pop against the clean, white space inside. Maybe its the modern design that puts soy sauce, Sriracha and Chinese mustard on display.
In my case, it was the look of joy on my toddlers face as he slurped up lo mein noodles from a tiny plate and chittered away while Justin Timberlake echoed around the restaurant.
Nhinja is all about quick and inexpensive pan-Asian cuisine a very family-friendly concept.
It seemed like wed scarcely sat down before the lo mein ($5.75) arrived. And when youre dealing with a mercurial 1-year-old, speed counts. I found the dish to be pretty basic, but overall tasty. Its egg noodles with vegetables and soy sauce. Not groundbreaking, but a tried-and-true crowd-pleaser.
The Mongolian chicken wok ($7.55) was a little sweeter and, with brown rice, felt a bit healthier. Its the kind of food youre happy to get when youre in the mood for Chinese. Lots of crunchy vegetables, plenty of well-cooked rice and nice big chunks of chicken in a sticky sauce.
Speaking of Chinese, have you ever had egg rolls (two for $2.75)? I was pretty pleased with Nhinjas rendition of the oft-maligned classic. Not overly greasy, but with enough flavor to be eaten alone. That said, I gladly applied the accompanying dipping sauce. Healthy? No. But it made me happy.
The gyoza (four for $3.75) come steamed, fried or pan-fried. We got pan-fried and were happy with the results. These might not hold up to the scrutiny of a dumpling connoisseur, but for the price, I would gladly get them again.
I was less impressed by the Nhinja Poppers (two for $2.25), which are a bit of salmon stuffed in a rice ball, tempura-fried and served with spicy mayo. They werent unpleasant, but they paled in comparison to the rest of the meal.
So now we come to the sushi.
Nobody calls it Nhinja Wok or even Nhinja Sushi & Wok.
Its always Nhinja Sushi because, I assume, thats what people go for.
Nhinja does a topnotch job of utility sushi at low prices.
the Philly roll ($4.95) has cucumber instead of asparagus, paired with
smoked salmon and cream cheese. The only complaint came from my wife, a
Philly roll devotee, who wished they had peeled the cucumber of its
tough skin. Otherwise, you pretty much taste fish and cream cheese. Its
roll ($5.25) included grilled steak with asparagus and teriyaki sauce.
Im generally not a huge proponent of steak (or chicken) in my sushi
rolls, but I understand the need. Really, the teriyaki stands out here.
If thats your thing, youll probably enjoy this one.
interesting, at least to me, is the 911 roll ($8.95), which combines
yellowtail, tuna and salmon with dynamite sauce. The fresh taste and
texture of the fish is set off by the heat of the sauce. Throw in a
little wasabi (I always do), and youve got a party.
serves both sashimi and nigiri the plain-fish-on-a-ball-of-rice kind
of sushi if that is your preference. I got the tuna nigiri ($4) and it
was fine. Honestly, Id probably go with the specialty rolls here. Lots
more flavor for the price.
Nhinja is enjoyable. Its cheap.
generally tasty. And its fast, fast, fast. When I can give my kid a
couple of noodles and stop him from inappropriately screaming in the
middle of a restaurant, that makes me the happiest of all.
Gazettes restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive
aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.