Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya
“Kaki Fri”. These are two words you absolutely need to know. They are the two words, aside from “Lychee Martini”, that get me back to Blue Ribbon Sushi, every time. When I heard that they opened a second location, Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, equipped with a beer garden on Orchard Street, there were no ifs ands or buts, I was getting there asap.
Walking up the narrow black wall with gold flower decal stairs, I tilted my head up to see the beautiful Japanese paper lanterns floating above emitting a warm and elegant glow transforming an otherwise unwelcoming staircase into a gorgeous experience worth. At the top of the stairs, you'll find a long wooden bar equipped with nearly equally as long wooden open wooden shelves lined with bottles of booze. Against the wall opposite to the bar space is lined with back-to-back clean booths. The space feels small until you realize that the wall that is home to the staircase also opens up to a whole other dining room with sushi counter, second bar and ample seating. That's not all, when the season's right, they open up a beer garden! God, can you imagine eating sushi, sipping lychee martinis all while playing a riveting game of ping-pong in a wood paneled, tented space outfitted with fun faux sunflowers and vines? It's a combination of classy and playful, while quiet enough in the afternoons making it oh-so-perfect for an upscale business meeting.
I'm pretty sure that I've made it fully clear that the Kaki Fri, aka fried oyster roll with lettuce is an absolute must. Pair it with your lychee martini and really you're all set. Add on the Oxtail And Bone Marrow Fried Rice, the Gindara Saikyoyaki aka the hands-down best miso-marinated black cod that I've encountered and a side of Shrimp Shumai and you may as well snap a photo, postit to Instagram and make the caption “#blessed”. It's truly one of my hands down favorite restaurants to date. I truly cannot wait to get back there! If you beat me to it, tell me all about your amazing experience!