Xaga Sushi Asian Fusion - Merrick, New York

On the advice of some of my co-workers who live in the Merrick area, we finally tried Xaga Sushi Asian Fusion a couple of weeks ago for lunch, and we were so glad we did. The South Shore's much larger, more aesthetically pleasing answer to Kotobuki (see my July 7 post), Xaga is a large, multi-level space that features heavily on colored lights after dark. Even several of the dishes incorporate colored lighting. I know it sounds ultra cheesy but the food is excellent and the service staff is incredibly friendly so it's easily forgivable.

Xaga's menu offers standard sushi fare but also features several creative appetizers, specialty rolls and hot dishes that set it apart from most other sushi restaurants. The service staff is also much more attentive and friendly than at most sushi places. Disclosure: both times we visited were either midday or early evening on a weekend, so they were not prime time. In any event, the following are highly recommended dishes:

Spicy Tuna Cracker


Spicy Tuna Cracker: This is by far one of the best sushi appetizers I have ever tried. Spicy tuna mixed with caviar sandwiched between two ultra-crunchy Japanese nori rice crackers, served over sweet eel sauce and honey mayonnaise sauce. It's like a crunchy Japanese finger sandwich. If you go to Xaga you must order this. My only suggestion would be to make it just a little spicier!

Red Snapper Sashimi special


The obligatory order of edamame
Red Snapper Sashimi (special): The waitress was kind enough to tell us about a special they were offering yesterday - red snapper sashimi. It was so beautifully presented, I almost didn't want to eat it! But when I did taste it, I nearly swooned. Thin slices of red snapper sashimi were served over a citrusy ponzu sauce, topped with a tiny bit of sweet plum paste (similar to preserves), and dusted with Togorashi (Japanese chili powder), and finished with a thin fried garlic chip. In the middle of the plate was a refreshing mound of spiral-cut daikon radish. This dish was pure perfection. The fish was ultra fresh and clean, the plum paste was just the right amount of sweet to offset the chili powder and kick of the garlic chip, and the light ponzu sauce and daikon radish was the perfect refreshing accompaniment to it all. We were so impressed, we almost didn't mind the $16 price tag. To be fair, most of the items on Xaga's menu are reasonably priced. This was definitely a "special" and I will ask for it the next time I go in the hopes that they have it that day!

Housemade shrimp wonton soup:
a MUST try!
Housemade Shrimp Wonton Soup: Along with the spicy tuna cracker, it's safe to say that I will probably order this every time I go to Xaga. Having worked near Chinatown in NYC for several years, I became quite the connoisseur of authentic, homemade Asian noodle and wonton soups and dumplings. Xaga is not lying when it advertises this soup as being homemade - it definitely is and they do a fantastic job. The noodles are very light and delicate, as are the wonton wrappers, which encase a decent-sized and great tasting shrimp. Fresh yu choy (a leafy green related to bok choy and broccoli) is placed in the bottom of the bowl, which wilts from the hot broth poured over the top. My only complaint about this soup is the broth - it tasted very much like chicken broth and not enough like a good Asian soup. But honestly the noodles and wontons were so good that it is one of the best Asian soups I've had on Long Island.

Front: "King Cali" Roll, Middle: salmon sushi,
Back: Yellowtail sushi and white tuna sushi

King Cali Roll: King crab, avocado and cucumber. This was a solid roll, but I prefer Xaga's Steamed Lobster Avocado roll, which I tried last time. I was excited that they carry king crab, since most sushi restaurants only serve that awful fake "krab" that I cannot stand. While the crab did taste great and was definitely not fake, it did not seem to actually be king crab. Perhaps it was snow crab? Not that snow crab is too shabby, either. Next time I will stick with the steamed lobster avocado roll. Most sushi restaurants only serve lobster fried or as a "salad", which means it's tossed with tons of mayo. It's refreshing to see simple, steamed lobster as an option.

Salmon sushi: I am a huge fan of raw salmon. I have to say I prefer Kotobuki's salmon to Xaga. It was very fresh and they give you a huge piece, but it was not as buttery and smooth at Kotobuki's salmon.

Yellowtail and white tuna sushi: There were both very good, fresh pieces.


Back: Super White Roll, Middle: Spicy Tuna Naruto roll
Front: Spicy Yellowtail roll

Super White Roll: Spicy crunchy white tuna inside, topped with white tuna slices and red tobiko caviar. This roll is definitely a keeper. The crunchy tempura pieces mixed in with the spicy white tuna give a nice texture to the spicy tuna, and the white tuna on top is so fresh and clean. Of course, the tobiko caviar on top is always a fun addition.

Spicy Tuna Naruto Roll: A riceless option, thinly-sliced cucumber is rolled around spicy crunchy tuna in a spiral shape, with avocado placed in the middle. Disclaimer - I did not taste this roll but my husband loved it. He said it was very light, crunchy and refreshing with a ton of flavor. 

Spicy Yellowtail roll: A very good version of spicy yellowtail.  






Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing – wonderful write up.. I love sushi!
    Web reference: sushi restaurant near me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can’t to try it – Looking yum! Thanks you!
    Reference: All you can eat sushi near me

    ReplyDelete

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