Today I visited Mai Sushi for lunch for the first time. I had been to Chiyoda (its previous version) in the same space a number of times, but this was the first time I had been able to get over to try the new stuff at Mai.
I couldn't decide what to get. At Chiyoda, I usually got sushi and then a side salad - sometimes potato salad, sometimes other things. After much deliberation, in which I considered sushi, bento boxes and salads, I finally decided on a "tapas" lunch (for lack of a better term) since all the sides were jumping out at me.
I decided on potato salad, spicy popcorn shrimp onigiri, green beans and a curried tofu and chickpea salad. Looking back, I probably could have gone with just 3 of them, but I was trying to get a good balance of vegetables since potato salad was a definite choice and I didn't know how filling everything would be. I didn't eat them one at a time, but I'm going to talk about them from least liked to most liked.
First up, the sesame-soy green beans. The texture of the green beans was good - not too hard and not falling apart. However, because of the sesame-soy sauce, it was really salty. The carrots were a nice addition, even if they weren't listed on the nutritional label.
Second, the curried chickpea and fried tofu salad. The taste of the salad was really good but here, the texture was a little lacking. The chickpeas were a little harder than I prefer and the fried tofu skin was a little thicker and harder than I had hoped. But the flavor was good.
Now for the 2 dishes I liked better. The spicy popcorn shrimp onigiri was new to me. The spicy sauce is like the spicy mayo sauce I've had on rock shrimp tempura elsewhere. Good flavor and the onigiri didn't really fall apart. The potato salad I have had many times before. I love Japanese potato salad. The recipe seems to have changed a little and now includes eggs. I prefer it without eggs, but I can deal with that because sometimes I just need a fix of Japanese potato salad.
I think next time I go to Mai, I may get hot food in a bento, or maybe go back to my usual of sushi plus a side. But it was nice to branch out and try new items (other than my old standby of potato salad). Hope for a new discovery next time!