bits and pieces

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reviews: Enso Sushi, Regina

Enso, like many nice things in Regina, is unfortunately located in a strip mall in the east end.

 While it's a very NICE strip mall - it brings up the larger point - City Planners of Regina, HEAR ME: Please stop building strip malls and only strip malls. They do not create a sense of community nor the inclination to walk anywhere. Thank you, Aleana.

Rant aside - Enso is lovely.

It is without a doubt my favourite sushi place in Regina. It's marginally more pricey than Miso or Sake or Tomoya, and it's about on par with Hanabi and Michi.  The space is small - it probably doesn't seat more than 40, but well lit and well decorated. The atmosphere is calm and quiet, and the few times I've gone, the service has been prompt, discreet and helpful.

 All in all good things.

Enso, like many other Japanese restaurants has a set menu of combos you can order from. If you're new to sushi, or looking to stay on budget - these combos are highly recommended. I've had the Dynamite Dinner set and was very pleased - for $17.95 you receive a miso soup, Dynamite roll, cucumber roll,  and 6 nigiri: 2 salmon, 2 tuna, and 2 shrimp. Not bad at all.



Prices and service aside - what about the food?! The sushi here is - I think some of the best sushi in Regina. The ingredients are fresh as can be, and unlike most sushi places in town - it looks like they use wild salmon in their sushi vs. the farmed Atlantic salmon. Big points in my book. The portions are good and the presentation is lovely. While Enso may not be as 'traditional' as Michi - this is a plus in my books - sure I like getting your typical rolls, but it's so much more fun to try new things! And - might I add, new things that work. Their Banzai roll is a favourite of mine: Tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and lettuce with some yummy sauce drizzled on it. The Tuna Firecracker - tuna, avocado, and tempura crunch with chili sauce- is another fav. And while being a lousy pescatarian I haven't tried it - their sweet chili chicken roll is supposedly fab.

The appetizers are also good - normal portions and very well cooked. The tempura has never been greasy, the miso soup is miso soup-y. The agedashi tofu is great - warm, crunchy and soft. The dumplings - while again, having pork in them I've never tried are also supposed to be great.

I actually have no catty things to say or improvements to wildly suggest. This is just a really good sushi restaurant.

The downsides to Enso I can think of? Ambiance and location. It's not that Enso is lacking in atmosphere - it's just very mellow and very calm. Part of the reason it's so calm is that the last few times I've gone it's been dead quiet.. Some more uptempo music or a visit from the chef would really add a bit of zest to the overall dining experience.

In regards to location - while I know tons of folks in Regina live in the east end - and if you do - great. However, if you go to Enso and then you're looking to head out after your lovely dinner and see the sights (whatever those are), tie one on, and have a real date night - well.. there's nothing really near by. It is near Rock Creek but bouncing from restaurant to restaurant is not my personal idea of going out. When we go for sushi dates, we like to drink ourselves a bottle of sake, linger and enjoy ourselves before heading out. Unfortunately with Enso - there's nowhere to head out to unless you're fine to cab or someone wants to DD. The other downside to the location is that they might not get a whole lot of business there. I hope they are because really, they do such a great job with their food - but compared to some of the other sushi joints in town -  I can't see them getting much of a lunch rush.

The past 2 times I've gone to Enso - we've been the only couple there. So do ME a favour and check it out. Let's keep it around for all my sushi cravings.
  
Food –4/5
Service –  3/5
Value – 4/5

Enso is located at 3423 Quance Street and at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Enso/167813473303556


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