New Menu Items at RA Sushi

11 Nov

Last week, I was invited to RA Sushi at the Shops at Legacy to try out some of their new menu items.  RA’s menu tends towards Japanese/new American fusion, and the new menu items creatively follow that theme.  Since my exposure to Japanese cuisine is limited to restaurant experiences in the US, I invited along a friend who has an active interest in Japanese cuisine with multiple trips to Japan logged in his passport for an added perspective.

First up, RA Chips (fried wonton chips) and Salsa (spicy tuna tartare mixed with cucumber, avocado, and fresh salsa):

Ra Chips and Salsa

I’m usually a skeptic of fusion concepts, but this one won me over.  The crunch from the wonton chips and the refreshing, cold, slightly spicy burn from the tuna tartare “dip” truly gives the same texture and taste thrill as digging into a big bowl of freshly fried tortilla chips and zesty salsa.  Someone get me a margarita and a football game on TV, stat!  My personal preference is a little less sauce on top of the tuna, as I found the sweetness nagging.  But overall, a very successful concept that left me wanting more.

Coming alongside the chips and salsa was the Kaisen Ceviche with cooked shrimp, scallops, and squid mixed with fresh tomato, avocado, and salsa.

Kaisen Ceviche

Whether or not there’s anything Japanese/Asian about this dish except for the fried spring roll wrapper base is debatable, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying the spot on texture of the scallops and squid, tender and not overcooked and chewey.  The dish needed more acid to feel like a true ceviche, and when we squeezed some extra lime juice on top, did help that aspect a bit. 

The next course had us switch gears from cold and refreshing to a hot mess, literally.  The menu item so lovingly named “Hot Mess” is actually deep fried rice balls topped with a spicy king crab mix topped with jalapeno and cilantro.

Hot Mess

The plate was a visually stunning presentation with the bright purple beet juice soaked tempura flakes set against the green jalapeno and cilantro.  I really wished the flavors were as clean and distinct as the look.  I understand the idea behind the dish, crunchy fried rice squares topped with creamy king crab and mayonnaise mixture with an added kick from the jalapeno.  But the rice squares were more callous than crispy, and it was nearly impossible to manage each little stack in one bite.  The concept has potential, and perhaps with smaller rice balls and less frying time, could achieve stunning texture as well as presentation.

Next up were items from the new RA Tapas section of the menu.  The plates consist of crudo-style thinly sliced sashimi with various dressings and acid and spice.

Sweet Onion Salmon: Salmon with marinated onions and sweet onion dressing topped with microgreens.

Sweet Onion Salmon

Sesame Lemon Whitefish: Whitefish (tilapia) with sesame dressing and lemon topped with microgreens.

Sesame Lemon Whitefish

Garlic Citrus Yellowtail: Yellowtail with citrus garlic ponzu sauce and scallions topped with microgreens.

Garlic Citrus Yellowtail

Crispy Onion Albacore: Seared albacore with garlic ponzu sauce, crispy onions, and wontons.

Crispy Onion Albacore

Seared Tuna (so named though not seared on this plate): Tuna with a creamy soy dressing, sesame seeds, and Japanese rice cracker bits.

Seared Tuna

These dishes were my favorites at lunch, the kind of fusion concept whose flavor doesn’t get muddled underneath all the added condiments and flair.  I particularly enjoyed the smooth silky tuna in the mild soy dressing with a pop of crunch from the rice cracker bits and the flavor combination of the salmon slices with the sweet onion vinaigrette.  The crispy onion albacore, in addition to having explosive textures in each bite, presented slices of of velvety smooth pleasure, no stringy fish here.  A couple of the dressings leaned towards too sweet for my taste, I’m just a stickler for acidity when it comes to raw seafood.

We ended our meal with the Banana Split Maki.

 Banana Split Maki

The banana maki roll pieces consisted of chocolate stuffed bananas inside a spring roll wrapper, all fried and topped with kiwi, mandarin orange slices, whipped cream, strawberries, and drizzed with raspberry and chocolate sauces.  The dessert, surprisingly, was just the right amount of sweetness for me, achieving balance between the rich chocolate and the fresh fruit.  The fried stuffed bananas didn’t feel heavy at all inside those airy crisp spring roll wrappers, a perfect ending to our lunch.

Overall, I think the new menu items are great, creative additions to RA’s menu.  I’m particularly excited about seeing the RA Tapas sashimi styled dishes north of Dallas proper, presented with such style and originality.  Service was impeccable, with a staff well versed in the menu offerings and quick to accommodate special requests.  Despite my aversion to the tendency towards sweetness in fusion dishes, I think RA has proven that fusion doesn’t have to feel forced, it can simply be fun.

RA Sushi
7501 Lone Star Dr (Shops at Legacy)
Plano, TX 75024


One Response to “New Menu Items at RA Sushi”

  1. Scott 11/12/2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Great to see you back in the blogging business, Donna!

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