Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sabi in Davidson

4 adults, 2 teens and 2 kids - we covered the gambit of tastes on Saturday at 5pm.  Yes, we got there a little early to avoid a crowd without a reservation.  We were greeted by a pleasant young lady that had to ask for help figuring where to put us.  Most tables are 4 tops, so 8 is a challenge when they are busy... it was 5pm.  The manager that assisted her was giving her a hard time because they had another group of 8 coming at 6:30.  Perfect.  Set us up there.  If you can't get us moving in 90 minutes, we got problems.  Sure enough (glitches and all) we were walking out the door at 6:10. 

After watching the hostess get reprimanded (wOw), we were seated in the far back of the restaurant.  Common when you dine in a nicer restaurant and have children - no worries.  Our waitress was prompt and friendly, took drink orders right away.  The adults all had water and that was not the right answer.  We were asked multiple times about ordering other drinks.  Really?  I can't imagine doing Sake shots with two teens and two adolescents present. 

We ordered 3 sushi rolls - a spicy tuna extra spicy, a Mt Fuji, and a Cali roll (soy paper instead of nori).  They all came promptly, we were asked for our drink order again (you get the idea) and we began to snack.  From the top... the Mt Fuji roll was exquisite.  The varying colors of the masago on top, the tilapia draped on the outside, it was a beauty.  It was $11.95, 8 pieces.  A little steep.  The spicy tuna roll was spot on.  Not extra spicy as requested, but very nice.  $6.25, 6 pieces.  That's a little closer.  Most in this area are $4.95-$5.95.  This is close.  The cali roll was a bummer.  Soy paper is a little thicker than nori, so the sushi chef must take that into consideration when wrapping.  Sure enough, thicker equals dryer and nothing stuck.  It was coming apart before the plate hit the table.  It was a crying shame and the waitress went missing for about 10 minutes - so she never got to find out.  Beverages went empty (must be because they were not adult beverages) and we had to verbally request refills as she passed by.  Being in the far back of the restaurant made catching her quite difficult in fact. 

Entrees ($10-$15) showed up well timed and we had all kinds of stuff coming out.  They do a spicy seafood trio that two of us ordered, sweet and sour chicken that is tossed with pineapple chucks (nice touch), got some tempura veg (incl asparagus and pineapple - nice touches as well), soup and a couple versions of lo mein.  Kids had chicken nuggets with fruit.  Great option having fruit instead of fries - kids need healthy options when eating out.

The seafood was well prepared - shrimp, scallops and mussells.  The mussells were out of the shell which is a great touch, and were cooked perfectly - almost melt in your mouth.  Shrimp were good as well, scallops were on the edge of overdone - which is forgivable being first in the pan I am sure.  All of that served with Asian veggies in a spicy sake ginger sauce.  Asian veg=broccoli.  Oh my too much broccoli.  Side of rice with all entrees.  Soup and tempura were good, sauce with tempura was not.  It has a ying yang dipping bowl with spicy mayo and wasabi mayo.  Neither were well received.  The conventional sauce for tempura has a little mirin and soy, served warm and delicious.  This wasabi mayo was rather bitter and did not pair with the spicy mayo at all.  Shrimp sauce helped cure the ails.  Back to entrees and loving the pineapple tossed with the sweet and sour chicken, yet leaving the chicken batter still crisp.  This was very well executed and certainly would have been a future re-order. 

Beef lo mein and chicken lo mein were just as you see anywhere, other than portions two could share (a plus) and the best value of the evening by far.  Where things really spiralled was the dark hair in the second spicy seafood.  Oh my.  Halfway through, pulling up a mussell and there it was in all it's glory.  The meal really came to a screeching halt at that point.  Again, trying to get the waitresses attention, it left us with too much time to discuss how un-enthused that made us.  She took it back without issue, apologized and came back to offer a replacement.  At that point the meal was essentially over so that was not needed.

This would be the opportunity for the ill-acting manager from our entrance to come and try to at least make an appearance.  Not looking for freebies by any stretch, just some reassurance that they recognize the issue and assure of it's correction.  Nada.  Really?  As we prepared to pay, things were rung wrong and we had to get the bill corrected.  After paying, as we left, we were not thanked, not given the "come back and see us", none of that.

Sadly, we discussed the option of going to the gym next door on the weekend and then going in for some sushi.  That might not be an option any more.  If you can't simply stop and thank folks spending their hard-earned money, let alone 8 people, then you really don't need to get any more of it.  Kobe Hero has better sushi at better prices and is 1 exit away.  Sushi at the Lake is right there too.  I don't need Sabi, and it appears they don't need me either.

Sabi Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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