This week I’m continuing my periodic COVID-19 series: Tales of Takeout, wherein I visit restaurants to scout out their takeout cuisine and options. Some eateries are better suited to takeout than others. Frankly, I was surprised that a sushi restaurant – Nikko Sushi & Ramen in Kaysville – is nailing the takeout experience. You might think that fresh sushi wouldn’t travel well or that ramen would be the wrong food to try and take home, but you’d be wrong, as I’ll illustrate.
When I first wrote about Nikko Sushi & Ramen back in early January, it was a much different world. But one thing hasn’t changed. What I said then is still true today: Nikko is the best restaurant you (probably) haven’t tried. And, although my wife and I chose to go the takeout route this past weekend, Nikko is open for dine-in customers as well as to-go orders.
To recap briefly, as I wrote a few months ago, the uber talented sushi chef and partner behind Nikko Sushi & Ramen is Sunny Tsogbadrakh, whose culinary credentials include Mikado and Naked Fish in SLC. He is also a super friendly guy who is a fountain of sushi knowledge whether you’re a sushi rookie or an old pro.
To my surprise, virtually all of the dishes on the regular Nikko menu are available to go. And the choices range from starters and salads to bento boxes, ramen, sushi rolls, nigiri, sashimi and desserts. Even entrees such as Miso Glazed Salmon, Donburi, Katsucurry, Tonkatsu, and Teriyaki dinners can be enjoyed at home.
Since sushi is best when it’s not ice cold, sushi rolls, nigiri and even sashimi actually travel well and are surprisingly good at home. Of course, I’d normally prefer to sit at the sushi bar and chat with Sunny during dinner, but indulging in takeout from Nikko while watching the new season of Fargo is pretty special, too. And, if sushi rolls are your thing you’ll be happy to know that Nikko is currently offering a buy one get one for half-off special on rolls.
We began by enjoying a sushi roll from Nikko’s “Comfort Rolls” menu, a classic Spicy Tuna ($6) roll. A tuna roll can be pretty routine, but even a simple roll like this one is special in Sunny’s hands. It’s gorgeous sashimi grade tuna wrapped in rice and nori with avocado and sprouts. One difference in this and more mundane tuna rolls elsewhere is the homemade spicy kewpie-style sauce that sets it apart.
To help balance out the spiciness of the tuna roll, we shared an exquisite tasting roll called the Summer Fling ($11). It’s an explosion of flavors on the palate: escolar and mango, rolled with rice and topped with salmon and thinly-sliced kiwi with amazing amazu sauce. Simply put, this is one of the tastiest things I’ve ever put in my mouth.
To be honest, I was skeptical about ordering Tonkotsu Ramen ($11) for takeout. I feared that the noodles would be a mushy mess by the time I got it home. But I was wrong. At Nikko, Sunny puts the luscious pork bone ramen broth with black garlic oil in one container and the ramen fixings – noodles, fish cake, pork chashu, cooked egg, nori and scallions in a separate to go container. So at home, you just mix the perfectly pre-cooked noodles, pork, broth and other ingredients together and you have perfect ramen in the comfort of your own dwelling.
My wife and I are both lovers of hot, spicy foods so jalapeños play a crucial part in our diets. Hence, we never visit Nikko without ordering the tasty Twilight ($11) roll. It’s a salmon, jalapeño and rice roll that is lovingly topped with tender escolar, avocado, heavenly-tasting yuzu-miso sauce and tobiko. And, since one can never have too much jalapeño, we also wolfed down a Sweet Jalapeño roll ($12). This one consists of cucumber and salmon topped with melt-in-the-mouth yellowtail belly, jalapeño slices, citrus tobiko and again, that incredible yuzu-miso sauce.
Well, whether you choose to enjoy Nikko’s killer cuisine at the restaurant in Kaysville or as takeout at home, you’ll be relishing the finest sushi and ramen that Davis County has to offer.
Photos by Ted Scheffler & Courtesy of Nikko
Culinary quote of the week:
“Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Unless he doesn’t like sushi, then you also have to teach him to cook.” — Auren Hoffman
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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