Thankfully, Naples, Italy is a big enough of a city where if you look hard enough, you can find just about everything you need. There are quite a few sushi joints in town, but not all of them are really top quality. (So I’ve heard!) We happened upon one, Jorudan Sushi, about 3 or 4 years ago. Since then, it has been our go-to place when we need a sushi fix.
Last night we tried it again, this time after not going since we had moved to France. Needless to say, I was very excited. First of all, I just love the restaurant space. Is it VERY small-there’s maybe space for 10 people. I like this as it keeps the wait down and the sushi well-made. The light wood and perfectly dimmed lights give it an intimate and cozy atmosphere. The restaurant really gives off the air of being exclusive, which I suppose it kind of is. The only thing I really hate is their choice for chopsticks! Honestly, the rest of the restaurant is filled with well-thought out, refined touches and then you go and put run-of-the-mill wood chopsticks in there. Even just plain black ones would make a world of difference, in my opinion. (And yes, we forgot my much loved special chopsticks, so wood it was. Doesn’t everyone bring their own chopsticks to sushi restaurants?!)
Now on to the food and drinks! To start off, we got a bottle of Girlan Flora Gerwürztraminer from the Alto Adige region of Italy. Other than beer, a nice aromatic Gerwürtztraminer is our favorite drink to accompany sushi. This particular wine was a pleasure to drink. It threw off an amazing sugary perfume, one of the reasons in general why I love the gertz so much. (Can someone make it into a perfume?! Ahh….) In the mouth, it was quite harmonious but a bit heavy and sweet. I suppose it has to be heavy to balance out the 14.5% alcohol content! It cost us 40 euro at the restaurant, 16 in stores. The wine list at Jorudan offers many nice choices. The prices range from about 20 euro up to 100 for the more costly bottles. Most of the wines are whites from the north of Italy, but there are also a few local wines on the list too.
We started off our dinner with the classic seaweed salad. Jorudan’s portion seemed to be a bit more generous than some other places that we have visited. I could eat a swimming pool of that stuff and still want more. This version was also a tiny bit spicy, which I enjoyed. Then, on to the sushi! To make things easy, we went with the sushi mix for two-price tag 55 euro. There were 10 nigiri; my favorite was the blowtorched salmon. Unfortunately, it seemed the rice and fish didn’t like to stick together. There were also 6 pieces of salmon sashimi. I wish they would have mixed it up there a bit, but at least the salmon was excellent. After we finished that, the maki and uramaki were up next. There were 6 avocado maki, 2 cucumber ones and four salmon maki. As for the uramaki, we had 4 salmon-avocado, 4 with salmon roe outside and 4 that I can’t remember topped with tempura and mayonnaise.
Yes, the menu was quite heavily based on salmon. With the wealth of seafood they have here in Naples, you’d think they would want to highlight less well-known fish or just give the client a bit more variety. Plus, the price is a tad high when you have the majority of the fish being salmon. Having said that, the quality is always excellent, which is basically the reason why we go to Jorudan. Another fact I appreciate is that they do NOT stray far from traditional sushi. I do like the occasional “crazy” roll now and then, but when you have top quality fish it’s not worth ruining it.
To end the meal, we decided to forgo dessert (there). The waiter kindly brought us each a scoop of green tea ice cream anyway! So good! Creamy, not to sweet, but with strong green tea flavor.
To my pleasure, I noticed today that Jorudan opened a new location in the Chiaia section of the city. I’ll have to check that out ASAP and see how they work there. As always, a pleasure to dine at Jorudan.