Sushi Ten offers impressive take-out Japanese cuisine at affordable prices
G. A. Benton
Do you have a take-out sushi restaurant offering high quality dishes at an affordable price? If not, I strongly suggest you take a look at Sushi Ten, the local reference for such an operation.
After closing for nearly six months for a largely cosmetic makeover, Sushi Ten, 1159 Old Henderson Road, reopened a few months ago at the Japan Marketplace at the Kenny Center – a sprawling complex of terrific related businesses that includes Akai Hana , Belle’s Breads, Tensuke Express and the Tensuke Market.
Unsurprisingly, Sushi Ten’s offerings – which include several vegan rolls – are still impressive, the setting is just different. Attached to Tensuke Market via a ramp at the back of the store, Ten now occupies a streamlined, small, and bright space that’s essentially an order counter connected to a bustling but spotless open kitchen with calm, focused workers. Attractive, modern touches are provided by the wood and light-colored tiles that range from sparkling white to stone mosaic to domino-patterned orange.
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Indoor seating is not offered, but customers can transport their food to a table inside the nearby Tensuke Express, which has a cafeteria-style setup. There are also a few outdoor tables lining the entrance to Ten’s parking lot, and benches are scattered throughout the Japanese Market Park.
Ten’s concise website and accurate online menu, which offers multiple photos and clear explanations of sushi styles, is representative of the well-oiled, no-frills restaurant as a whole. These features also make it easier to compile a pickup order.
If you’ve just dropped by, expect a helpful waiter to facilitate your ordering process and then text you when your food is ready, which in my case was still less than the 20 minute wait time at 30 minutes indicated.
A good place to start is nigiri – protein draped over mounds of rice. These stripped down pieces show how Ten stands out from the pack.
For example, choosing a nigiri with arguably the most popular raw fish for sushi—tuna ($3.40) and salmon ($3)—brought firm, sweet vinegary rice (getting that right doesn’t matter). is no mean feat) sprinkled with wasabi and garnished with thick but silky cool-tasting tuna and buttery salmon respectively.
The smooth and sweet shrimp nigiri ($2.75) was equally adorable and the king salmon ($3.35), a weekend special, was deliciously extra buttery.
The stronger-tasting amberjack ($3.50) is often a miss elsewhere, but here it’s pretty good. Adventurous diners might also enjoy the Sesame Boiled Scallop, similar to a raw oyster ($3.30).
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Not feeling adventurous? Anyone who loves eggs will dig the puffy, sugary omelet-like boards on the crowd-pleasing tamago nigiri ($2).
Ten’s maki selection – the familiar nori-bound wheels with innards surrounded by rice – includes fun, six-piece vegetable-centric rolls with toppings such as: Sour Plum & Cucumber ($3.55) – Preserved Plum trendy and tangy (aka “umeboshi”) in sauce form with the effective counterpoint of fresh, crunchy cucumber; squash ($3.30) – chunks of kanpyo (gourd) with fishy textures and appealing sweet and savory flavors; pickled radish ($3.25) – daikon with its telltale funk and crunch.
Something more elaborate? Two of my favorite dynamic multi-component builds were: Spicy Crunchy Salmon Roll ($7.25) – rice roll on the outside (uramaki) with delicious fish, sesame seeds, crispy tempura flakes , green onion and just enough spicy mayonnaise; and the similar but much bigger and even better Columbus roll with tuna ($15) — oversized uramaki discs filled with bountiful ground tuna, pristine avocado, crunchy cucumber, sesame seeds, and spicy mayonnaise.
I also loved Ten’s chirashi ($19), which is the opposite of elaborate. It’s a beautifully topped bowl of sushi rice with a carefully carved mix of raw fish (sashimi) that includes tuna, salmon and amberjack accompanied by cooked shrimp, pollock, octopus and slightly chewy squid , as well as eggs, squash, eggs and cucumber.
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Something sweet? Ten’s syrup-soaked inari ($7.25) — six huge pouches of deep-fried tofu filled with sushi rice and sesame seeds — could easily be called “dessert sushi.”
Where: 1159 Old Henderson Road, northwest side
Contact: 614-451-9100; www.sushiten.japanmarketplace.com
Hours: 3 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday to Sunday
Price range: $1.90 to $33
Vibe: a small take-out restaurant with modern and attractive facilities, helpful counter service and an impeccable open kitchen located in a complex of superb Japanese-themed businesses
Children menus: no
Liquor license: Nope
quick click: The remodeled space looks different, but it’s still hard to beat this recently reopened local purveyor of upscale take-out sushi when it comes to freshness, price, variety, and skillful preparation.