So, it's good news for me - and sushi lovers like me - that so many new Asian restaurants have opened in the past few years. A few weeks ago I finally had a chance to make it to Shoccu after drooling over pictures posted by friends on social media.
Shoccu is tucked into a strip mall at the corner of Illinois and Scott roads. Despite this, I was surprised by how small the place is; there are just a few standalone tables and some tables with benches along one wall, but it is very welcoming.
As with most Asian restaurants, the d?cor is heavy with wood, giving it a very comfortable and intimate feel, but it's still very bright and clean. The sushi preparation area is open, so you can watch them prepare your meal, always a fun feature at any sushi establishment, but there's no sushi bar to sit at if that's your kind of thing. Our server was kind and knowledgeable, and even made several accommodations for our 1-year-old daughter, which is always appreciated.
Though known for its sushi menu, Shoccu offers traditional Japanese and Korean dishes as well, including Udon Noodles and Bibimbap. I had a chance to sample several items on the menu and here are my recommendations:
Tincap Roll ($13.99): A fiery roll filled with tempura shrimp, apple, asparagus and crab, wrapped with spicy tuna and topped with jalapeno. I really enjoyed the crunchy sweetness of the apple with the earthy bite of the asparagus, both of which offset the fire of the spicy tuna and jalapeno. All the flavors and textures work well within this roll to make it one of my top five in the city. I love that it is named after our local baseball team, too.
Corona Roll ($10.99): This Mexican twist on an otherwise traditional sushi roll features spicy tuna, avocado and tempura chips wrapped in white tuna and garnished with lime and wasabi mayo. I have had Mexican-inspired rolls before at other sushi restaurants (think cilantro and jalapeno), but I've never had one that incorporates lime, and the result is delicious. The white tuna on the outside was extremely fresh, and the lime really brought out its flavor.
Avocado Roll ($4.99): The menu says this roll is made with cream cheese, but I strongly feel that cream cheese has no business in sushi, so I requested it be made without. I always order an avocado roll as a palate cleanser with any sushi meal and this roll served that purpose well, especially since two rolls were pretty spicy. The avocado was fresh, and the roll was sprinkled with just the right amount of toasted sesame seeds.
Bibimbap with hot stone bowl ($10.99): A traditional Korean dish made with rice, saut?ed and seasoned vegetables, chili pepper and soy sauce. I ordered mine with Bulgoki Beef and it came out piping hot. I have had bibimbap a few times and really enjoyed this version. The meat and vegetables were seasoned well, and all of the flavors complemented each other.
Salmon Teriyaki Served with White Rice ($15.99): I have been on a salmon kick lately. Having gone years without ordering it at a restaurant, I have done so a handful of times over the past few months. This dish is packed with flavor. The teriyaki is sweet but not too sweet, and I loved the added touch of the mango salsa. Mango is quickly becoming one of my favorite flavors to throw into savory dishes, and this one was done well.
Shoccu is a welcome addition to Fort Wayne's Asian food scene. It's a bit of a hike for north siders, but those who live southwest should be sure to add this to their list of places to frequent.
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