Center City’s new favorite sushi spot
By Larry Nichols larry@epgn. com
Northeast Philadelphia’s best-kept sushi secret recently set up shop in Center City. And it sure knows how to make a splash.
Makiman Sushi, 1326 Spruce St., serves dishes with flavor as well as visual flair. The avocado salad ($6.95) was cool and creamy. Then the pendulum swings back to the spicy and crunchy tuna nachos ($9.95), wonton chips topped with fresh tuna, crab salad and a spicy sauce. Both dishes were great ways to kick off a meal. The hirame carpaccio ($8.95) was far more delicate than the previous two dishes, impressing with its seasoning and exquisite garnishing.
One of the more unique dishes was the mama roll ($7.50), a mixture of rice, beef and vegetable dipped in egg and pan-fried — a direct hit to the comfort-food bullseye. Another dish that scored high was the spicy pork burrito ($7.50) — rarely seen on a sushi menu, but all the rage thanks to the popularity of Korean taco trucks. Makiman’s burrito is perfect with juicy pork, kim chi, sour cream, mango salsa and guacamole. For an added boost of spice, Makiman’s Korean chili sauce does an amazing job.
Makiman’s selection of sushi rolls is vast, providing many different flavors and textures. It’s easy to see why the Cap’n Crunch roll ($5.95) is a favorite: The combination of cooked shrimp, tempura flakes, mayo and cucumber come together to deliver irresistible texture. The Northeast Viking roll ($13.95) is a visual and flavorful beast, with spicy tuna inside and torched salmon on the outside, topped with tobiko, eel sauce and spicy sauce for a pleasantly complex eating experience. The MM Naturo roll ($9.95) is a refreshing departure from the traditional sushi roll as it contains no rice or seaweed, instead using sheets of cucumber to wrap the tuna, salmon and avocado.
The true showstopper of the evening was the stone-pot bi bim bop ($15.95), a spectacular, sizzling, steaming dish of still-cooking crispy rice topped with vegetables, a sunny-side-up egg and your choice of protein or tofu (we had the shredded beef), mixed with either teriyaki or Korean chili sauce at your discretion. In our opinion, the Korean chili sauce is king and queen, but if you want to play it safe ...
We’ve seen our fair share of desserts at sushi restaurants but nothing as shamelessly decadent as Makiman’s ice-cream tempura ($8.95), a massive portion of green-tea (or vanilla) ice cream dipped in tempura batter and fried. It’s smothered with strawberry sauce, garnished with fresh strawberries and placed next to a similarly huge mountain of whipped cream, the whole shebang lightly drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Pitons, sherpa guides and a few friends to help you finish it are not included.