2 Tyler Street Boston MA 02111
Sushiaya is a fairly new addition to Boston’s Chinatown. It is in a prime location at the corner of Beach Street and Tyler Street, but from the outside, it’s not terribly impressive and they don’t even have a permanent sign, just a laminated tarp banner.
Another mark against it is that it is a Korean/Japanese restaurant. This drives me bonkers. I really feel that in order to do it right a restaurant should be one thing or the other. I feel the same way about restaurants that claim to be fried chicken/pizza restaurants or Thai/Vietnamese. (If you gave me long enough, I am sure I could think of others.) Places like that end up being not very good at anything they do. I used to live in Savannah and there were a couple of car detailing/seafood shops. I kid you not.
Despite the unfinished outside, the inside was quite pleasant. It was tidy and clean with counter that had a large screen behind it playing fun K-pop videos. You should also take a look at their website which is updated, colorful, and informative. It can give you a sense of the food they serve.
We ordered off of the lunch menu and decided to stick with only Korean items since I would have been horrified to mix cuisines. We ordered the pan-fried Spicy Pork Mandu (a Korean dumpling), the Kimchi Soon Tofu Jjigae (a Korean stew), and the Jaebchae ( a stir-fired noodle dish).
We also ordered green tea which came out in steaming stone tumblers (this is something for which I give them points – I LOVE huge stone tumblers of green tea) along with a selection of little Korean side dishes which are known collectively as Banchan. Today we received seasoned sprouts, soybeans and the ubiquitous cabbage kimchi. Banchan is one of the best things about a good Korean restaurant, especially if you arrive hungry because you can dig in to them while you wait for your food.
The Mandu dumplings were delightful – very crispy on the outside, more of a deep fry than a pan fry to be honest. They had a spicy fresh filling that was a nice counterpoint to the sweet sauce that accompanied them.
Kimchi Soon Tofu Jjigae arrived next and it was the real show-stopper of our meal. It was a hearty, delicious, and flavorful stew that had soft tofu, pork and egg in it and was served with steamed white rice. The flavor and experience of eating it was comforting and nourishing – it will definitely be something I seek out next time I am under the weather. The only thing slightly disappointing was that the dish was marked spicy and we did not find it spicy at all really.
The final dish was also excellent, the Jaebchae is a stir-fried noodle dish made with glass noodles combined with vegetables and pork in a tasty but not overpowering sauce. This dish is very similar to ones I have enjoyed recently, in particular the stir fried rice cake with pork that we had at Sichuan Gourmet and China King. The thing that made it remarkable was the quality and texture of the clear glass noodles. I have had them several times and had always found them mushy and unappealing but here they were toothsome and cooked to perfection.
This was a great lunch and their specials are quite a bargain. I can’t vouch for the Japanese half of the menu, but all of the Korean dishes we tried today were delectable. We will come back soon and review the Japanese dishes!