My husband recently dined at Ten Asian Bistro in Newport Beach for a work event and this is his review of his experience.
After a quick drink at the min bar, we sat at the sushi bar and were met by a friendly and outgoing Japanese chef. He was eager to tell us about various fish stories of fishermen the biggest and best tuna, and explained the amazingly high prices in the international market. Clearly he understood that the fish doesn’t just somehow arrive in his restaurant from the back of a refrigerated truck. It was entertaining to hear about the effort to select the finest cuts of fish when I knew so little about it.
We started with some edamame with sea salt, and also had some with Chili-Garlic. We enjoyed the flavor and also noted the chili oil made them more greasy than the usual texture. I enjoyed them but prefer the traditional preparation.
We also sampled many servings of sashimi, including yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, salmon, and yellowtail. All of these were quite fresh and tender, and I was surprised at how much I savored the yellowtail. I normally favor the tuna and salmon, and this sashmi stood up to the others in quality and flavor.
For our other sushi dishes, we also tried the seared albacore. It was a very hearty roll, that I appreciated watching the chef prepare with a torch over top of the roll. We all said it tasted similar to a steak, but of course with a tuna flavor. It was hearty and non-traditional for the expectations of specialty rolls in Orange County.
We also tried the sweet shrimp. This included a few nice pieces of shrimp sushi, and well as a some flash fried whole shrimp heads. The idea is to bite straight into the entire shrimp and crunch down on head the legs. It’s quite prickly and even can be sharp, so it’s not for beginners. I found it interesting and would try almost anything once, but would not put this as my first or even 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice next time. Go for it if you love crunchy shrimp, but there are lots of other delicious options here.
I could have stayed for hours, but was already full and had my share of quite a variety. The restaurant was rather empty but I was there at 5 PM on a Wednesday night. It definitely had a hip and modern decor as they advertise, and the waitresses and hostesses were friendly and attractive. You can tell that they cater to a young happy-hour crowd, and I can imagine that weekends are very busy there. I would like to return and try some more variety. I even saw that they have an all-you-can-eat option M-F for $22, so that may be a good chance for me to experiment at the right price.