Had reason to go from my home in NE PA to Middletown, NY to replace a cell phone that turned its toes up all of a sudden. The ATT store was in the Galleria shopping mall just off I-84 (exit 4W), and after I spent some time and money on the phone, I realized I had neglected to eat lunch.
I asked the guy in the phone store if there were any decent restaurants in the mall, and I expected him to give me a Ruby Tuesday's, Denny's and the like.
Surprisingly, he said there was a sushi place right upstairs on the second story of the mall.
Not expecting much in a mall, I went upstairs, found the place and sat down at the sushi bar.
Most of the restaurant floor space was taken up with the huge grills, with seats all around, where you see an oriental chef cheating death time and time again, with razor sharp flying knives, while preparing food for the patrons. I love when they throw the salt over their shoulder and it does not hit the patrons (mostly).
My tastes run contrary to lunch and a floor show, so I opted to sit at the bar. Surprisingly there were few, if any, other patrons in the place, either at the sushi bar or the Grill-in-the-Round area.
When I go to a new Japanese restaurant I always order the Churashi Bowl, which is sashimi (very fresh raw fish and clam) that the chef picks out for you; they are supposed to pick the freshest uncooked seafood items they have and serve it, along with vinegared rice, and some garnishing, such as some shredded daikon radish, wasabi (a truly evil Japanese version of horseradish) and ginger root. (Skip the ginger root if you don't want a massive dose of what I think is MSG -- all I know is after I have had it in the past, I couldn't spit for a day or so, so I shun it on my plate).
At first the sushi chef didn't understand my order when I gave it to him, but the waitress said something in some language or other and then he knew what I wanted. I thought the word "Churashi" was in his language, but maybe not.
The menu had much to offer, most of which was not raw.
When I had finished the complimentary salad and miso soup (serviceable quality) the chef handed me my order.
I must say that I was favorably impressed with the quality, if not the quantity, of what I was served. The fish was 3 or 4 kinds of fish, the traditional combination of yellowtail, salmon, tuna, some salmon roe etc. Even the wasabi was high quality and fresh (don't ask me how I know this).
Except for feeling lonely from the lack of customers in the place, the lunch was an unexpected pleasure in an unlikely place.
I don't know about other Japanese restaurants in the area as I'm not usually doing anything but passing through on the Interstate, but I would not hesitate to go back. The bill came to about $20 or so with the tip, and to me I pretty much got what I paid for.
I wish I knew how to say Bon appetit in Japanese.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.