This evening was my second visit to Xina...and it was sooooo good. This is a hard restaurant to beat, folks.
It's a tastefully decorated restaurant, light and airy with nice views of Barnegat Bay. The owner, Steven Lee, is very much a part of dining here...and he is VERY aware of turning out a high quality experience. The sushi tonight was delightful. We tried two special rolls - the Acapulco which was lobster tempura, sticky rice, mango and topped with white tuna, tobiko [caviar] and jalapeño. Topped by a squeeze of fresh lime - YUMMY.
The Forever roll was several different types of fish - spicey tuna, salmon to name two -wrapped with seaweed paper, then rolled with avocado, tobiko and a sushi piece of tuna on top. Beautiful to see and better to eat!
Also tried Kobe beef, marinated, sliced like carpaccio, and cooked by us on a tiny hibachi with a hot stone ... so tender, flavorful and fun.
Final special we tried was Xina's Japanese take on clams casino.. baked in the 1/2 shell with a spicy béchamel sauce and bacon - really special. Tender clams and a great blend of favors - with BACON ... This was my favorite of the evening. The specials were so good we couldn't leave ... we actually ordered vegetable tempura and one final sushi roll. Both were also terrific - fresh, flavorful and well prepared.
Would also like to compliment our server, Jackie. She was extremely pleasant, knowledgable about their food, made good suggestions and seemed to be someone who was happy with what she was doing...she was a pleasure. In looking around at other diners and staff it seemed to me that the staff at Xina are well trained, attentive and happy...another big plus.
Mr. Lee should be very proud of Xina...it's beautiful, well run and staffed, and the food was top-notch. I must say this was one of my best dining experiences at the Jersey Shore! In addition to sushi, his menu offers some wonderful Asian and fusion dishes. I tried them on my first visit last month with several friends and they were every bit as delicious as tonight's sushi.
Only two caveats folks ...this restaurant is VERY POPULAR - make reservations! Also, it can be very lively and loud but to my way of thinking the spectacular food we ate more than makes up for some noise!
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