I was in Durham, NC on business in November 2010 and couldn’t find any restaurants near my hotel except for fast food joints. I looked up “Asian Restaurants” on my GPS and the device directed me to Shiki Sushi. I am glad it did.
Shiki Sushi is located on a rather drab shopping plaza with nail shops and other small businesses. At first glance I was disappointed, but I had no time to look for other places, so I decided to walk in. What a surprise! On the inside, the restaurant is pretty big, with contemporary feel. The first things you notice are the stone walls, wonderful decoration and modern furnishing. I was warmly greeted at the door and quickly seated.
The menu included much more than sushi – there were main courses from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Japan and other Asian countries. The sushi list included everything you can imagine – probably about 50 choices. A great selection of drinks was also offered. Although the place was pretty busy (near full), the server showed great attention to me and took my order in no time. I chose to sit at the sushi bar and I entertained myself by watching three Japanese sushi-chefs prepare the rolls. At the sushi bar, there were at least 7-8 junior chefs and helpers prepping food and helping the Master Chefs. The efficiency of the whole crew was amazing –they worked like we well oiled machine, and there was an order leaving the kitchen every 10 seconds.
On the wall behind the sushi bar are hanging two big screen TVs with sports on. I really enjoyed my time there watching the sushi preparation and couple of games at the same time.
My order arrived quickly and I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation. Well chosen plate, food arrangement and style worthy of the best Asian restaurants in the big city. The taste was excellent and the food fresh. Some places make sushi rolls way too big, almost impossible to put in your mouth. Other places make the rolls too small. Shiki Sushi’s rolls were just right with appropriate amount of everything.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was great – very pleasant music (not asian) on background, quick servers and great, great interiors.
I returned back to the same restaurant for lunch on the following day and again I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent service and high quality food.
For the local residents it is probably interesting to know that they offer punch card at lunch time – you get a free meal after 5 visits for lunch.
The menu prices were a little on the high side, but just right considering the quality food and everything else. Additionally, during both of my visits I was offered “buy-one-get-one-free” sushi rolls. I am not sure if they always have that promotion or it was just something temporary, but it is probably worth asking for this.
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