E Sushi is the newest sushi-centric restaurant to land downtown, opening in late April on the 200 block of Market Street. With that location, they’re a quick walk away for lots of Chattanoogans, and an easy stop for lunch or dinner for many others.
While graced with a terrific location, a recent visit to the new eatery aimed to reveal what else besides convenience was on offer. The first discovery (after the atmosphere-soaked interior) was a truly gargantuan menu! E Sushi’s fusion cuisine offers Thai, Korean, Chinese and other Japanese choices in addition to their namesake. (Luckily, ample images accompany the listings, offering a helping hand to the unfamiliar guest.) American influences are also apparent, as their offerings are truly sourced from all over the Pacific Rim.
Appetizers ranged from pan-fried gyoza and chicken yakitori to deep-fried, crab-and-shrimp-stuffed chicken wings and baked mussels with cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños and spicy Japanese mayo. Main courses are just as widely varied. Diners can choose from teriyaki and hibachi entrees, pad Thai, multiple takes on fried rice … I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that even the most die-hard regulars won’t run out of new dishes to try anytime soon.
I asked the owner what he thought made his restaurant a winner in the war for your business. “Quality is the most important thing,” he answered. “We get only Triple-A graded fish, the highest level available.” Their dedication to their product is best tasted through the various offerings we Americans tend to lump together as “sushi.”
The options here are just as varied as the rest of the menu. Nigiri and/or sashimi, the simplest offerings, are available in no less than 20 varieties, including cooked options for those unaccustomed to dining on raw seafood no matter the quality.
When my maguro and sake (tuna and salmon, respectively) sashimi arrived, the owner beamed as he challenged me: “Hold it up to the light!” Bright afternoon sunlight streaming through the windows illuminated the translucence of the thickly-cut slices. “That’s Triple-A.” Each fresh bite was perfectly succulent and tender.
A plethora of sushi rolls are also available. I placed my faith in the owner’s judgment, and was presented with two rolls. First was the Big Island Roll, a Hawaiian-influenced sweet and savory combination. Crunchy salmon is rolled up inside and avocado, mango and roe join a creamy sauce on top. Like many of my favorite dishes, this one highlighted differences in textures and flavors to produce a fantastic result.
The second was the Fantastic Roll, a leviathan-sized roll served sliced and laid out on its side. Chopped salmon, tuna, yellowtail and avocados top the rice, and the plate is finished off with a spicy wasabi mayo. This was more like rolls I’d had in the past, though it is difficult to convey how big each of these pieces were. The contrast in textures between the fish themselves is what made this roll work so well.
I was quite satisfied with my dinner, and I hadn’t even touched any of my standby favorites. In fact, I hadn’t even searched them out, so great was the number of options. However, if your favorite roll somehow isn’t on their extensive list, don’t fret—they’ll gladly make it for you.
Given their location, it also makes sense that E Sushi has a full bar on hand to provide your favorite libations, and they serve house wine at half-price all day, every day. The setting makes for a great jumping-off point for a night out on the town, and competitive pricing and nightly liquor specials ensure you’ll still have a cover charge or two in your pocket when you leave. (If late nights aren’t your thing, you can also enjoy a drink during happy hour, as guests get half-priced beers and sake, as well as 15 percent off food from 3 to 6 p.m.)
If you’re trying to figure out where to take Mom this Sunday, worry no more—families of three or more can treat Mom to E Sushi for free to celebrate Mothers’ Day!
My visit convinced me that there is a lot more to E Sushi than just their ideal whereabouts. High-quality product at reasonable prices does a lot to win me over, and having plenty of choices never hurts either.
Fresh weather, fresher food and a table with a view? Sign me up.
200 Market St Second floor
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday
11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday