Wednesday, March 12, 2014

J2 Sushi

To celebrate a recent personal occasion, we decided to try some of the Dublin sushi scene.  Ireland and Dublin are of course not well-known for sushi like Tokyo and San Francisco, but Ireland does have access to wonderful seafood, so great and reasonably-priced sushi must be available somewhere in the city.

It is, at J2 Grill and Sushi on the North Wall Quay (pronounced key).

We visited on a Friday night, so we made reservations- something it must be said we rarely do.  Mostly because we are I am such a cheapskate that the thought of fancy restaurants makes my skin crawl and my wallet shrivel instinctively. 

J2 isn't all that fancy, reservations were recommended just because it is a small restaurant (maybe they would call it intimate), in a beautiful glass cube of a building right on the River Liffey.  We had a great table right next to the sushi bar, so we were able to watch the chefs at work.

Menu for J2 Grill and Sushi, Dublin, Ireland
Cool Menu!

We started with our favorite sushi starter, edamame.  Steamed and salted soybeans served in their pods.  I can't help but chuckle when I think of this food as a fancy, exotic treat when it grows literally by the ton all over Iowa.  Green tea in a clear pot and served in clear teacups rounded out our snack.

Edamame and Green Tea at J2 Grill and Sushi, Dublin, Ireland
Edamame and Green Tea

Next, another favorite (included with our sushi special), miso soup.  Also made from soy (well... tofu and a seaweed and dried fish broth), miso is a great salty, slurpy soup- especially on a chilly night after a long walk to the restaurant.

Miso Soup at J2 Grill and Sushi, Dublin, Ireland
Miso Soup

Next was our actual appetizer- called spider tempura at J2.  The menu described it as soft shell crab, fried in tempura batter.  We love crab and we love tempura, so we jumped at it.  When it came, it really was just that... a whole soft shell crab, dipped and fried tempura-style.  Nice.

Soft Shell Crab Tempura at J2 Grill and Sushi, Dublin, Ireland
Soft Shell Crab Tempura

Then... Oh yeah!  The sushi.  We ordered a sushi combination plate, more than enough for two diners to enjoy a selection of the specialty rolls made here.  We had all the classics.  We had salmon, we had shrimp, we had tempura, we had avocadoes, we had cream cheese, we had the spicy mayo, we had that awesome orange sauce that comes on a lot of sushi.  In other words, we enjoyed all the non-Japanese but very Westerner-friendly big bites of sushi enjoyed on both sides of the Atlantic... if not the Pacific.

Sushi Combo at J2 Grill and Sushi, Dublin, Ireland
Sushi Combo

We had a great evening at J2 with great food and great atmosphere.  It certainly didn't hurt that my dining companion was the best in the world.

All this for a very reasonable Dublin restaurant price.  This won't be something we have every week, but great sushi at great prices is hard to find, so we'll be back.

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