Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thelonious Monkfish: A Quick Review

While exploring Central Square in Cambridge, I found Thelonious Monkfish, a restaurant that specializes in Sushi, Japanese and Thai food. They state that their tagline is "Jazz for the Palate because we love to jam on Asian culinary themes." I looked at the menu in the window and it was a short list of small plates which sounded enticing, so I figured I would stop in and try a few things.

The restaurant is long and narrow, with a row of tables on one wall and a sushi bar, booths and a few tables on the other wall. The decor is clean, modern and more minimalist. The menu I received was relatively small, and might have just been their lunch menu, as what is listed on their website is a much more extensive menu. I also saw their sushi menu, which is also quite extensive with a long list of maki rolls. Prices are reasonable. They have recently been approved for a wine and malt beverage license so will soon be bringing in Sake, wine and beer.

The Idaho Maki, sweet potato tempura roll, was very good, with the right amount of firmness and taste to the sweet potato as well as a nice, crunch from the tempura. It is comparable to other well done Idaho maki I have previously eaten and I would order it again.

These House Made Steamed Shrimp Shumai were a winner. They are larger than many shumai, but that is not a flaw, and it almost seems as if the exterior had been lightly fried because they had a slight crispness. The interior was a bit crunchy along with a smooth paste, and it seemed as if there were some decent sized pieces of shrimp in the shumai. Lots of flavor, a nice blend of textures, and an excellent presentation. Highly recommended.

The Karaage Chicken was disappointing, being too dry. The taste was ok, but I needed to soak it with soy sauce to make it more palatable because of its dryness. I have had karaage chicken at numerous other restaurants, and this was one of the poorest representations I have tasted.

Service was very good, and there were a number of other menu items which sounded intriguing. I want to return to check out more of their cuisine, especially once they start carrying Sake. So, based on my limited experience, it is worth checking out, though I would not recommend the karaage.

Thelonious Monkfish on Urbanspoon

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