If you think you can’t get authentic, really great Japanese food in NJ, you should head over to Shumi in Somerville, NJ. The chef Ike is classically trained in Japan, and he often offers traditional ingredients such as uni, monkfish liver, and bluefin tuna. He is very friendly and almost always ready to take on your special request of sushi or any other dish off the menu to keep the customer happy.
Inside the restaurant is almost surprisingly roomy, even though it doesn’t look that way from the outside. They have plenty of tables and chairs, and of course, counter seating by the sushi chefs. You can easily come here for lunch with coworkers or friends, or have a large party with great meal.
We went here for dinner during the week night, and as always, had an amazing meal. We were party of 8, and had no issue getting reservation on week night. It was a celebration party dinner, so the owner Ike had a special dish off the menu just for us: head of red sea bream. In Japan, it is called Tai or Madai, and is eaten on a happy occasion. It means “celebration fish”, “king of white fish”, or “congratulations”. It is also one of the most luxurious fish in Japan.
We then ordered some sushi from chef’s selection, each one very fresh and tasty. The selection contained salmon, tuna, fatty tuna, shrimp, and so many others. The fish was sliced not too thin, the amount of rice underneath was just right, and at perfect consistency so that it will not fall apart from your plate to your mouth. Even though there were many pieces (the photo is for 4 people, we had 2 of these on our table), all the sushi disappeared quickly. When it is so fresh and tasty, and melting in your mouth, it does go fast!
We also order some additional food, this one if Tempura Soba which is NOT on the menu. They offer Tempura Udon ($13), but since they already have some dishes with soba, so if you ask Ike, he will accommodate your request with no issue. It comes with 2 large shrimp tempura, which was lightly fried, so to make greasy. It is very crispy on the outside, without making it dry in the inside. The soba noodle was cooked just right, it still had nice firmness to it. The broth was not too salty or not to watery, it had nice flavor.
And yes, they do have ice cream, green tea and red bean flavor. I had green tea ice cream, which does not have some weird neon green color (that comes from food coloring) here. They have the natural green tea color, and yes, they give you 1 large scoop. The red bean ice cream they have here is really nice as well, but I prefer green tea for me…
This place is certainly a neighborhood gem, and for someone looking for a true, authentic Japanese food or sushi in NJ, this place certainly is the place to go.
Shumi – 30 S Doughty Ave, Somerville, NJ 08876