(Florence, SC) So this past Valentine’s Day we were leaving church and actively debating where we should go for lunch. Valentine’s Day called for something different from the normal after-church lunch, something different… ah, something exotic. What could be more off-the-beaten path and exotic than sushi. Mainstream as it is, I bet that 8 of 10 friends don’t really like it. My argument to them is that they really haven’t tried or perhaps just haven’t had really goood sushi. Fortunately, all in our family love it. Miyami was our destination.
As our pastor was on a particularly good roll (pun intended) this past Sunday, we were probably later out of services than usual. As such, Miyami was getting crowded quickly; seems others had the same idea that we did. We parked in the back of the building, because the spots by the door were filled already and jumped out of the car enthusiastically. Chirp-chirp, the doors locked and we were halfway to the entrance — or at least I was. Yep, I’m the sushi nut in the family, though as you know my daughter is an Unagi superfan. I’ll try pretty much anything, sometimes to more different the better. I can say that I met my match with Octopus. The suction cups have somewhat of a weird texture to me so, that couple with the rubberiness of large rubber bands, take our eight-legged friends off my list of sushi BFFs.
We went hibachi. My wife and daughter split the scallops and shrimp – they were serving the dinner menu only that day, so that with the starters were more than enough for them. In fact, we brought some of theirs home. Did I mention that Miyami has big portions? More on that later. I passed on the hibachi menu and went straight for that little slip of white paper that represents the sushi menu both at Miyami and at pretty much every other sushi bar in the United States. It reminds me of a shopping list, but unfortunately I’m not good at sticking to those either. I checked off the tuna roll and a couple of other small rolls, but I had yet to find the main course. What would be the featured attraction of St. Valentine’s Day lunch for me? Scanning…scanning…scratching my head…scanning some more. A-ha! What before my wandering eyes did appear, but the name of a monster striking Tokyo with fear. (corny yes, but hey it rhymed)
The GODZILLA ROLL matched its namesake is size, in scope and in price (but don’t tell my wife). It was 12 pieces, not the 4-8 of other rolls. It contained several types of fish and other goodies, but more importantly it was — wait for it — deep fried! Southern Fried Sushi! At $12.95 for a single roll, by this time I’m already justifying the portion size and value in my mind. Of course, if I order this I’ll have ordered four rolls. Four rolls aren’t that much, besides the Godzilla Roll is probably not as big as it sounds. Right?
Our server took the orders and brought the salads, soups and other starters for the other patrons while I sat and tapped my chopsticks. I used to be a drummer, so I got rhythm, yes I do. Still I can be annoying, so I stopped prior to my wife rapping me on the head with her purse. Finally, the plate – nay platter – of sushi arrived. It was enormous. About 16 inches square it seemed, I had to move my drink, my utensils (who needs a fork anyway) and the other extraneous material from my space. It rested before my like a lumbering giant, exhausted from its trip from the sushi bar to our hibachi table. I tackled the smaller rolls first. Good, very good. Lots of wasabi, Mmm-Mmm the tuna was cool, fresh and went down without a fight. The other rolls did the same, but I was saving my battered, monstrous nemesis for last.
It was time. Taking a deep breath, freshening my soy sauce (adding more wasabi), I attacked! The first piece of Godzilla was a walk in the park, but as I placed my chopsticks down I was reminded there were 11 more. My wife and daughter nearly at capacity from their own meals, I was on my own. I trudged on, but Godzilla was relentless. In the time I focused on the first three smaller rolls, the giant must have replenished its strength and now I was on the defensive. No back-up, no tiny Japanese army waiting in the wings to rescue me from this self-induced beat-down. It seemed that an hour had gone by, but it had probably only been 20 minutes or so, and I somehow found myself staring down the last piece of Godzilla. It growled. It screeched. It blew electrically charged breath … OK so it didn’t but it did stare at me like I was Megalon from my favorite of those cheesy films. I knew that I had to summon my strength and the last tiny bit of what used to be my appetite.
With reality and the faintest glipse of the sweet victory to come, I relaxed and smiled. Godzilla would be vanquished on this day. Mark the date and time for all posterity — Godzilla would lose this battle.
Put simply, this was the best Southern Fried Sushi that I’d had in Florence and perhaps elsewhere. Lightly battered, presented well with a spicy sauce I recommend it highly. Unless your hungry, however, forego the smaller rolls as appetizers. Godzilla bites back.
Our Valentine’s Day family meal behind us, my fancy turned to a nap on the couch. What would be my next battle, you ask? Godzilla Returns of course! But, I think I’ll give it a few weeks or so. して楽しい。よく食べる。 (Have Fun. Eat Well.)
Category: Restaurant Reviews
About the AuthorKevin Barron is a husband, father, self-described geek, and enthusiastic founder of PeeDeeFoodie.com. He also hosts its companion podcast, the Pee Dee Food Show, which can be found on iTunes and the blog. Learn more about Kevin under the Contributors tab above.
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