Snappy Sushi is an awful name for a restaurant. It brings up images of the shoebox sized shop with refrigerator cases of plastic-boxed sushi that dot Broadway in NY. Great for a quick sushi fix in between classes, but not exactly the finest quality of fish. However, Snappy Sushi is far from that. It occupies the space that La Contessa vacated in Davis Square. It has one large communal pine table that seats twelve, dim sum style and four seats at the sushi counter. R and I went with Charles and his friend Alice on Saturday and we opted for the counter seats.
R and I started with the Shino style Ika salad, which had strips of smoked squid that were pleasingly firm and chewy. We had a selection of nigiri (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, halibut, eel), an avocado and eel roll, a rainbow battera and a Boston lobster roll. Snappy Sushi’s gimmick is that they only use Koshihikari, a special brown rice from Japan. It makes a healthier sushi, and gives it a distinctive taste and texture. The quality of the fish was good, especially the yellowtail which was firm and buttery. I wasn’t a fan of the brown rice; I felt like the flavor detracted from the fish and the nigiri had structural integrity issues. Despite the brown rice issue, R really enjoyed the Boston lobster roll; it was an avocado & cucumber roll dressed with chopped lobster meat, mixed with red onion and flying fish roe in wasabi-butter sauce. The topping was warm and went surprisingly well with the roll.
Alice had the eel and shrimp battera. Battera is described on the menu as “Osakan style boxed sushi.” When she asked our waiter, a very young, very blond man for further explanation he said, “um, well it’s sushi that’s made in a box like they do in Osaka.” Thanks, that was really helpful.
“Osaka style sushi’s boxed mackerel is named after the Potuguese word “bateria”, or small boat. The name evolved into the word battera, and is used commonly in Japan today. The word battera was derived by an Osaka sushi restaurant around 1893 to describe a gizzard shad sushi, which looked like a small boat, and eventually became a word just for boxed cured mackerel.
The battera uses one fillet of a mackerel and is placed inside a mold (sushi box, or hakozushigata) filled with sushi rice. A piece of vinegared kelp is placed on top, and pressed with the lid of the sushi box. They are cut in individual pieces and result in rectangular boxes.”
Charles had the beef donburi, which is thinly sliced beef, served over the special brown rice. He seemed to like it and when I asked him for a soundbite for the blog he replied, “it was nice and beefy.”
Snappy Sushi doesn’t offer any desserts, which is too bad, Alice was craving some Mochi.
All in all, I think I'll be sticking to more traditional sushi places, but it was a fun change of pace.