Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Teppanyaki
Restaurant Features: Beer, Wine, On-Site Parking
Location: Stillwater, MN
Address: 1491 Stillwater Blvd N Stillwater, MN 55082 (651) 439-1376
Hours: Closed Mondays * Tues-Thurs 5-9pm * Fri-Sat 4:30-9:30pm * Sun 4:30-8pm
Links: Murasaki Website * Google Map
Atmosphere: Murasaki is located in a strip mall on Stillwater Blvd, just off Hwy 36. The restaurant is split into two distinct areas, one area for Teppanyaki , and one with the sushi bar. The Sushi Bar seats about eight people, and then there are a handful of other tables for dining. It is simply but stylishly decorated, with cool green paint and Japanese screens covering the windows and walls.
Menu: Nigiri/Sashimi offered at Murasaki includes Maguro (tuna), Hamachi (yelowtail), Sake (salmon), Smoked Salmon, Hirame (Fliunder), Tai (snapper), Saba (mackerel), Ika (squid), Ebi (cooked shrimp), Unagi (cooked freshwater eel), Anago (cooked saltwater eel), Amaebi (sweet raw shrimp), Tamago (sweet egg omelet), Kani (crab), Hotategi (scallop), Hokkigai (surf clam), Tako (octopus), Masago (smelt roe), Uni (sea urchin), Tobiko (flying fish roe), Wasabi Masago, Ikura (salmon roe), Spicy Scallop, Suzuki (striped bass), and Inari (deep fried tofu).
Specialty Rolls include Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon, Salmon Skin, Caterpillar (eel, cucumber), Number Nine Roll (shrimp tempura, salmon, avocado), Philly Roll (salmon, cucumber, cream cheese), Murasaki (tuna, salmon and yellow tail), Crunchy Spicy Salmon, Rainbow Roll (crab, cucumber, avocado), Shrimp tempura Roll, Dynamite Roll (yellowtail, jalapeno), Spider Roll (fried soft shell crab), Dragon Roll (shrimp tempura, eel, avocado), Red Dragon Roll (shrimp tempura, tuna).
Cold Appetizers include Kaiso Salad, Go Mae, Tuna Tataki, Beef Tataki, Kani Su, Ika Sansai, Ika Miso, Tako Su, Ebi Su, Hiya Yako, Oshinko Pickles.
Hot Appetizers include Shrimp Shumai, Wasabi Pork Shumai, Edamame, Shrimp Tempura, Vegetable Tempura, Yaki Tori, Beef Kushi Yaki, Soft Shell Crab, Kai Bai Shra Age, Pan Fried Ika, Grilled Ika, Grilled Ika, Spicy Broiled Mussels, Age Dashi Tofu.
Dinner Entrees include Teriyaki (beef, chicken or salmon), Tempura (shrimp, seafood, chicken, vegetable), and Katsu (pork, chicken or shrimp). Bento Box options include Murasaki (pork katsu, steak teriyaki and tempura), Seafood (salmon teriyaki, shrimp tempura, sashimi), and Vegetable.
Hot Pot Dishes at Murasaki include Sukiyaki, Yose Nabe, and Nabe Yaki Udon.
Desserts include Tempura Ice Cream, Japanese Ice Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream.
Price guide: Sashimi $5-10/order Sushi Rolls $9-16
What we ordered: We started with an order of Calamari. These giant, tender pieces of calamari were so big you could almost mistake it for fish, it was cooked perfectly so that the calamari had the right texture and the panko was golden brown. It was served with a creamy dipping sauce.
We also tried the Korean BBQ Short Ribs. The taste of these ribs was sweet and the meat was tender…. what little meat there was, that is. The ribs were very small and had more fat than meat, we both decided these are more work than they’re worth.
Our Sushi Chef also gave us bowl of Kaiso Salad to eat while our sushi was being prepared. Made with seaweed, shredded cucumber and carrots in a sweet sesame vinaigrette sauce. Very light.
We ate a lot of sushi and fish at Murasaki. First up was the Hamachi and Hokkigai Sashimi. Hamachi, also known as yellow tail, is my favorite fish to eat raw. Murasaki served us some of the best hamachi either of us has ever eaten. The slices were giant and cut to perfection because it was incredibly smooth and tender, none of that stringiness that raw fish sometimes has, it practically melted in my mouth. It tasted fresh and wonderful as well, without any hint of fishiness. The Hokkigai (surf clam) was also very fresh.
The first roll we tried was the Crunchy Spicy Tuna. This roll had tuna covered with spicy mayo, then paired with cucumber. The roll was covered with crunchy panko flakes then drizzled with unagi sauce and spicy mayo. Very good, I really enjoy spicy tuna and the crunch just gives it the extra oomph.
We ordered another specialty roll, the Vegas Roll. This roll had salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, fried in tempura batter and hen topped with slice of jalapeno, spicy mayo and sriracha. This roll had just a little kick to it, which was offset by the smooth, cream cheese.
We had some of more of the delicious hamachi in a simple roll. Delish!
We couldn’t pass up on the Murasaki Roll, a fine roll with salmon, tuna, hamachi and tobiko, wrapped in rice then covered with panko flakes, spicy mayo and unagi sauce. This roll was also great, I loved the combo of flavors of smooth fish with the contrasting texture of the crunchy panko flakes and flying fish eggs.
Last but certainly not least, as it was my favorite of all the rolls we tried, was the Red Dragon roll. This roll had shrimp tempura, then rolled with rice which was then topped with tuna, avocado, spicy mayo and unagi sauce.
Service: We didn’t have a reservation and knowing that Murasaki gets busy on the weekend, we made sure to arrive shortly after they opened on a Saturday night. There were a few tables available, as well as many seats at the sushi bar, so we opted to sit at the sushi bar. We had a server checking on us throughout the night to refill our drinks, but most of our interaction was with the Sushi Chef. As the restaurant started to quickly fill up, the sushi chef served most of our rolls one at a time, giving himself time to fill other sushi orders. The whole dinner process took awhile because we ordered so much food, but we enjoyed every minute.
Overall Impression: Murasaki was one of the best sushi experiences I have had in the Twin Cities. It may be located in a strip mall but don’t discredit it, definitely worth the drive out to Stillwater for some top quality sushi.