Aug 042012

Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Teppanyaki
Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking
Location: Roseville, MN
Address: 1675 County Road C West Roseville, MN 55113  651-633-3188


  • Mon-Thurs  11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm
  • Friday 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-11pm
  • Saturday 12pm-11pm
  • Sunday 12pm-10pm

Links: Osaka Steakhouse Website * Osaka on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: The Roseville location of Osaka Sushi & Hibachi is located at the far end of the strip mall on the northwest corner of Snelling and County Rd C. (same strip mall as Byerly’s and ZPizza).  The restaurant is divided into three areas: the dining room, the bar area and the hibachi room.  The dining room is to the left when you first walk in, a contemporary space with tables and booths to seat about forty people or so, and a sushi bar at the back to accommodate another dozen.  The wall to the left side of the restaurant is interesting to look at, with floor-to-ceiling textured back-lit glass panels in a variety of patterns, nestled between columns of stone bricks.

The sushi bar is a good place to sit if you like to interact with the sushi chefs, or if you want a closer look at the TVs hanging on the wall behind.

The Bar area is the first thing you see when you enter Osaka, centered between the dining and hibachi rooms.  It has a contemporary feel to it with the under-bar lighting and hanging pendants above.

To the right of the main entrance is the hibachi room.  There are a handful of  hibachi tables, each of which seats about 10-12 people.  The hibachi chef stands in the center of the table and cooks at the grill built into either side of the table.

Menu: Osaka receives their seafood fresh on Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays.

Appetizers include Edamame, Squid Ginger Yaki, Yakitori, Steamed Shrimp Shumai, Calamari, Gyoza, Age Tofu, Vegetable Gyoza, Beef Negimaki, Haru Maki, Soft Shell Crab and Tempura.

Salads at Osaka include Garden Salad, Tataki Salad, Avocado Salad, Seaweed Salad, Kani Salad, Seafood Salad Squid Salad, and House Salad.  Soups include Miso, Spicy Miso Vegetable, Onion Soup and Dobin Soup.

Japanese Entrees include Teriyaki (chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon, seafood), Tempura (vegetable, chicken, seafood), Yaki Udon Noodles, Yaki Soba, Nabe Yaki Udon, Seafood Noodle Soup, Una Don, Chicken Katsu, Pork Katsu, and Beef Negimaki.

Sushi and Sashimi selections come with two pieces in an order: Maguro (tuna), Toro (fatty tuna), Spicy Tuna, Hamachi (yellowtail), Ebi (shrimp), Sake (salmon), Smoked Salmon, Ikura (salmon roe), Hirame (fluke), Tobiko (flying fish egg), Unagi (eel), Hotategai (scallop), Amaebi (sweet shrimp), Tamago (egg custard), Kani (crab stick), Saba (mackerel), Hokkigai (surf clam), Uni (sea urchin), Ika (squid), King Crab, Live Giant Clam, Tako (Octopus) and White Tuna.

Osaka Sushi dinners are served with miso soup and salad.  Options include Sushi Entree, Sashimi Entree, Chirasi Sushi, Tri Color Sushi, Sushi & Sashimi Combo, Roll Combo, Vegetable Roll Combo, Tekka Don, and Tuna or Salmon Love.  You can also order Sishi for 2, Sushi and Sashimi for 2, Love Boat or Chef’s Special.

Rolls and Hand Rolls at Osaka include Avocado, Kappa Maki, Oshinko Maki, Asparagus Maki, Mushroom & Avocado, A.A.C. Maki, Califormia Roll, Boston, Crispy Shrimp tempura Roll, Philadelphia Roll, Eel Cucumber, Salmon Skin Roll, Spicy Snow Crab Roll, Lobster & Avocado, King Crab & Avocado, Dragon Roll, and Spider Roll.  Fresh fish rolls include Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Toro, Alaskan, Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon, Spicy Yellowtail, and Rainbow Roll.

Osaka’s specialty rolls include Angel, Crazy, Black Dragon, Osaka, Spicy Girl, Crazy Tuna, Sweet Heart, Naked Girl, Salmon Family Roll, Alligator, No. 9, M.J Roll, Roseville Roll, Pink Lady, Yum Yum, B.M.W., Crunch Roll, New York, Dancing, and Sex on the Beach.

Hibachi dinners are served with onion soup, house salad, hibachi noodles, hibachi vegetable with choice of meats including Vegetable, Chicken, Salmon, Scallops, Shrimp, Tuna, Sword Fish, Steak, Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail.
Price guide: Appetizers $5-9  Entrees $11-24 Sushi/Sashimi $4-9 Specialty Rolls $13-17  Hibachi $15-31
What we ordered: My companion and I ordered a variety of rolls and sashimi, including surf clam, uni with quail egg, spicy tuna roll, spicy girl roll, and dancing roll.

The Spicy Girl roll had spicy tuna and spicy yellowtail with cucumber on the inside and then wrapped with rice and topped with spicy salmon and panko.  This roll had a fair amount of kick to it, as one would hope with a name like Spicy Girl.  I thought it was good but it didn’t blow me away.

We also tried the Dancing Roll, which turned out to be one of the favorites of both of us.  This roll had tuna, salmon and yellowtail on the inside then was wrapped with rice, escolar, a very thin slice of avocado and then topped with tobiko.  I loved the flavors of the different fish all rolled together, while the tobiko gave it a nice contrast in texture.

My companion was thrilled to see Uni on the menu and even happier when told it was delivered fresh that same day.  We initially ordered two orders with quail egg and later ordered an additional two orders.  I have not been a fan of uni when I have had it in the past, however this uni at Osaka looked very fresh so I wanted to give it another try.  While I can’t say I’ve grown to love uni, this was the best uni I’ve had to date.  The freshness gave it a more mild and less mineral-like taste than other uni I’ve eaten.  The creaminess of the egg and the uni was well complimented by the rice.

The Surf Clam was also fresh; pretty good if you like surf clam.
(I personally can take it or leave it.)

We went back to Osaka less than two weeks later and once again ordered the Dancing Roll and the Uni with Quail Egg, as well as the B.M.W. Roll .  The BMW Roll was really good; it had spicy tuna and avocado wrapped with rice and then deep fried.  It was topped with unagi sauce, spicy mayo and tobiko.  Very good!

Service: Our first visit was late on a Friday night, and while it was busy, we had missed the dinner rush and were able to get a nice booth.  Our server greeted us promptly and was very attentive throughout the evening.  Our drinks were brought and refilled when needed and the wait for the sushi to be prepared was minimal for all the items we ordered.
Overall Impression: We enjoyed the Osaka Seafood Steakhouse in Roseville.  It had a cool atmosphere and pretty good sushi.  The hibachi is reasonably priced in comparison to other Japanese steakhouses in the Twin Cities, I would like to give it a try with a group in the future.
Osaka Seafood Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Aug 252011

*******Murasaki is now CLOSED************

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.Calamari at Murasaki Japanese ~ Stillwater, MN

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.
Sushi Murasaki on Urbanspoon
Sushi Murasaki Reviews in Stillwater