Blue Fin Sushi: Duluth

posted on March 2, 2009 at 5:42 am
I adore noodles in every form and don’t discriminate when it comes to cuisine. Italian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.; I love them all. I do, however, have to give a leg up to Japanese noodles. I’d been settling for less than stellar for years. And then I found Yakitori Jinbei. Discovering Jinbei’s ramen was a revelation that rounded out my Atlanta restaurant rotation list. Turns out many of my readers are just as noodle-crazed because I got loads of emails with plenty of recommendations for ramen after that post. One of them was from a well-known local sushi chef insisting I go to Bluefin Sushi in Duluth. It took me a while, but I finally got up there this past weekend.
The restaurant is situated in a tiny strip mall in what looks like an old Italian restaurant—there is a boarded up oven of some sort. The décor is simple, but the brick walls make it warm. I didn’t take a thorough look at the dinner menu since I was there for lunch and focusing on the long list of noodles and donburi. I had been instructed that the sushi was average and the real treats lay in the homestyle dishes—especially the ramen and the gyoza. My eyes zeroed in on two noodle dishes: Spicy miso chashu ramen and the zaru soba. I ordered them both and an order of the dumplings.

Each lunch order (except for seafood dishes) comes with a tiny plate with 4 pieces of California roll. Not my usual sushi bar order, but it wasn’t bad at all. The rice was seasoned well and the filling tasted very fresh.

The handmade gyoza (pork dumplings) were scrumptious. The skin was very thin and tender. Each dumpling was perfectly cooked—no lingering raw flour taste—and the pork filling was complex with vibrant green onions and earthy hints of soy. Perfect gyoza.

My Spicy Miso Chashu Ramen was good not great. The bowl was overstuffed with shredded cabbage, ground pork and all the other usual ramen suspects. This made extracting the noodles quite difficult. And, to make matters worse, the poor noodles were overcooked and mushy. I prefer them much more al dente. The broth had a nice depth, but it could have been deeper. The spice was not very strong, but still there. And the floating pat of butter—a customary accoutrement in many kitchens—left a greasy residue on my lips I’d rather not equate with a bowl of ramen. The chashu (sliced pork) was too fatty which meant there was no real bite. I prefer a touch more meat. That floppiness plus the soggy noodles and butter were just not my thing.

The zaru soba was exactly as it should be. The noodles had just enough bite and the dipping sauce was perfect especially after the addition of the accompanying seasame seeds, wasabi and green onions. Nicely done and very clean.

My friend’s Chasyu ramen, which she commented was not as developed as it had been in the past. I only took one sip, so I can’t comment.

The lunch menu

Verdict: The gyoza and soba were very nice and authentically prepared. The fare is certainly above average, but the drive is simply too much for me with place like Yakitori Jinbei close by. I would go back to try other ramen dishes just to make sure it wasn’t an off day or a bad order. I imagine it would be a nice spot to dine if you live or work near here.

Address: 2863 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., 30097
Phone: 770-232-5004

Bluefin Sushi on Urbanspoon

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  • Re: Blue Fin Sushi: Duluth
    posted by: Anonymous · March 3, 2009  1:06 PM

    Have you been to Haru Ichiban in Duluth? I’ve only had ramen there once and I’ve never been to Japan to compare, but I liked what I ate!

  • Re: Blue Fin Sushi: Duluth
    posted by: sylvar · March 8, 2009  1:03 PM

    Great bokeh on the ramen photos!

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