After we watched Deadpool, I convinced some of my crew to go to Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, a standard sushi restaurant. The cool part about Tempe Marketplace is that it conveniently has everything you ever need in a hipster outdoor mall. Even when it’s 120 degrees in the summer, Tempe Marketplace mists so much water it feels like it’s 80.
Whether you need to go to the movies, enjoy some music, dance some salsa or eat at the handful of chain and authentic restaurants, Tempe Marketplace is a nice little hub for all of that.
Of course, from what I gathered, there is only one Asian place that stands out and that is a sushi restaurant.
My friends have told me about Kabuki. I might have even met someone who actually worked there. It’s a nice, upscale-feel restaurant without it being too upscale.
My friends decided to just order a bunch of rolls for us to eat. We got the following rolls
Firecracker roll (waiter recommended)
This beautiful yet simple roll has a california roll stacked with a pink piece of salmon and the most unique part is that it not only has a crisp lotus root piece and japaleno, but on the sides is lined with this crunchy panko crumbs and mayonnaise based hot sauce. To eat this roll, I find it effective to dip the piece in the mayo and then use the mayo as a sticky agent to the crunchy bits. This essentially coats the piece in the crunchy bits. Pop it in your mouth and hopefully you aren’t super clumsy and drop the jalapeno or lotus root on your plate.
Overall, a good roll with a refreshing heat thanks to the fresh jalapeno. The crunch provided from the panko crumbs and lotus root makes this piece enjoyable. We even ordered another rone because we liked it so much.
This was a standard roll and I wasn’t very impressed with it. The ingredients didn’t look very fresh and so I didn’t eat much of it. I had one piece and to be honest, I was not impressed at all. It’s a standard sushi roll. Nothing special really.
Layered with unagi, this roll is supposed to look like a dragon. They kind of nailed it…
The unagi was delicious but I feel like the prize of the dish was the giant piece on the “face” of the dragon. The big piece of Unagi was extremely satisfying. The res tof the roll was ok.
If I ever had a roll to myself, I would get this one. Each of the 8 rolls has a special design on it that made it seem like an auspicious journey just to eat it. I would say this was my favorite roll because of the simplicity yet creativity of each piece of sushi. I only had the salmon flower and the salmon roe pieces. The salmon flower was alright but that salmon roe was deliciously salty and it reminded me that I should eat salmon roe more often. As you can see from the picture, the plate leads you to all different types of textures and flavors that are ripe for eating.
Kabuki has nice architecture and it reminds me of a sushi restaurant and a really tame nightclub. It has a dark, mysterious vibe and the waiters and waitress’s all black uniforms give it a sense of professionalis. Overall, this restaurant has perfect ambiance and I loved the shapely decorations of the whole place.
This place is also huge for a sushi restaurant which shows that they have done well for themselves. It has a Japanese theme, but the style is very new-age American.
I think our waiter was new but he was alright. I always do a stress test and ask the waiters what their favorite dish is. He said the firecracker roll and I say he has good taste. Nothing much to write home about here. Being in a hot spot for entertainment in Tempe, these guys have to be quick and efficient to get stuff done.
Specialty rolls cost around $12-18 dollars and grilled and hot stone items are generally more expensive.
I would say Kabuki has a very standard sushi menu: there’s plain rolls, better rolls, grill items, noodles and all that stuff. Their drink selection is not bad either, with their sake being the showcase of what to order. These bottles range from $20 to $200 so they are really into sake here. The only truly unique roll I saw was the Kabuki roll which is fitting because that’s the
Overall, it’s honestly just sushi. You can tell this place is really catered for the general population that inhabits Tempe Marketplace. If you want good sushi in Tempe Marketplace this is the best (probably only) sushi place that gives you a diverse menu, nice atmosphere and decent sushi. I recommend all the rolls we had except for the rainbow roll unless you’re not adventurous. However, if you aren’t adventurous, then you might just want to stick with California rolls.