She Said: I was listening to a podcast, pondering a tiny, healthy lunch at home, when Ruud called me and asked if I wanted to have lunch with him, which of course I said yes to (I have a policy of always saying “Yes!” to lunch with my husband). We had been eyeing Sashimi since it opened, so I met him there.
He Said: There are three other Japanese restaurants in Conway, and each of them has something a little different to offer, so I was interested to see whether Sashimi could give the other a run for their money.
She Said: We had been here once in its former iteration, and it seems to have retained some of that layout, if not décor, which is very pleasant, sophisticated and chic, but also comfortable. We got there around 12:45 p.m. on a Friday for lunch and were seated right away in the grey and silver dining room with polished black accents. The chairs are comfortable and the staff are all friendly and welcoming.
He Said: There is a sleek and modern feel to the place, but there is a large picture of the head of a giant Buddha near the door that kind of looms over the restaurant, which is actually kind of comforting. Since this place is essentially on Hendrix grounds, I thought we would see a number of students here, but there were few of them here—no more than you might find in nearby Zaza’s.
She Said: The menu shows beer and sake, but when I asked about what was available, the waitress said they also have wine, it’s just not yet listed. I chose a cabernet sauvignon, that was very pleasant.
He Said: As with most Japanese restaurants, I decided to try the green tea, which was perfectly fine, as green tea goes.
She Said: I LOVE sushi. LOVE IT. I love just the raw fish on a plate (sashimi) and fish and other things on rice (ngiri) and sushi rolls (maki). I don’t love all sushi, however, but I can always find enough to order so that I can eat too much at any Japanese restaurant. Sashimi was no different. After looking everything over, and deciding on the edamame appetizer to share with Ruud (perfectly salty and buttery—a treat!), I chose the Blue Dragon Roll and the tamago ngiri, or egg omelet on rice, with a seaweed ribbon. Each item was perfection. The Blue Dragon Roll has coconut shrimp and crab and cream cheese in the roll, which is topped with kiwi and chili flakes, the perfect mix of sweet and hot, with texture balances between crunchy and soft. Even though it was so tasty, I could not finish it all. I want to apologize to those two pieces of maki I left on the plate: It wasn’t you: It was me. The egg omelet was perfect as well. I love these little sushi treats, because the omelet is usually a little sweet, making it more like a dessert. My food was perfect.
I would return and order the exact same things, except that so many other things on the menu look great as well. I would love to try Sashimi’s salmon sashimi.
He Said: Aha, so the restaurant is named for the raw fish on a plate, eh, Jones? Another cultural lesson learned. Eating can be almost as educational as travel!
I agree about the edamame—this might be the best edamame in town. And I do love edamame. There is a dinner menu here with some interesting entrees on it (including my usual go-to, salmon). but since this was lunch I checked out the lunch menu, and chose the hibachi chicken. This consisted of pieces of chicken breast fried on the hibachi grill, grilled mixed vegetables, and fried rice. Though there is a good deal of frying that goes into this meal, it was otherwise pretty low in fat content, which is important for my rebellious pancreas. And it was very good. The chicken was tasty though a little dry, but they had brought three kinds of sauces plus the soy sauce that was already on the table, and that was not a problem. I loved the vegetables, and the fried rice was also delicious.
It’s also worthy of note that the portion was huge—there was no small lunch portion that I was getting. It took awhile for me to finish it, but finish it I did.
She Said: I found the service very friendly and welcoming. I like it when someone “senior” seems to come to your table to ask you about your experience during your visit, and we had that here at Sashimi over our lunch. Our waitress was gracious and professional, as well as being appropriately friendly (but not friends). We did wait so long for our edamame appetizer, we were on the brink of asking about it, which is not something we like to do. But it arrived and we slurped up the butter and forgot our angst. I had no complaints about the service, but I probably would have if I worked for someone else and had to get back to the office. Based on our recent experience, this is a good place for a leisurely lunch, not an efficient business mid-day meal.
He Said: It was not extra speedy, Jones, you’re right. And the lunch can be quite large, as I mentioned, so it took me awhile to actually finish mine (but finish it I did! Have I mentioned that?). So if I had to get back to work, I’d have been pressed for time. But I’m retired. So I had all day.
What We Got and What We Paid: Glass of red wine, hot green tea, edamame, hibachi chicken, blue dragon roll and egg omelet ngiri (2 pieces): $39.09.
She Said: I’ll be back, when I’m not in a hurry. Sashimi does an excellent job of what I go to a Japanese restaurant for, with an appealing place to dine, delicious food and friendly, but not speedy, service.
He Said: I wouldn’t mind heading back here for dinner sometime, and maybe getting the hibachi salmon. After all, I’ve got pretty much all day to eat it.
So…He Said and She Said: Go here for quality Japanese food in Conway, but make sure you have time to enjoy what they offer.
Editor's Note: Eat It, Conway is produced by local author Jay Ruud and his wife (poet and novelist Stacey Margaret Jones). The couple has begun an attempt to eat at and review, every restaurant in Conway, Arkansas. The Log Cabin Democrat and thecabin.net are publishing Eat It, Conway with permission from the authors. Visit them online at jayruud.com and on Facebook at Eat It, Conway. In addition to restaurant reviews, Ruud authors movie reviews on the site.