On Amelia Island, we are fortunate to have lots of options when it comes to cuisine, but when your appetite turns to sushi, accept no substitutions. Fancy Sushi Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar is the best in town. When it comes to quality, customer service, and consistency, they cannot be beaten. Recently my dear friend Melisa Carrol and I met for dinner to catch up and talk all things hurricane season. We’ve known each other since high school, but we really got to know each other a few years back when we both had to hit the road when the storms came in and we hunkered down with our families and a gaggle of friends on a farm in central Georgia.
Safe from the summer heat once inside, we were seated near the sushi bar with a view of the dining room and the sushi chefs. The service at Fancy Sushi is always friendly and prompt, but on this night, thanks to the unpredictable nature of a restaurant schedule, our server was none other than owner Susan Wang herself.
We are an easy table; I could probably fill out my sushi order blindfolded. Our drinks quickly arrived, followed by bowls of piping hot Mayabi, the delicious clear broth with thinly sliced mushrooms and crumbled tempura cracker, and an order of tempura battered kani, or artificial crab stick drizzled with shrimp sauce. The fact that these dishes are complimentary and given to every customer makes me feel no less special when they smile and place it on my table. A tall Sapporo in a frosty mug for me and an icy sake for Melisa, and we were ready to indulge.
Typically when I come in, I always order steamed Gyoza and an order of Wakame or Seaweed Salad to start our meal. But tonight, we were going to focus on the sushi. Melisa had always picked from the hibachi section on the menu and enjoyed a roll or two, but she wanted to branch out. I placed an order for my favorites, a double order of Tuna, Escolar, Yellowtail, and Baby Octopus, prepared Nigiri-style on a balls of seasoned rice. I also ordered the Fancy Q, which is my favorite specialty roll. It has spicy tuna and avocado rolled with nori and seasoned rice, then blanketed by thin layers of escolar and topped again with paper thin slices of avocado and drizzled with a smoky eel sauce. It is beautiful and delicious.
We also let Susan talk us into trying something really new from the special board: a signature Calamari Squid Roll, an entrée of a roll if I’ve had one. The roll consists of a shrimp and avocado roll wrapped inside a calamari tube, then seasoned and flash-fried and served with a drizzle of spicy shrimp and eel sauces. This is a little outside of the box for a lot of diners, but if you’re tired of the same-old, do yourself a favor. It was divine.
Fancy Sushi Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar has been delighting customers since 2007, and they have added several new items to the special board, with more new menu items on the way. They can be found on Sadler Road across the street from the Publix shopping center or online at fancysushiq.com.