Friday, January 09, 2009

Soya- Seriously the Most Awesome Sushi

About 15 years ago, when I started working at Jefferson Lab, I had a colleague who made me feel a bit inferior. He was a man, I was a woman (a serious minority at a nuclear physics lab), he had a Ph.D. in physics, I had a B.S degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, he had been at the lab for years and I was a new temp employee... you get the picture. This sounds like it could be the makings of a real disaster, but in fact, it was a relationship that benefitted us both. He decided to move out and up working at a bigger national lab... and me? I was introduced to sushi. You see, when our professional relationship was a bit tense we went out to lunch to have a talk, and he picked a nearby sushi bar. Though I had never had sushi (I know I lived a protected life), there was no way that I was going to be intimidated, and so, I ate my first sushi roll. It was the beginning of a love affair (with sushi, not the co-worker!)

Sushi is something that is best made by a master, someone who appreciates the need for super-fresh ingredients, and how to combine elements that result in the full experience, something that is pleasing to the eye and the palate. While I am not cosmopolitan, I have eaten sushi several places since that first experience, and my favorite is Soya, right here in Newport News. First of all, Soya has a family-type atmosphere, and they remember what you like, and who you are. In all fairness, I would consider my family regulars since both my daughter Bridget and I are sushi fiends, and sushi is always our idea of a great lunch, but it is so nice to go somewhere and be greeted by people who really appreciate your business. (When my daughter goes in to order takeout, they ask- "Lunch with Mommy or daddy?")

But I don't care how nice you are,it is the food and service that counts when you are spending money for food from a restaurant, and Soya has that down pat. Though they have a very complete menu, we almost always order from the sushi a la cart menu. While we each have our favorites (Husband- Hurricane, Me- Seattle roll, Bridget- Anything without eel, Molly-Phoenix),we have started to try some of the new special rolls that Soya. Our new favorite is their '08 Special, topped with spicy scallop flakes- it is a great combination of savory and spicy.

Soya has locations in Newport News and Hampton, and even in Virginia Beach. I have been to both the Hamptonand Newport News locations and have never failed to be impressed. As a fairly skilled cook, when I go out for a meal, I like it to be something that I couldn't make at home, and sushi certainly fills that bill. If you are not into sushi, Soya also offers hibachi and other Japanese favorites. But if you are in the Tidewater Virginia area, go to Soya, and you too will become part of their extended family!


Chris said...

If there's one thing I miss as a vegetarian, it's got to be fresh sushi. On the other hand, I've learned that veggie sushi is both easy to make at home and infinitely cheaper than fish sushi. Definitely give it a try if you haven't yet :)

Jane Marie said...

I've never had sushi either! I have been in several restaurants where it has been served and my friends have tried to tempt me. But I guess the thought is still turning me off. I have decided next time to at least try the veggie sushi, maybe I can ease into it!
Thanks for the visit. I'll stop by again soon.

Deborah Dowd said...

Chris- My daughter got a sushi kit for Christmas and likely we will start with a simple California roll!

Jane Marie-Give it a try - my addiction started with a California roll!

biz319 said...

I just tried raw sushi not too long ago - my daugther and I usually stick to the cooked things like tempura shrimp and veggies. But the last time we went my hubby got something called a Happy Avo.

It was a slice avocado, with diced ahi tuna and drizzled with a balsamic glaze - amazing!

My mom was born and raised in Newport News!

Deborah Dowd said...

Biz 319-That combination sounds awesome (I love avocado!) and how cool that your mom grew up here! Most people just think Newport News is a newspaper!

Passionate Eater said...

Next time I go to the East Coast, this seems like a place that I can't miss! Especially since you had your first sushi here!

Deborah Dowd said...

Passionate Eater-Let me know when you are here and I'll meet you! My treat!

Max mickle said...

I always want to learn how to make dishes. But I never take action. Perhaps I should start making sushi during my day off! I bought this sushi kit in cold storage today. thank you for shearing your post.