The specs: #0620
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Robin Marohn, Sushi Pilgrim, Ruppert Food Blog, Favorite Places to Eat in Madison, Madison Dining Online, Don't Eat the Pomegranite Seeds, Sara with No H, Isthmus and again, Restaurant DB, Eat Drink Madison, Trip Advisor; TDPF; official web site,
Latest Sushi Muramoto news and reviews
Alex and Phoebe split the miso black cod entree.
Alex had a plum wine and sake cocktail.
Greg ate the fire roll and a glass of milk.
JM ate the crab cakes.
Nichole ate the pork belly and a masago roe nigiri with a Yuzudrop cocktail.
Phoebe had a flight of sake.
Trish ate a Philadelphia roll and a spicy shrimp roll with a Soho Sunset cocktail.
We shared a California roll and two desserts (amaretto milk pudding and creme brulee).
The bill was $110, or $19ish/person, plus tip.
Alex gave Sushi Muramoto an A+; Greg gave Sushi Muramoto an A; JM, Nichole and Trish gave Sushi Muramoto an A- (see our grading rubric).
We hit three "Sushi" spots on the Black Friday Mystery Progressive Dinner (BFMPD), which involved foodnapping a few locals and having them come with for all three in one night. This was the last of the three, after Sushi Box and Sushi Hut.
Sushi Muramoto's cocktail list was impressive, and so we took full advantage as we waited for our table. At the bar, Phoebe got a flight of sake; Trish tried a refreshing, balanced Soho Sunset of lychee liqueur and grapefruit juice; Nichole went for a bright and gingery Yuzudrop. After we were seated, Alex got a plum wine and sake cocktail which was crisp and none too sweet. It was garnished with what looked like huge green olives. They were actually pickled plums, a cousin of li hing mui, and Alex was sweet to share with Nichole, who pretty much swooned. Two island-invoking treats in one day was almost too much.
We were fortunate be a large enough group to land a table in the cozy, secluded back room. The parasols above our heads and the soft light made it almost magical. If you have the chance to occupy this room, you should take it. Throughout the meal, the service was excellent - efficient but not overbearing.
We ordered California roll at each restaurant on the BFMPD to serve as a baseline. At Sushi Muramoto, it had a slight picklish zing, fresh rock crab, very ripe avocado, tender nori, and a buttery, rich aftertaste. Clearly it was the best of the bunch.
As for other sushi, we didn't actually get too much; Trish's Philly roll and spicy shrimp roll were both very good, even though the flavors didn't pop over the wasabi quite as much as they did at Sushi Hut. Greg's fire roll was hot stuff: made of avocado, cucumber, sprouts, tempura salmon, and tobikko, it was very bright, all reds and oranges. It was so spicy that he had to get a glass of milk, but it was totally worth it.
An assemblage of hot appetizers and entrees were shared around the crowd gladly. JM's crab cakes were spicy in exactly the right way and nicely rich. Another winner was the miso black cod, described by Alex:
As amazing as ever - buttery fish with a crispy black skin that begs to be eaten, served over a bed of sauteed vegetables (onion, eggplant, cabbage, etc.) that are indescribably good.
(In the interest of full disclosure, Sushi Muramoto is one of her favorite restaurants; on this visit, the only complaint was that the dinner portion of cod seemed significantly smaller than usual.)
Also phenomenal was the pork belly appetizer. The meat was sweet and soft with an exquisitely crispy layer of fat. It was so tender that lips, rather than teeth, were all you needed to cut the flesh. It lay on a bed of kim chee that was spicy-hot in at least three ways (the usual kim chee heat plus slivers of fresh jalapeno plus mystery Scovilles) but there were a half-dozen ephemeral bites of pickled melon with which to cool down. It's safe to say several of us put that pickled melon on our list of favorite things.
We wrapped up our celebration with dessert. There were two somewhat disappointingly similar offerings, a chocolate creme brulee and an amaretto milk pudding. The pudding was unbelievably light, silky and creamy with a wobbly texture. The creme brulee was super milky, fragrant of cocoa, with very nommable crunchy sugar crystals. Both were garnished with edible flowers (think radish, not rose, flavor) and ripe berries, and pretty much "stupidly good."
Our group was pretty happy with the way the Black Friday Mystery Progressive Dinner turned out. It wasn't even that hard to plan; we all agreed that things like BFMPD are things that people should be doing more of.
We've done our part, Madison, now it is your turn. Foodnap some friends or make up a themed progressive dinner. Explore new places together and make some connections - because the company you keep makes memories, and good food just makes the whole thing more fun!