Hayashi Sushi – Ginger Pork Teriyaki Lunch Box Combo: The Bite

Lesson of the day: Bento boxes make for awkward photos.

THE BITE: I don’t understand what people see in those little sushi rolls.

All that seaweed tastes to me as if I was just wiped out surfing and crashed into the sand, all the while filling my mouth with all the disgusting things found on the beach. It’s a horrible, horrible taste and it amazes me that people will pay for it. Why not just drink from the Bay? It’s cheaper and probably tastes better.

And what’s all this nonsense about “50 percent off?” If it’s 50 percent off all the time, face it, that’s the price dude.

So when I’m in a sushi place, I always check out the kitchen menu. And they always offer the same three categories: negamaki, teriyaki and tempura. C’mon folks. I know Japanese food has more to offer than that!

For today’s Bite, we’re heading into Hayashi Sushi (2901 Ocean Avenue) for the Ginger Pork Teriyaki Lunch Box Combo. For $9.00, you are served your choice of meat with soup or salad and shumai, a California roll and white rice.

The ginger pork teriyaki is composed of lightly floured medallions of thinly sliced pork loin, that is then pan fried and doused in teriyaki sauce. It is served over a bed of onions that have also been sauteed in teriyaki sauce. This could be overwhelming, but the chefs at Hiyashi have a deft hand with the sauce. It’s just enough and the sweetness of the sauce doesn’t overwhelm the mild flavor of the pork.

Picking up a pork medallion, the breading reveals itself to be loosely bound, slipping off each piece of meat. It became a game trying to get the meat and the breading into my mouth at the same time, but when I did, it was certainly worth the effort. The meat was tender and flavorful.

The one odd issue with the meat, however, was the butchering. The flour-less meat had a texture as if they were cut using a very dull knife, giving the feel of sand paper on my tongue. I wonder if this was intentional, hoping the rough surface of the meat would hold the breading.

It didn’t work.

As for the rest of the box, the salad was a standard mix of a handful of lettuce, a couple of slices of cucumber and two cherry tomatoes, topped with a ginger based dressing. The white rice was white rice, a little sticky for my taste, but standard in sushi restaurants.

The shumai, was one of the best versions of shumai I’ve ever had. Most times, these little meat and vegetable filled dumplings, are hard little rocks of tough dough and flavorless fillings. Here, the dough was tender while the filling snapped with the flavors of ginger and a green that I couldn’t readily identify. My gut feeling was some sort of cabbage, but it appeared too dark for that. The shumai is highly recommended.

While Hayashi Sushi’s kitchen menu is limited, what it does, it does well. Stop in some time.

Hayashi Sushi, 2901 Ocean Ave, (718) 368-3668.

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.