Variety of Sushi Choices — And Much More — Are Featured at New Elite Five Sushi & Grill
PLEASING THE PALATE: “Sushi is our specialty, but we also offer other traditional choices, including steak, lamb, chicken, and pasta dishes,” says Tony Yu, chef/owner of the new Elite Five Sushi & Grill. Pictured is an assortment of his special creations. Clockwise from upper right: Pickled Spanish Mackerel, Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, Fire and Ice Sushi Roll, and a Mango Medley dessert.
By Jean Stratton
Just opened October 16, Elite Five Sushi & Grill has already attracted a gathering of customers intrigued by its variety of sushi, sashimi, and rolls; its grilled steaks, lamb, and chicken dishes; and also by its unusual name.
“It is named for the five senses,” reports chef/owner Tony Yu. “First, food is visual. You look at it, and then, there is the aroma, the taste, the texture — and you even listen to it! All of these elements must be appealing to the diner.”
Located at 277 Witherspoon Street, the restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and takeout. It will also available for private parties.
Its contemporary decor offers classic lines within a comfortable, uncrowded setting. Its attractive decor is enhanced by its natural look, with inviting Asian nuances.
Tables offer settings for two and four diners, and the popular sushi bar is always a favorite spot.
Formerly the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Ewing, Chef Yu has a long history in the food industry. Arriving in the U.S. in 1986, he and his parents joined his grandfather who had a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan. “My father also had a restaurant, and I grew up in the business,” says Yu. “We later moved to Mt. Laurel, where we had another
He believed his concept of the Elite Five Sushi & Grill combination of dishes would be a good match in Princeton, as he points out, “People in Princeton really like sushi. Many have traveled, and they are willing to try new tastes and dishes. It is also an international community, with people from all over. They also like the variety of choices.”
Many customers have commented on Yu’s skill in creating extremely appealing presentations. As he reports, “In addition to the wide variety of our sushi choices and the inclusion of other types of cuisine, we are set apart by our presentation. This is so important. It’s the first thing you see, and it must be attractive.”
“Also,” he continues, “our selection is unique, with a very interesting variety of choices, and we always have fresh ingredients and special recipes. Sushi’s origin is Japanese, but its popularity is growing all over all the time, and it has become a favorite in the U.S. It is healthy, and more people are enjoying it.
“We offer different types of sushi, including rolls with fish, rice, and seaweed, also sushi including a piece of fish on top of rice, and sashimi, which is a single piece of raw fish.”
Popular sushi choices include regular rolls, such as California, spicy salmon, spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, and shrimp tempura, among others.
Sushi/sashimi a la carte choices include tuna, salmon, scallops, striped bass, eel, and others, with varying numbers of pieces.
Sushi/sashimi sets offer choices such as sushi premium with 10 sushi pieces and one tuna roll; sushi supreme with three pieces each of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail; sashimi premium with 18 pieces, or sashimi supreme, offering 18 pieces of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail.
In addition to the sushi favorites, Elite Five features appetizers such as Cured Cold Smoke Yellowtail; Cured Salmon with pickled onions, mango, apples, and cucumber salad; and Crab Roulade including lump crab, green apple, basil, and mayonnaise wrapped with avocado, and served with cucumber sauce and yuzo.
A special dish is Hawaiian Chicken, including grilled chicken, pineapple, pickled purple onions, and jalapeño with sweet chili sauce, served on flat bread, with green salad.
Honey Crisp Apple Salad, Baby Spinach Salad, and Asian salads are all available, along with a variety of soups.
In addition, Yakitori (similar to skewered kebabs) include chicken, beef, salmon, and duck, among others, with five skewer sets featuring three meats and two vegetables, and eight skewer sets with five meats and three vegetables.
There is also a variety of vegetarian Yakitori selections.
Entrees include ribeye steak, duck, oxtail, king salmon, scallops, and shrimp dishes. Pasta choices feature Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Aglio e Olio, and Shrimp Scampi.
The lunch menu offers rice bowls, with choices of meat, pasta, or fish served over rice, and with miso soup. Ramen (noodles) and Yakitori are also available.
Prices cover a wide range from $7 to $34. Sushi/sashimi set are $25 and up; lunch choices from $12, Yakitori $18 and up, and dinner entrees from $28.
Elite Five is BYO, and many patrons bring wine to enjoy with dinner. Coffee, tea, sodas, and water are all available, as is a selection of desserts.
“We are proud to offer very high quality food,” says Yu. “We have very healthy choices, including chicken with no antibiotics. We are also very environmentally friendly. We don’t have plastic containers, and we have paper straws.”
The ability to earn his living doing something he loves is a special opportunity for him, says Yu. “I love being a chef. I am happy with my cooking and being able to create dishes for people to enjoy, including for those with special dietary needs. We try to have appealing dishes for everyone, and we plan to change the menu seasonally.”
“Customer service is number one,” he continues, “and we always want people to feel welcome and enjoy their dining experience. And, if there is ever anything that doesn’t please them or something they want to change, I want them to tell me. Everything is about pleasing the customer.
“I look forward to having more customers and becoming well-known in the area as the place to go for sushi — and for our other dishes, too. My hope is to become a real part of the community.”
Elite Five Sushi & Grill is open daily for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). (609) 252-0698. Website: www.elitefives.com.