Photo by Douglas Miller
Ben Gui Sushi
Delicious food, speedy service. Ben Gui is Roanoke’s newest entry in the sushi scene.
A new sushi place in town is reason enough to go out to lunch instead of eating your packed lunch. A new and fabulous sushi restaurant like Ben Gui Sushi is enough to make you go back for dinner – that night.
My dining companion and I walked into Ben Gui Sushi expecting an unassuming takeout place. We were wrong. The eat-in dining area is beautifully decorated with pictures of geishas adorning the walls, gleaming woodwork and a long, welcoming sushi bar. Behind the sushi bar was Ben Gui himself, formerly a sushi chef at Tokyo.
The menu Gui composed has many regular Japanese dishes, such as shrimp tempura, chicken teriyaki and shumai (steamed dumplings). What makes Gui’s menu pop is the creative names and combinations of sushi orders. Item number nine under the Sushi Bar section of the menu is called “Lover’s First Date Sushi for Two” and includes, you guessed it, enough for two. Under the Ben Gui unique maki section there are sushi rolls with names like “My Best Friend Maki,” “Crazy Cowboy Maki” and “Mishi Mash Maki.” It doesn’t say what is in each roll on the menu, just a simple “trust me” listed above the prices.
I ordered the tuna, salmon and yellowtail sashimi lunch special. The fact that my three favorite types of sashimi were included in the same combo was a real plus. The sushi arrived at the table quickly and looked delicious, which it was.
Our server was attentive, efficient and knowledgeable about the menu items. The convivial Gui himself made a stop or two by the table to see that we were enjoying our meals and to make sure we stopped by the bathroom before leaving. After initially being puzzled as to why we were instructed to visit the restroom, we saw why once inside. The sink had to be the prettiest I’d seen in a restaurant restroom, made completely of crystal-clear glass with steel accents – just one more detail that Gui had proudly attended to himself and with perfection.
I’m can’t wait to go back to find out what exactly is in the Crazy Cowboy Maki. I’m sure it’ll be great – whatever it is.