A special roll: this one was on the special board. Shrimp tempura topped with mango, avocado, and coconut.
We never know how to answer when someone asks us what our favorite local sushi place is — we like different places for different things. The chef at Yamato in Kerrytown, for example, does the best super-authentic, traditional stuff around (but more on that in a future writeup).
So what does Biwako, the new sushi restaurant in Saline, do best? Offer up a dazzling array of weird and exotic rolls, many served up with some 20 sauces made in house. Here are photos of four of them. The Las Vegas and Volcano rolls are extremely popular there (and Joe's completely addicted to the Volcano). In addition to the ones on the menu, they test new rolls — like the Mango roll above — by putting them on the specials board in the front window. Our server warned us that the ones on the specials board were kind of experimental, so they might not be as good. (The Mango roll was fine, but the mango itself could have been a bit riper.) Apart from sushi, there's a limited menu which includes some Japanese and Korean specialties; we haven't tried any because we were focused on the rolls. Another local restaurant reviewer was down on Biwako for offering a vinegar-based salad dressing. We found their rice vinegar-based dressing to be refreshing... and spiked with a small amount of wasabi, just enough to give it a nice edge. It reminds me of the rice vinegar dressing that Fuji used to (still does?) serve. Contrary to what was implied in the other review, rice vinegar dressings are actually as traditional as the popular ginger dressings even if less commonly served in local restaurants.
A note here: it may not be obvious from the photos, but these rolls, especially the Las Vegas roll and the Volcano roll, are pretty big.
Sweet Dragon roll: shrimp tempura with eel on top. Pretty self-explanatory.
Las Vegas roll: eal, crab, masago, avocado, eel sauce, wasabi sauce, deep fried. Normally includes cream cheese, but we had them leave that out. Also includes their "secret sauce" — it's the clear greenish sauce with green bits in it. They wouldn't discuss ingredients, but we suspect Kiwi fruit. This sauce is on several of the rolls, but isn't listed.
Volcano roll: California roll baked with a topping of shrimp, baby scallops, crab, and masago in a spicy sauce. The photo doesn't do this one justice, either for the size of the thing or how good it is. That topping is a variant of the baked seafood appetizer sometimes called "Dynamite" on sushi bar menus in the area (e.g. Noble Fish or Miki), and the tiny scallops take it to a new level.Biwako Sushi
1355 E. Michigan Ave (it's in a shopping center)
Saline, MI 48176
734.944.6301Hours as of this publishing date:
Monday - Thursday 11am — 9:30pm
Friday - Satuday 11am – 10pm
Sunday 12noon — 9:30pm