When it comes to sushi, there are two types of people: those who like it and those who are wrong.
I’ll never understand those who are hesitant to eat raw fish but will eat a steak so rare it might as well have walked to the table on its own four legs. I understand many folks can’t eat raw fish because of compromised immune systems or because they’re pregnant, but there are plenty of sushi options with cooked fish, vegetarian, and even some that feature cooked meat or chicken.
For those unfamiliar, sushi usually features a slice of raw fish atop a small mound of sticky rice. Maki rolls contain fish or vegetables, or a combination of the two, and rice rolled in nori, a sheet of compressed seaweed and sliced. The variety of rolls has expanded to include flavors familiar to western palates, such as cured salmon and cream cheese, shrimp tempura, and even seared rib-eye.
Sashimi is just the fish portion of the dish, usually served with a side of sticky rice. When sushi and sashimi are made with fresh, sushi-grade fish, there is no fishy taste or smell, just wonderful freshness. To my mind, a slice of sashimi-grade raw salmon is the perfect bite. Because the fish is raw, you want to order it somewhere where the chef is not only trained, but the fish is of the highest quality and handled correctly. That means the tray from Costco isn’t going to cut it. It also means that if you walk into a sushi restaurant and you smell fish, turn around and walk out.
Phat Boy Sushi is a textbook example of how to do sushi the right way. The fish is fresh, minimally manipulated, and kept perfectly chilled. Sushi and sashimi average about $3-$5 a piece, simple rolls are in the $6 to $10 range, and rice-less rolls (for those avoiding carbs) are $9-$18.
If you’re looking for something exotic, check out the Phat Boy rolls. In addition to the usual combinations; rainbow, spider (soft shell crab), shrimp tempura, dragon roll, California, and volcano roll, there are more unusual offerings. The Bling-Bling roll is sure to win over many converts with its combination of whole lobster tail tempura, asparagus, and avocado topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce. For those who are undecided, there are combinations of sushi and sashimi, priced from $21-$25.
If you’re not yet won over to the sushi side of life, you can enjoy a variety of rice dishes topped with everything from chicken curry or fried chicken cutlets, to eel or the luxurious surf and turf which tops lobster fried rice with a grilled piece of ribeye. Noodle lovers will be more than satisfied by the gigantic bowls of ramen. Golden curry ramen combines rice noodles, tofu, shiitake mushroom, and mixed vegetables in curry coconut milk broth.
For those who like something bold, kimchi ramen combines egg noodles, pork, shiitake mushroom, egg, and vegetables in a spicy and savory pork broth. Bowls of ramen average $15-$16 and provide enough for a very hearty meal.
Plain grilled foods are anything but. The salmon arrived perfectly cooked; glazed with teriyaki sauce over grilled asparagus for $12. Other grilled items include miso-marinated sea bass, whole grilled squid, and scallops wrapped in bacon. Desserts in Asian restaurants can be iffy. If you like mochi, Phat Boys version is perfectly acceptable, but you might want to check out the tempura-battered cheesecake served with chocolate sauce and ice cream, or similarly prepared Oreos with green tea ice cream. Or go for the best dessert ever, peanut butter layer cake, served with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and crumbled Butterfingers over vanilla ice cream.
Our visit to Phat Boys’ newest location on North Federal showed that a restaurant open only a few weeks can still have everything under control. Our family’s get-together (the first since COVID) featured an unruly table of 10. Each dish came out promptly and our waiter Stu handled our group with aplomb, and the three separate checks didn’t faze him.
Phat Boy Sushi
4100 N Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale