Nestled in a Sanderlin shopping centre with Napa Café, Muddy's Bake Shop, and Cosmic Coconut, Skewer's 50-seat restaurant carries a nonchalant, modest beat while preparing, in my opinion, the best Japanese in town. Chef Gai Klaimongkol, originally from my beloved Thai favorite Bangkok Alley, opened the spot in January to expand Memphis' Japanese palate. Chef did well.
While the sushi is fresh and reliable (and highly recommended), the rest of the menu boasts authentic excellence and creative twists to the "expected" Asian dinner menu.
For a lighter lunch or dinner, I recommend the fresh tuna tataki with addictive ponzu sauce and the three mushrooms salad. The salad boasts a combination of exotic pan-roasted mushrooms (that challenge even Whole Foods' selection) over baby greens and shaved almonds. The honey soy vinaigrette is unreal. I'm considering buying enough to use on my own home-prepared salads.
If you've ever been to Smorgasburg (or read my recap), you've heard about the famous ramen burger, in which the bun is brilliantly made of a crispy ramen patty. Skewer has mastered the dish here in Memphis; in fact, they take it up another level. Caramelized onions, bacon, and a side of nori, seaweed-dusted fries with spicy mayo put Brooklyn to shame.
Of course, the namesake is a must-try, too: I ordered a chili shrimp, beef tenderloin and asparagus skewer trio. The portions are perfect and allow for easy sharing. Okra and shiitake mushroom skewers are my other favorite vegetable offerings.
Oh, and featured bonus: no corkage fee. Bring your favorite bottle of red, white or sake to enjoy with a yakitori dish or two! I look forward to cozying up with a bowl of ramen or a rice bowl once the weather cools to appropriate autumn temperatures.
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