Keller’s South Main Street is bustling these days. The lively mix of cafes, bars, restaurants, and retailers is well worth the modest 30-minute hop along 35 North. As I found out on a recent visit, crossing South Main on foot is not advisable, given the dense and packed traffic darting north and south across four lanes. On a refreshingly chilly afternoon the other day, I pulled into Hush Sushi — in one piece — and was promptly greeted and seated.
The interior is sophisticated and ultra-modern with metal and marble as the clear finish-out material of choice. A single large bar and a handful of TVs make for prime seating for sports watching. Opened late last year by restaurateur couple Tommy Zheng and Donny Wu, Hush offers a little bit of everything from the Japanese culinary tradition.
While I scanned the vast menu, I sipped the Adult Movie Night, one of more than a dozen specialty cocktails that make heavy use of Japanese spirits. Served in an ornate glass goblet adorned by a small paper funnel filled with popcorn, the lovely mix of whiskey, Italian herbal liqueur, ginger, lemon, and honey served over crushed ice was mildly sweet, citrusy, smooth, and intoxicating. Every sip began with lovely notes of ginger and lemon backed by a warm wash of whiskey.
The main course was filling and flavorful but a little low on creativity. Covered in a light sweet-and-sour sauce, the lightly breaded cuts of pork in the Wu Tang Porkin Taters were dense and juicy, while the fried tots were steaming-hot and hefty. Rounding out the entree was a large pile of white rice. While it was refreshing to see a lighter take on sweet-and-sour pork, the dish, while delicious, was uninspired.
The deviled eggs were an unexpected option, but they comfortably fit the East Asian bill. The four carefully plated eggs topped with lightly charred morsels of pork belly were definitely memorable. The oily bits of salty meat and firm egg were enlivened by fillings of whipped yolk and mustard. The savory delight put the pork front and center.
The Pablo Escolar came topped with buttery escolar tuna, itself crowned with a salty dollop of smoky black caviar. Beneath the fish and wrapped in sushi rice was a centerpiece of seaweed salad, which added a nice crunch, and creamy avocado. The overall experience was sublime.
My second roll, the scallop-fried maki, was a feast for the eyes and mouth. Bright red caviar made for a visual treat, while alternating textures of crispy and soft made every bite unforgettable. A creamy sauce generously drizzled on top brightened the already complex ensemble centering on raw chunks of scallop and a dense cube of cream cheese.
Hush Sushi is built to please any palate. Connoisseurs of stalwart favorites like spicy salmon and California rolls won’t be disappointed, but the real treats are the creative takes on classics and the original cocktails which have put Keller on the North Texas culinary map as a must-try destination for superlative sushi.
Wu Tang Porkin Taters $24
Pablo Escolar $16
Scallop-fried maki $16
Deviled eggs $13
Adult Movie Night $18