The city of Providence is known for its wide array of cuisine, culture, and diversity. Thayer Street is a perfect example of the rich variety our capital city has to offer. From Nutella crepes to Syrian flat breads, Thayer is always thriving with food choices for the internationally intrigued. This past weekend, I decided to venture into the deep blue and try out a popular hot spot, Shark Sushi and Hibachi. When entering Shark, the first thing you’ll notice is the GIGANTIC Fish Tank that extends through the entire bar. Believe it or not, there is an actual shark lurking through the clear, blue waters! It may not be the size of the infamous Steven Spielberg inspired Great White, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless. For those on first dates, their miniature sea-predator makes for an instant conversation starter.
My first piece of advice is to bring a flashlight or a pair of night vision goggles because this is the darkest place I have ever dined at. It’s similar to eating in a dungeon during Medieval Times…seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous. I asked my server if they could turn the lights up a bit. She responded by saying, “I’m sorry, we need to keep the lights at a certain level.” I was ultimately forced to hold up my cell phone to the menu in order to read my dinner options. From what I could make out, the menu was all over the place. It contained Chicken Parm (Italian), Paella (traditionally Spanish), Kabobs(Greek), Seaweed Salad (Japanese), Chocolate Souffle(French), etc. I decided to play it safe and stuck with more traditional, Asian inspired dishes.
For the appetizer, we ordered the Kamikaze Calamari with pickled jalapeno, spring onion and marinara. The calamari was lightly fried and cooked to perfection. The marinara sauce paired flawlessly with the pickled jalapenos which provided a nice sweet/spicy contrast. I enjoyed this dish, don’t get me wrong, but it tasted more Italian than Japanese. The word “Kamikaze” definitely threw me off. I thought they would at least add some Far Eastern ingredients like ginger or soy. At this point I was still longing for some authentic Asian dishes (hence why I visited a Sushi restaurant in the first place) so I decided to order some sushi rolls.
First up was the Spider Roll with deep-fried crab, cucumber and avocado. The masago on the outside of the roll had a wonderful, vibrant, ruby-red color. This classic roll is commonly found on every sushi menu across the country. I have had Spider Rolls many times before, but Shark’s rendition was super fresh and it tasted delicious. We were given sides of their spicy mayo and eel sauce for dipping which added even more flavor to the dish.
Next we ordered the “Too Hard to Die Roll” which consisted of chilled tuna, cream cheese, chili sauce, tobiko & sweet sauce. This roll should actually be named “Too Tasty to Pass Up Roll” or “So Good You Can Die Happy Roll” (They like to give extravagant names to a number of their dishes). It was like an explosion of different flavors and textures. The tempura batter was warm and crunchy while the tuna was soft and chilled. The chili sauce had a bold kick, but it was mellowed out by the smooth, cream cheese and also by that sweet sauce that cascaded over the sushi. It’s amazing how they packed so much depth into one tiny bite. My fiancé proclaimed this roll to be her “favorite sushi roll in the world!”. I highly recommend this signature roll and it’s a must try if you visit Shark!
I enjoyed my experience at Shark Hibachi and Sushi on Thayer Street. The atmosphere, or what I could see of it, was impressive. It’s also home to the best aquarium outside of Mystic, Sea World, and even my local dentist’s office (just kidding). Although the menu was widespread and in desperate need of an edit, the food itself was very appetizing. So whether you’re looking to eat some handcrafted sushi or grab a scorpion bowl, Shark is the perfect place to enjoy great company and food.
(3 Bruce the Sharks out of 5)
Bonus: Here’s a quick video about all that Shark offers