I’ve lived in Lansing my entire adult life and have loved sushi for even longer, so I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I just visited Sushi Moto for the first time. I’ve often heard it has the best sushi around, and I’m so glad I finally went to investigate.
Walking inside, you would never guess you were a stone’s throw away from the busy intersection of West Saginaw Highway. I went for lunch with a friend on a Wednesday, but the quiet, dimly lit, beautifully appointed dining room would be an ideal setting for a date night. As it was lunchtime, we had the benefit of choosing from an extensive menu of lunch specials, which is always a boon for the budget-conscious.
Sushi Moto offers everything you would expect from a Japanese restaurant, from a full sashimi and nigiri menu and a plethora of rolls to udon and yakisoba noodles to tempura, teriyaki and katsu dishes. I was seriously hungry and seriously love all these things, so I chose the Moto Bento box in order to try as many items as possible. There are eight variations of bento to choose from. My box included chicken teriyaki; shrimp and vegetable tempura; a California roll; salmon, tuna and shrimp nigiri; and fresh orange slices.
“Fresh” is the keyword. In recent years, I haven’t been going out for sushi as much as I used to, as I often find myself disappointed in the quality of the ingredients and the care sushi chefs put into their preparation. This was not my experience at Sushi Moto, however.
Sushi rice is usually my biggest issue — I hate when it’s mushy and unseasoned — but Sushi Moto’s was perfectly cooked. Each grain glistened and was decidedly separate from its many identical neighbors. The crab salad in the California roll was, if I’m not mistaken, made from real crab and looked and tasted as though it had just been prepared. My piece of salmon nigiri melted in my mouth. The pickled ginger was even notably good. My faith in sushi was restored.
The non-sushi components were equally excellent. The tempura came in a massive portion, and each piece was fried to golden perfection. The sweet potato slice the size of my palm was my favorite. I also loved the chicken teriyaki, which was moist and tender and was served atop rice and sauteed peppers and onions soaked in the sweet, tangy sauce.
Not pictured are the miso soup and side salad I started with ($1.95 each and both very good), which inhibited me from being able to finish my glorious lunchtime treasure trove of perfect bites. If you love sushi and, like me, you’ve managed to neglect this gem, I strongly recommend you visit soon.
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