If there is one thing I have taught my kids (and hopefully there is more than one) it is that it is good to try lots of new restaurants. Usually they are pretty game, but sometimes they roll their eyes and wonder why they just can’t go to one of their favorites (the answer is because there are only so many times we can eat at Steak ‘n Shake and MCL), Anyway, I find it is best to just announce the new destination enthusiastically and they’ll be pretty happy.
They generally like eating at Japanese restaurants because they like teriyaki and various things like that (and an occasional piece of tuna). We decided to hit the road and hit Kobayashi up in Noblesville after a quick twitter poll revealed most of you (although not all) who have been there like it pretty well.
The restaurant calls itself “Sushi and Asian Kitchen” and they have several non-Japanese options on the menu as well. My daughter’s bento box came with soup and they offered miso or hot and sour and we decided to go with the hot and sour to start. I quite liked it—it was chock full of all the typical hot and sour ingredients, including lots of tofu and had a decent spicy flavor. If I could have made it perfect, it would have been slightly less thickened, and would have had a bit more of the “sour” part of its name, but overall, I would order it again. It’s interesting to me that miso doesn’t vary that much, but hot and sour varies so greatly.
Hubby and I shared a couple of different rolls—the Tiger roll ($10.95) and the Kobayashi roll ($10.95). Both of them were pretty good, but I think I preferred the Tiger roll if I had to pick one. It had shrimp tempura (which was nice and crunchy, which you know I like) and cucumber inside and then had alternating slices of salmon and avocado on top. It was also drizzled with eel sauce and a thin mayo drizzle and sesame seeds. I liked that the majority of the eel sauce (a sweetened soy based sauce) was on the plate so you could sort of use what you wanted and the roll wasn’t overly gooey. I was surprised by the mayo because it wasn’t listed on the menu, but it was thin and lightly applied and didn’t detract.
The Kobayashi roll was good too, but it just seemed to be missing some pizzazz or something. Honestly, I think it was missing the ponzu sauce ingredient that was listed on the menu (or it was so lightly used, you could barely taste it). Anyway, it had spicy tuna and avocado inside and then very lightly seared tuna on top (and some sesame seeds). I appreciated that the spicy tuna clearly had good quality tuna in it. I wouldn’t say it was overly spicy though. If I could have tasted the ponzu a bit more, I think I would have liked this one better. But overall, the ingredients were good, the rolls were not ridiculously large and they were well put together.
My daughter had a bento box lunch special which is a great deal at $6.95 (this is not a kid’s meal, anyone can get this deal). You get a protein (she got chicken teriyaki), a couple of California roll pieces, salad, the soup I mentioned before, rice, and a few pieces of tempura (there was a carrot, an onion ring, and a piece of potato I believe). The chicken was not bad—seemed like a more marinated kind of teriyaki than a saucy one, but the chicken was fairly tender. The real standout of the kids’ meals though was my son’s chicken katsu meal. So katsu is just a cutlet that is breaded and fried, but wow, this was incredibly tender chicken. My son was annoyed when we all kept grabbing a piece. Who knew? I mean it is basically just a Japanese version of chicken fingers right? But tasty.
Anyhow, if I lived in Noblesville, I can see this being a place I might frequent for a causal meal (interesting bbq restaurant turned into Japanese restaurant décor makes it hard for me to buy into for a nice dinner out).
2295 Greenfield Avenue
Noblesville, IN 46060