By Jim B. at 2016-12-07
My favorite Sushi restaurant in Rochester and IMO the best here as well. (I haven't tried them all, but I have gone to many of them.)
It's a really small, neighborhood place with very simple decor. It's not new or shiny and neither is the neighborhood, but I love the place. There are only a couple off-street parking spots in the back, but on-street parking is not uncommon for small places in the city.
I've always had excellent sushi here. The one thing I have always used to help determine quality is serving temperature. If it's too cold you can't taste it in the first place, and its probably a sign of slow turn-over. And that's not something you want in a Sushi place.
The specials are always something interesting, but they don't keep much quantity around, so I'm never surprised when they tell me they've run out of something. Again, that sounds like good ingredient turn-over.
The other thing I love about the place is they don't do the crazy, elaborate rolls drowned in sauces. Sure they can be fun from time to time, but I always wonder if Sushi restaurants that have those really just use them to get rid of ingredients before they go bad. If it's not abundantly clear by now, ingredient turn-over is really important to me in a Sushi joint.
My biggest problem with Shiki is that I always think to go when they aren't open. They don't have bad hours but it is important to remember they close between 2:30 and 5pm on weekdays and they don't do Saturday lunch.
As an extra fact for those who enjoy that kind of thing, the location used to house Golden Pond Dim Sum, which changed names to Golden Port and eventually moved downtown.
By Shannon E. at 2016-11-16
This is REAL sushi in Rochester! You cannot beat the freshness or the selection, although on my last visit I was disappointed to hear they were out of octopus and squid sashimi. I was happy to replace them with some other (thick-sliced, delicious, fresh) choices to round out a birthday feast with my parents.
Neither had been there before, and they were impressed with the selection and atmosphere. We had the restaurant to ourselves, and the friendly, attentive waitress was happy to ply us with course after course...miso soup, seaweed salad, wasabi shumai (stings the nostrils), age shumai (deep-fried), sake, and a bountiful selection of rolls, including the standout Alaskan, with lettuce, crab, salmon and roe. My mom had a rice bowl with fried chicken and vegetables. The batter was light and crispy (she needed *cough* help finishing...)
We ended with the tempura ice cream, which was good, but could have used more chocolate sauce. Needless to say I rolled home and stayed in a food coma for several hours. I will be back soon for delicious fresh sushi for my soul.
By Andrew P. at 2016-08-09
Oh Shiki... Aishiteru! This place is absolutely my favorite Sushi restaurant in Rochester. I was introduced to this place due to a heated debate as to which Sushi restaurant is the best in town. Needless to say, I lost the debate; but also won at the same time. I've been coming to the restaurant for years and will continue to introduce my friends.
I am not a fan of fancy or flashy sushi. I am not swayed by a rock lobster roll covered in pineapple glaze and gold flakes (has anyone ever done that?). I like my sushi simple, straight to the point, and delicious. Shiki delivers that on all counts. The presentation of the food is excellent, and I never had a sushi that did not taste fresh, had under cooked rice, or be super cold like it was been stored in a freezer forever. It's also good to have sushi that is not 80% rice and 20% contents. My go-to rolls are usually the Spicy Salmon, Philadelphia, and Tekka. For appetizers I go for the Beef Negimaki to offset my seafood indulgence. I also recommend their curry dishes if you're not wholly committed to their rolls and sashimi, but I understand if it's hard to break away from them!
The restaurant is very small, simple, and divey That's one thing I find lacking about about the place; the interior, rocky tables and chairs could use an update. This can be trifles, because I'm usually too busy enjoying my food while listening to some 80s Japanese music playing softly in the background. One major benefit to such a small restaurant is that the staff will never be lost or forget about you, and you'll always be within an earshot of a server if you need something right away. The service and food delivery has always been fast in my visits here.
So I guess this is the part where I, like everyone else, boast at the fact its Japanese-owned. Cool to know, but it does not implicate the caliber of the restaurant; they did that on their own with the food and service like any other restaurant can. How many Mexican/Italian/Chinese restaurants have we visited with owners and operators of their respective nationality, and the food sucked? Nonetheless, the authenticity is a great coincidence, but come in with an open mind and dive into the cuisine. You won't regret it.
By Mike D. at 2016-10-19
Very good sushi for the price. I ordered the sushi sashimi combo lunch - tuna, salmon, shrimp, white tuna, yellow tail, white fish. Restaurant is fairly small and on the corner of a residential area.
Decent place equates to three stars....nothing bad to say.
By Vince C. at 2016-08-07
What a great return. I absolutely love this restaurant. Hands down, I believe this is the most authentic sushi restaurant in Rochester specifically 'Nigiri Style.' I'm pretty certain this is the only Japanese restaurant with a Japanese sushi chef in Rochester. It shows on the plate easily. I always pay attention to the specials in regard to the 'fish of the day.' When in season, the toro and uni are the best.
Tonight the special was striped bass. Of course, we started with a handful of nigiri which consisted of ikura, Mackerel, Yellow-Tail, Striped Bass, Fluke, Salmon, Squid, and Tuna. Each piece of fish is perfectly sliced and the perfect thickness. The rice is the perfect amount, perfectly formed, and squeezed in unison with the fish. The rice itself is perfectly seasoned and not overly strong. I must emphasize that every. single. piece was fresh and absolutely delicious. The yellow-tail, ikura, and salmon were the highlights. We then did another round of nigiri and chose the salmon, white tuna, yellow-tail, mackerel, and tamago. I never had tamago from here before, but even something as simple as egg was delicious. Easily homemade, and with a hint of sweetness.
With everything being said, without a doubt this restaurant does carry the best and freshest fish in Rochester when it comes to sushi. There wasn't a single piece that was off, because everything was fresh and at it's optimum quality.
By Kevin C. at 2015-12-29
Shiki has always been my number #1 Japanese restaurant when I was in Rochester a few years ago. I sought after many Japanese restaurants in the area and although some usually excel in one category better than others, think of Shiki as an overall premium package- meaning anything you'd get here will be at least of decent quality.
My favorite menu from Shiki is Kaisen Don. Una-jyu, Curry Udon, and Katsu Curry are all good choices.
Very cozy and warm atmosphere- will always remain as my favorite in Rochester. I always leave here satisfied and my sushi craving fixed.
By Greg T. at 2016-06-28
Stopped in with dinner with a family friend. Décor was uninspiring but the restaurant was clean and well lit.
Went with a miso soup and seaweed salad to start. Miso was good and had plenty of flavor. The salad was also very good and had a nice spicy undertone to it which was nicely surprising.
For my entrée I went with a spicy tuna hand roll, a yellow tail and scallion hand roll and one piece of ikura. Both were fresh but did not really have a decent amount of filing. Also the spicy tuna was not even close to spicy.
The ikura was fresh and very good.I also tried a couple of pieces of my companions beef negamaki which had a nice flavor.
Service was pleasant and the prices were quite reasonable.
By Alex L. at 2016-08-03
No doubt best authentic sushi place in Rochester.
Owner is Japanese not Chinese just in case you are curious.
Really good fresh fish. If you've been to other sushi place you will notice the difference between really good fresh fish and so so fish and you will never want to go to other places again.
Everything else is perfect too. My goal is to try everything in the menu.
Even busy during lunch hour.
It's been open for 12 years now.
And I'm Chinese. Just in case you are curious.
By Amyna L. at 2016-04-26
If you want sushi/sashimi come here. Not fried or chef special rolls. You can tell the fish is fairly fresh and that the chefs take their time. The takoyaki is very good as well if you want a little appetizer first
By Jamie L. at 2016-01-20
I was here for dinner on a Tuesday night and it was great. I wanted to try something so I started with the cooked baby octopus, which I would not recommend unless you actually like octopus and its squishy texture. Next up, the ramen. I got the ramen and my friend got the miso but I liked the miso broth more so we switched bowls. The miso came with corn, bamboo, spinach and chasu (pork). Besides the broth, the next best thing about ramen is the protein, which is typically the chasu and the egg. The chasu at Shiki was not what I was expecting or used to. It was thickly sliced and did not melt in my mouth. Lastly, I got unagi (eel) sushi a la carte. This was one of the more delicious unagi I've had and I would definitely recommend getting it. Overall, it was a positive experience and the staff were great.
By Amanda S. at 2016-03-24
Came here with a few friends, excited to try it out due to our colleagues high recommendations. We ordered the sushi and sashimi combo as well as a few rolls. Unfortunately the hype did not live up to any of our expectations. Wasn't impressed with anything and the sashimi was bland and more cold than usual, not pleasing. We ended up leaving still hungry. Unfortunate to say none of us would be back
By Shuang W. at 2016-08-25
Their eel over rice is just tooooo good to be true! But other things are average! The place is tiny so if u have a large party u might want to avoid crowded hours.
By Richard K. at 2016-05-15
So I am adding my review to the 157 reviews already posted about this restaurant. It is a Japanese restaurant actually owned by Japanese people. That is unusual in our community. The chef is from Japan, the cuisine is from Japan, and the exacting standards to which everything is prepared and presented are from Japan. The restaurant is frequented by many Asians, so you know the food must be authentic and good. I always enjoy my meal here, and in my opinion, this is the best Japanese restaurant in our city. There is a standard menu offering, and many specials. The chef will even make things on special request which are not on the menu. The restaurant is small, so sometimes you will have to wait to be seated. No one is rushed, and the focus is on a quality experience rather than on turning tables. Look at the 150 plus pictutes that gave been posted, and then imagine the food is even better. Outstanding kitchen.
By Laura L. at 2015-11-19
We met a couple out on a Friday night for dinner and I was super excited to try this place since I've heard this is the best sushi in the roc.
Tip: they do not take reservations on the weekends and will not seat you until your entire party has arrived. It's a small place so I recommend getting there with everyone by 6!
We started out with some large Sapporo which is the way to go. Only a couple dollars more and you get basically get two beers.
I ordered a spicy tuna roll with crunch, the dragon roll, and edamame, and the gyoza. The edamame were lackluster, the gyoza was very good and cooked perfectly.
Now, onto the sushi - I'm used to a roll being 6-8 pieces, but here the rolls are only 4 pieces which threw us for a loop! It was the best spicy tuna I ever had,
So good we ordered two more rolls.
I wish the portion sizes were a little bigger, but the quality and authenticity is definitely there! Ready to go back and try a bento box for lunch!
By Jon P. at 2015-11-05
Been here several times now. A little hole-in-the-wall type place.
Good & friendly service but it can get quite busy if you don't show up right as they open.
Got the ramen this time around and it was pleasantly filling.
Streetside parking with a few additional spots behind the building.
Good place to take a date (I speak from experience)
By Mike F. at 2015-09-18
I had one of the most unappetizing meals in a while today at Shiki. It was my first time eating there and I don't plan on going back.
I was in the mood for noodle soup, but unfortunately they don't offer any vegetarian broths, so I was out of luck.
I decided to start off with the age-dofu. I've had this dish at other places and have enjoyed it, but at Shiki the coating was slimy and rubbery and not at all crispy. I ate one piece and passed on the second.
My date and I were also given a small salad with the tofu. Neither of us had ordered a salad so I assume it was complimentary, although it was weird to only get one and have to share it. The salad was just lettuce and a few cucumber slices with bland dressing. We each tried a bite and didn't care for it.
For my meal I ordered the vegetarian sushi which the menu described as "kappa, vegetable and crispy roll". The kappa (cucumber) roll was ok but the nori was abnormally chewy (as it was for all the rolls). The "vegetable" roll was just seaweed and mayo which was strange. I like seaweed on its own but it was a strange consistency in the roll and I didn't enjoy it. The "crispy" roll consisted of more seaweed, cucumber and then crispy things that tasted like French's onions, which might have been good except there were way too many; over half the roll was those (see the photo!). The crispy flakes mixed with the seaweed was even grosser than the seaweed and mayo combo. I ended up eating a few pieces of each of the rolls and left them.
Throughout the meal I ate half or less of each of the items. The waitress never asked how the food was and didn't seem at all surprised when I said I didn't want to take the substantial amount of leftovers home; she must be use to it?
My date, who isn't vegetarian, had the ramen and a sushi roll and reported that neither were very good and didn't taste fresh.
By Kurt D. at 2016-05-16
A hidden gem. The food is truly traditional, sushi is authentic and prepared the proper way.
By Alyssa B. at 2015-07-03
Really the only place worth having Sushi in Rochester, and we all know it.
I've only been for lunch, but that's partly because I don't want to pay the dinner premium on this place. The service has been alright (it always seems to be the same one woman running around), and the food comes out rather quickly. The lunch combinations are a solid deal.
Friends who order rolls/sushi a la carte have found the portions to be smaller than expected - this is where the price issue comes up. I don't mind paying more for freshness and good sushi, but that coupled with a 4-piece tuna roll kind of irks me.
Student discount helps (10% off - but it's cash only for that option w. no split checks).
Rochester really needs to step up their sushi game. So until it does, I suppose I'll keep frequenting Shiki. I'm just slightly underwhelmed by it.
By Andrew G. at 2014-10-01
I've eaten at many sushi places that've stayed, come, and gone in Rochester and I have to say by far, Shiki continues to hold the crown as the best in town. Even though it's the law to freeze all sushi-grade raw fish in the US before serving it, Shiki somehow always manages to have the freshest, most flavorful fish in the city. Maybe it's because the chef just has the knife skills OF A GOD, but they nail it just about every time. After going 50+ times over the years, I can honestly only think of one time that I MAYBE had an off-cut of fish. The rice is seasoned perfectly, it's the perfect grain size, and there's always been a perfect balance of filling ingredients (fish or veg) to rice. Man oh man do they know what they're doing.
Compared to some of the other sushi places in town it's definitely a little pricier, but it's absolutely worth every penny. When you go to Shiki, you're paying for the quality of something you won't find within 100 miles.
I honestly haven't tried much of their other Japanese dishes so it's difficult for me to comment on them, but if they're nearly as good as their chirashi, nigirizushi, or maki rolls, you will go home full and happy every visit. If you haven't been - definitely give them a try because you'll be talking about it all week!
By Jade R. at 2016-01-11
Food was good and that's the only reason I would return because the service is poor. Went for a quick meal before a movie and had some Unagi rolls, Gyoza, and Takoyaki for appetizers. Meals were the Eel Bowl(Una-Jyu) and Tonkatsu Ramen. Gyoza were a bit too salty and the octopus in the Takoyaki was extremely chewy so I wouldn't recommend those. The meals were good though(but we didn't get to finish them).
Server never asked how the food was and we didn't get any refills. We were the only customers in the restaurant so it isn't as if the server was busy, in fact she was sitting down across from us chatting with another staff member. It was 25 minutes before close but it was obvious they wanted us to leave, one of the staff came over with the check and told us they were going to close soon while we were in the middle of our meal. Again, it wasn't even our server who brought the check. We paid and were getting ready to walk out when the server stopped us and told us we were required to leave at least a 10% tip. The check does not specify a required tip amount, and honestly she did not even deserve that tip but I did not argue.
I probably won't return here, there are other places with better food and service.