05 September 2008

Okini Pan Asian - Progress (Harrisburg)

Overall Rating: Somewhere around Neutral
Highlight: Sweet Potato Roll
Lowlight: Chinese Eggplant and Limited Veggie Sushi Selection
Veggie Note: There is a “Vegetables” section in the non-sushi part of the menu. There are a handful of vegetable rolls and tamago on the sushi menu


We headed here to continue our quest for good vegetarian sushi.

Okini Pan Asian is a combination Chinese, Japanese, Thai restaurant in the Progress area of the Harrisburg suburbs. We were seated right away and the servers were very quick to our table. It was a little dark and the whole restaurant has an old carpet on the floor, a little bit icky. We’re not big fans of carpets in restaurants, kitchens and bathrooms. The restaurant was generally very comfortable and clean however. When a table finished and left, all of the available servers flocked the table and cleaned it immediately so it stayed very nice the whole time we were there.

We had the following:

Complimentary:

  • Edemame – as soon as we sat down we were served a bowl of warm salty edemame pods. They were very tasty and a nice treat. It was odd that edemame were also listed for $5 in the appetizer section of the menu. I guess some people just can’t get enough soy beans.

Soup:

  • Miso – there were no sushi entrees that were vegetarian, so I ordered a bowl of soup as an extra. It was pretty standard miso soup. Some of the miso wasn’t mixed in very well so it was in little clumps I had to break up, but otherwise it was the same as everywhere else.

Entrees:

  • Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce – listed as spicy in the menu (with the ubiquitous pepper icon). It was definitely not what my partner was hoping for. The sauce was not spicy at all and was actually super sweet and syrupy. The eggplant, bell peppers and onion were all very fresh though, so they may satisfy a different pallet. This came with a bowl of white rice as well.

Sushi A la Carte:

  • Tamago – if it’s available, we’ll probably always order this. It was average here.
  • Vegetable Supreme Roll – Asparagus, cucumber, avocado and oshinko prepared like a hand roll, very nice presentation. A little too much cucumber made it kind of watery but the ingredients were very fresh and crispy.
  • Green Roll – this was interesting and something I’ve never had before. It was a roll of nothing but seaweed salad (the kind you usually eat in a bowl – salty/stringy seaweed). It wasn’t fabulous because the seaweed was a bit overwhelming, but it was definitely something different and fun to try.
  • Sweet Potato Roll - my weakness. I love sweet potato tempura wrapped up in a sushi roll. Especially when it is freshly warm out of the frying oil like it was here. Again the presentation was very nice. I really enjoyed this roll.

Dessert:

  • Fried Banana – the only dessert available was this tempura fried banana. It was cut into 1 inch pieces and fried and then set back in the peel which was cleverly peeled to look like a snail or something else with maraschino cherry antennae. Then the whole thing was doused in whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Pretty tasty but it definitely needed the whipped cream and chocolate since the banana itself wasn't very sweet and could have maybe benefitted from a little added sugar. But this was really fun and tasty overall. I love tempura fried anything for the most part. I once had a dream that I was making a salad with tempura fried root vegetables on top. I was particularly interested in the tempura fried red beets I had conjured up, some day I plan to really try that. I’ll bet it would be good. (end of dream sequence)

Just a few other notes:

This is another BYOB restaurant, we didn’t take anything with us, but the couple behind us had a bottle of wine and the restaurant was quick to provide glasses for them.

There were about 6 dishes total in the “vegetables” section of the menu. There were a few curries in the Thai section and tofu was not a listed option, however it was included in a few other dishes so I am sure it could be easily substituted for one of the meaty options given.

Aside from the rolls I ordered, there was really only an avocado roll to complete the vegetarian selections. There was also no inari in the a la carte menu.

Final Thoughts: I guess the quest for a good vegetarian sushi joint continues… stop here for a sweet potato roll someday, you’ll thank me.

3 comments:

Harini said...

my favourite thing at Okini is the satay tofu (appetizers). the peanut sauce and fresh cucumbers are just so delicious.

threeseas7 said...

If you want the best veggie sushi in the area, try Zen Cuisine in Mechanicsburg. Lots of appetizer, sushi and entree options for vegetarians and vegans.

Try the Zen roll and sweet potato roll. Plus, the best ginger dressing on their salad--an not served on iceburg, but a nice GREEN salad.

Sophie said...

ooo... i am an eggplant super fan! sigh. i want the spicy eggplant sooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.
http://yummiexpress.freetzi.com