Naked Fish in Salt Lake City

Uni and fish eggs, geisha-style snapper and tuna at Naked Fish.

Have you ever noticed how discussing certain foods automatically turns a conversation into a debate?  Take sushi, for instance.  As soon as sushi is brought up, the conversation turns into an argument about which restaurant in the city has the best sushi.  But fear not, my friends, I’m here to settle that debate for you :: Naked Fish has the best sushi in Salt Lake City.

Sushi chef Sunny at Naked Fish in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sushi Chef Sunny shared his expertise with us all evening.

Naked Fish does several things right.  First, they pride themselves on serving only sustainable fish from populations that are not over-fished.  Second, much of their fish is flown in from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan so it is the best of the best.  Third, their sushi chefs are top-notch trained.  If you want to learn a wealth a knowledge about fish, cutting technique, history of sushi and what you are eating in general, sit at the sushi bar and let your mind be blown.

Last, but most definitely not least, the food at Naked Fish is outstanding.  I’ve already boasted about how ridiculously good their ramen is and their sushi is equally as spectacular.  We sat at the sushi bar and put ourselves in the hands of the talented Chef Sunny.  We told him to make all of our decisions and to keep the sushi coming.  Then we ordered a bottle of wine (rosé goes surprisingly well wish sushi, by the way), sat back and enjoyed bite after bite of deliciousness.

Sous vide octopus, seaweed and ginger shot, and squid and uni at Naked Fish.

We started with an amouse bouche of sorts, a trio of sous vide octopus, seaweed and ginger in a shotglass and raw squid with uni.  The octopus and squid were unbelievable–literally.  I’ve never had either in a way that was so tender (yes, not chewy at all) or so flavorful.  The texture of the seaweed didn’t sit well with me even though I enjoyed the taste, but my friends loved it.

Hamachi and cucumber with ginger glaze salad, and tempura corn with lemon at Naked Fish in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Next was a hamachi and cucumber salad with ginger glaze, a heavenly mixture of textures, a slight sweetness and an almost buttery goodness from the hamachi (yellowtail).  Alongside we had tempura Utah corn.  It sounds strange, but it was amazing.  Sweet Utah corn coated in a light tempura batter, topped with a squirt of lemon for a kick of citrus.

Fluke sushi served two ways and aori squid at Naked Fish in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chef Sunny explained that we would journey from lighter fish to heavier, fattier ones.  So our first fish was fluke with a citrus soy sauce, followed by a different cut of fluke, the agowa muscle, that was tougher but more buttery in flavor; then the aori squid.  Sunny cut ridges into the squid before serving it, explaining that it make it less tough.

Hawaiian big-eyed tuna, Scottish salmon marinated in white wine and the belly cut of Scottish salmon at Naked Fish.

Next we had the Hawaiian big-eyed tuna, then the Scottish king salmon marinated in white wine (an incredible detail to add), and the belly cut of the Scottish king salmon.  We were continually amazed at how different cuts of the same fish tasted so unlike each other.

Japanese yellowtail, hamachi belly cut and big eyed tuna belly cut sushi at Naked Fish.

As we drifted into the fattier parts of the sushi world, we had royal hamachi (yellowtail), the belly cut of hamachi, and the belly of big eyed tuna.

Uni and fish eggs, geisha-style snapper and tuna at Naked Fish.

And, finally, we finished with Hawaiian butterfish that I somehow shoved in my mouth before I took a picture; then my absolute favorite, uni with fish eggs and geisha-style tuna and snapper.  Sunny explained that geishas used to wear make up made of minerals that prevented their mouths from opening wide enough to fit regular sushi, so smaller, round sushi were created just for them.

Mochi ice cream at Naked Fish in Salt Lake City.
Mochi ice cream for dessert is a perfect finale.

Throughout the dinner I kept having flashbacks of eating at Sushi Dai at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan.  I’m not kidding you, that was the last time I had fish this fresh and this flavorful.  The whole experience at Naked Fish is outstanding, from the food to the service to the atmosphere.  And that is why it gets my vote for the best sushi in the city.

Go to Naked Fish for :: the amazing sushi.  Sit at the sushi bar for the best experience.  During lunch, their ramen can’t be missed.  Notes :: They have large, semi-private rooms available for large parties.  Reservations are available online here or by calling 801-595-8888.

Naked Fish Japanese Bistro on Urbanspoon

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