7 Nana Japanese Steakhouse: Sushi, hibachi grilling
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Worcester??”A recent addition to Worcester's growing and trendy restaurant scene, 7 Nana Japanese Steakhouse presents elegant plates of sushi and fast-paced hibachi cooking in a stylish, contemporary setting.
The striking bar and lounge features a large oval bar in the center of the room, accented by soft blue lighting and a dramatic chandelier of tiny glowing magenta lights. One end of the bar is the preparation area for the team of sushi chefs – five on the weekends – who work their magic as customers watch.
This room also boasts large windows at one end with a view of bustling Shrewsbury Street. There are high-top tables and comfortable booths for dining. For a quieter experience, there's an adjacent dining room, also with large windows.
If you opt for the hibachi choices, you'sl be seated in a separate dining room where customers are grouped around the hibachi grill tables and a chef prepares the meal as you watch. A section of this room can be closed off to create a private hibachi area seating 25 people.
The entire restaurant is decorated in a contemporary, subtle Japanese style, with soft colored lights, a waterfall wall, sculptures and artwork.
7 Nana just opened this past June, but if the crowd that was there on a recent Saturday evening is any indication, it is filling a need in downtown Worcester. Reservations are a good idea unless you come early in the evening.
My husband and I did that, arriving a bit ahead of the crowd. We had debated sushi or hibachi on the drive over. Sushi won, and we were seated in one of the lounge area booths.
Little details say a lot about a restaurant, and I was charmed by heavy metal napkin rings on the large cloth napkins, interesting flat dishes that serve as chopstick rests and a place to mix soy sauce and wasabi, and the inclusion of both fork and chopsticks with the napkins.
7 Nana's menu is extensive. About two dozen appetizer choices are your first challenge, from yellowtail jalapeno and filet mignon tataki to spicy tuna gyoza, coconut shrimp and edamame, plus six soups and eight salads. Most appetizers are priced from $6 to $10.
The a la carte sushi and sashimi menu lets diners choose their favorites, with most sushi selections priced $5 to $6 for two pieces and sashimi priced $7 to $9 for three pieces. Another page offers a variety of rolls, including nine different vegetarian rolls.
Among the entrees is a section of such Japanese specialties as tempura, teriyaki and noodle dishes; house specialties including grilled filet mignon; Asian dishes, many with a Thai twist; and entrees from the sushi bar, several combining sushi and maki rolls. Most entrees are priced from $16 to $28 and include miso soup and a house salad.
Hibachi dinners come in single or combination choices, with chicken, steak, shrimp, scallop and fish options, most priced from $19 to $28. Children's hibachi dinners run $13 to $18. All include soup, salad, three pieces of shrimp, a vegetable and rice.
We started our dinner with miso soup, piping hot and accented with sliced scallions along with tiny cubes of tofu and seaweed.
As an appetizer, my husband had chicken yakitori, two skewers of chicken breast chunks, very tender and still juicy. I tried the spicy crunchy crab roll, a delicious filling of chopped, cooked crabmeat, an appetizer that would have been plenty to share.
My husband ordered the Nana sushi plate, $24, nine pieces of assorted sushi plus California roll. The presentation was lovely, with three types of fish carefully arranged on a fresh green leaf, with a small orchid. He found the sushi extremely fresh with just the right amount of rice.
I waffled between a maki roll combination plate or tempura, but finally settled on the maki C combination, $20, three rolls with cooked fillings. I got my taste of tempura as well since there was a shrimp tempura roll accented by two pieces of shrimp. The plate also featured an avocado and eel roll and a California roll. I ended up taking several pieces home for lunch the next day.
We were delighted with our meals and consider 7 Nana a real find. Next time, we are looking forward to a hibachi dinner.
7 Nana Japanese Steakhouse is located at 60 Shrewsbury St. in Worcester, just off of I-290, and is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. There's free parking and valet parking in the rear. For additional information, see the website, www.7nanasteakhouseworcester.com. For reservations, call 508-755-8888.
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