Restaurant Spotlight
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2010
Written by 

Nakashima of Japan/Katsu-Ya of Japan

I never thought I would have a craving for a gluten-free meal, but that has changed since eating at Nakashima’s and enjoying their new gluten-free options. Gluten isn’t something you normally think about unless you need to avoid it because of certain health conditions or diets; however, Nakashima and Katsu-Ya have recognized the importance of having gluten-free options on their menu. And are they ever delicious!

During our experience there, our group of six enjoyed many different fresh, house-made selections. We mixed in the gluten-free items so we all could get a taste. We even preferred the gluten-free soy sauce over the typical soy sauce we were used to. As one of my guests said, “The actual flavors of the sauce come out versus the typical salt-only taste.”

Our meal began with an edamame appetizer. This is certainly a must-order! The soybeans were perfectly tender and finished with just the right amount of sea salt. We also enjoyed the house-made vegetable Gyoza (Japanese dumplings), which everyone raved about and I am sure to have a craving for in the near future. Next, we were served the cucumber wrap, which was a refreshing mix of fresh cucumber, smoked salmon, crab, cream cheese and salty fish eggs (to add the perfect amount of texture to change it up), finished with a ginger sauce that added the perfect amount of tang.

We moved on to a few different rolls, including the California Sunday roll, which was everyone’s favorite and included just the right amount of tuna tartar on top. I very much enjoyed the Veggie Curry roll. Typically, as a vegetarian going out for sushi, I have the option of the AAC roll and, well, that’s about it. That is not the case at Nakashima and Katsu-Ya of Japan! The curry sauce was the perfect compliment to the asparagus, avocado, cilantro and cream cheese. I also enjoyed my personal favorite, the Crunchy Vegetable roll, which features crunchy sweet potato tempura.

Meanwhile, the meat eaters were raving about the Beef Sashimi: “You can taste the grilled flavor as the meat literally melts in your mouth,” one of them shared. It can be a bit intimidating to pick up a not-well-done piece of beef; however, there were no worries at our table. Everything at Nakashima and Katsu-Ya of Japan is of impeccable quality and taste.

The spicy spinach tuna dish was another diner’s favorite, featuring lightly seared tuna that allowed you to taste the natural grilled flavor and spicy spinach that sang and danced across the tongue well after each bite has been thoroughly enjoyed. It was a great treat, which certainly must be created from a secret recipe.

We finished off the meal with a few more rolls, including the non-typical kiwi roll that combined eel, cucumber, avocado, tempura crunch and a tangy sweet kiwi and eel sauce topping. The marriage of kiwi and eel unexpectedly balanced each other out in every bite, as the sweetness of the roll drifted in and finished each bite on a high note. The Nakashima Roll combined three amazing cuts of tuna, salmon and yellowtail along with spinach, cream cheese, cucumber, fish egg, cilantro and jalapeno, finished with spicy sauce for just the right amount of heat, and surrounded with sesame seeds. When combined, this long list of phenomenal ingredients melted in the mouth and each flavor made a very welcome appearance on the taste buds at exactly the right time, making this a must-have on our next visit.

Finally, their green tea ice cream was the perfect pallet cleanser! From the carnivores to the one herbivore at our table, everyone left with a full stomach, feeling satisfied and looking forward to going back.

I always look forward to dining at Nakashima and Katsu-Ya of Japan. There is something for everyone and you definitely sense the heart and soul that goes into their menu and their fine Japanese cuisine. Not only does everything taste fresh and delicious, but the presentation also equates to a work of art, with perfectly placed colors and beauty. Thank you for a wonderful dining experience, Nakashima of Japan! 

Nakashima of Japan

4100 W. Pine St., Appleton

2200 Holmgren Way, Green Bay

Monday - Friday: 5-10 p.m.
Saturday: 4:30-10 p.m.
Sunday: 4-9 p.m.

Katsu-Ya of Japan

511 W. College Ave., Appleton

Monday - Thursday: 5-10 p.m.
Friday: 5-10:30 p.m.
Saturday: 4:30-10:30 p.m.
Sunday: 4-9 p.m.

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