The search for the best sushi in Charleston is still a work in progress, but we have recently discovered a close contender. We paid a visit to Oak Barrel Tavern in West Ashley. Oak Barrel Tavern is a small bar that is known for their large selection of local draft beers. They also have a small sushi bar called Sushi Ninja inside the tavern, which is open from 6-10pm, Tuesday-Friday.
We got to the bar around 5pm and started off with some local beers. Revelry is my favorite brewery in Charleston, so of course I opted for the Poke the Bear beer. Even better, it only cost me $5! They didn’t have it on tap, but nonetheless it was still delicious. Ashley ordered a brown ale from Frothy Beard Brewery, which was on tap. She enjoyed it, but ultimately opted for a glass of red wine instead.
Once the clock hit 6, the sushi was rolling. We ordered the Veggie roll, the Surf and Turf roll, and the Big Al roll. The Veggie roll ($7) was made with asparagus, avocado, cucumber, carrot, and red pepper, and was topped with sesame seeds and scallions. The Surf and Turf roll ($10) was made with poached shrimp, asparagus and avocado, and was topped with beef tataki, wasabi aioli, sesame seeds and scallions. The Big Al roll ($11) was made with spicy tuna, kani salad, avocado, and cream cheese, and was served with a spicy aioli. The Surf and Turf and the Big Al rolls were on the list of specialty rolls and the Veggie roll was a regular roll.
We were very impressed with the presentation of these rolls, considering the small area behind the bar where they were rolling the sushi. The rolls were beautifully garnished and each plate had flowers carefully placed around the sushi. The sushi not only was visually appealing, but also was quite appealing to our palates. We were both in agreement that this sushi was the best we had had to date. The rolls had the perfect fusion of spicy, tangy, and sweet flavors and the beef tataki on the Surf and Turf roll was tender and juicy.
It’s safe to say that this sushi is definitely a crowd pleaser, though not the cheapest option for sushi in Charleston. That being said, if you’ve just finished reading this and are now dying to go check out Sushi Ninja but don’t want to spend over $10 on a sushi roll, we would suggest opting for a regular roll instead of a specialty roll. The majority of the regular rolls are $8 or less, and you still get a decent sized portion. They also have other food options that are reasonably priced, such as Nigiri ($5), Maki ($5), Sashimi ($6.5), and salads that are between $5 and $7.