Restaurant Reviews

We're Not Fans: Sushi Combo @ Maki Sushi, Estoril

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So I'm going to pre-empt this by saying, my husband Thomas and I - we're pretty fussy about our sushi.

See, Portugal has spoiled us rotten. It has ridiculously good fish - at pretty darn good value, and so the quality of sushi we used to eat back in Canada (when we lived in Toronto for seven years) - yeah we can't eat that anymore.

Even standard AYCE (All You Can Eat) sushi in Portugal is fantastic quality in comparison to almost anything you can get in Canada.

But I mean, the fish is caught in Europe, and we eat a lot of it. Fish is kind of Europe's thing.

That disclaimer out of the way, let me also state - Thomas and I don't care all that much whether there's variety in the types of fish we get.

We aren't fussed about "creative" sushi - we hate fusion for the most part and prefer more traditional nigiri (and more simple maki rolls for that matter). [Yes, that means this place was definitely not an ideal fit for us - especially once we saw what was in the combo we bought - way too "creative" a combo for us to have ordered.]

We just care about the quality of the fish. That's about it

And while we absolutely still do go out to AYCE sushi restaurants all the time, we are absolutely not okay with paying high prices for AYCE quality sushi. That's where we draw the line.

(Need a couple AYCE sushi recommendations in the Cascais area? Try Nami in Cobre or Sushi Come in the center of town).

A lot of the All You Can Eat sushi restaurants here will just use salmon, so they can make sure the quality of the fish is reasonably high, and they don't have waste on other types of fish - they'll just get creative with the one.

I'm totally down for this because as I said, I care about the quality of the fish.

Yeah, it's not at Maki Sushi. Sad to say. This place seems to dress up poor quality fish (in comparison to other sushi restaurants in Portugal), by adding this that and the other to make colourful, creative looking sushi pieces - but they're not good.

Loads of mayo, loads of sugar, fruit on top - you name it, it's there. And no, to me, this isn't a good thing.

Now, don't get me wrong, they're still better than what you can get in AYCE sushi restaurants in Canada.

Because this is Portugal, and that's easy to get here. But the fish isn't even as good quality as the AYCE sushi restaurants we go to here (Nami & Sushi Come if you're curious) - and that's probably because they stock so many types of fish.

Either way, we were not fans. I started off being okay with Maki Sushi's food because I ate the hot rolls first - and honestly, those fried maki rolls were pretty good.

But the more I ate, the more I stopped wanting to eat. And I didn't even want to finish.

Coming from a very food-greedy person (I can't say no to almost any food that's in front of me!) - that's a bad sign.

Thomas got so put off the fish he tried to fry the sashimi to make it edible, and not see it go to complete waste.

So this will forever be known to me as "that time Thomas tried to cook the sushi to make it taste better."

He took it to the kitchen, grilled it lightly to make it toasted on both sides. Stunk up the kitchen, and it did not taste better.

He pointed out they used the wrong cut of fish entirely - this wasn't the cut that was supposed to be used for any sushi, let alone sashimi.

We actually threw much of what we bought away. Thomas sadly felt sick for two days after.

Was it poor quality? No. Just not what we're used to getting even at All You Can Eat restaurants, and that put us off the meal.

Did we get food poisoning? Absolutely not.

But we'd rather not eat sushi at all if it's not good quality, and sad to say, this place didn't cut it for us.

Now, we know this place has glowing reviews, and if you can't taste the quality difference usually when you're eating sushi (like if you've been to a number of them at different price ranges and they're all pretty much the same tasting in terms of quality to you), you're almost certainly fine.

As well as if you're happy to have your sushi filled with mayo, sugary sauces, fruit, and more. This definitely as variety in that sense, so if that's your jam and you're fine with good-enough quality, go for Maki sushi, why on earth not?

Quantity-wise, there's nothing wrong here. Especially if you can't be arsed to get yourself to an AYCE sushi restaurant in person and just want take away.

But if you can tell the difference in quality, can't really put up with fish that's just not the freshest, and were hoping this place had good quality fish because of the glowing reviews - know that Maki Sushi, Estoril is not going to cut it.

Hard pass and a never again from me.