Candyfish Gourmet Sushi Bar to Open Inside Union Delray Beach

candyfishstuffedsolo.jpg
Union Delray
Candyfish stuffed avocado stuffed pouchette.
It's said that Sukiyabashi Jiro -- a small yet revered establishment tucked away in a Tokyo subway -- is considered to be among the best sushi restaurants in the world. Run by 86-year-old shokunin Jiro Ono, a man now considered a national treasure by the Japanese, the restaurant's menu is best served traditional omakase, a chef's tasting that will easily run you a few hundred dollars.

Scott Kennedy and Stephen Chin -- owners of Delray Beach's Union -- are keeping Sukiyabashi Jiro in mind as they open Candyfish Gourmet Sushi, a "gourmet" sushi bar inside their Asian fusion gastro-lounge with a grand opening slated for October 13. Their goal: to offer world-quality sushi, but for a fair price.

"Our aim with Candyfish is to provide the perfect balance between offering items that the traditional sushi fans want, like toro or sea urchin, while also offering items that maybe the less-adventurous can enjoy," Kennedy told Clean Plate Charlie.

To craft such a concept, the team hired master sushi chef "Steve" Zhang, formerly of Nobu Miami, one of chef Nobu Matsuhisa's 20-plus global establishments, considered to be among the best sushi restaurants nationwide.

Inspired by sushi-driven nightclubs like New York City's Koi and Bond St., Las Vegas' Geisha House, and Los Angeles' Katsuya, Kennedy says that, at Candyfish, he'll provide patrons with creative and traditional rolls that surpass dishes three times the price in both
quality and craft.

During a recent interview, Kennedy said he spent the better part of eight months "searching for a sushi chef capable of creating the best sushi in South Florida for the best price." Then he met Zhang -- a quiet, unassuming man who seems completely at ease behind the circular Candyfish counter, perhaps a more fitting place for the 55-year-old cognoscenti of Japanese cuisine than South Beach. And even though the Candyfish roll he has named after him -- the popular Uber Sexy Steve Roll -- would make it appear otherwise, it's hard to imagine his being anything other than steadfastly focused on whatever dish he's creating.

The Candyfish menu includes offbeat house creations like the tuna truffle tarts -- paper-thin slices of sushi-grade tuna sprinkled with sea salt and served on a fresh-baked mini tart finished with black truffle oil and micro greens -- as well as traditional miso soup, specialty sushi rolls, and à la carte sashimi. A stuffed avocado pouchette [pictured above] is a labor of love that takes up to 15 minutes to prepare as Zhang arranges paper-thin slices of avocado to create a delicate "purse" filled with spicy tuna, blue crab, and tempura flakes.

What makes this sushi different, says Kennedy, is the fish: Each piece is sourced from specialty distributors that deliver whole fish Zhang cuts, preps, and wraps himself.

Rolls are priced $11 to $16 with choices like the Honey Walnut Shrimp roll, made with candied walnuts and shrimp tempura, or the Japanese Steakhouse roll, served with slivers of filet mignon, shrimp tempura, and a house-made hibachi-style yum yum sauce.

For vegans, vegetarians, and his raw-fish-fearing mother, Kennedy helped to design rolls that would have the same level of creative innovation as the rest of the menu, such as Julia's Vegetarian Beauty, a mix of asparagus, avocado, cucumber, carrot, green and red peppers, and bok choy topped with Union's own roasted Brussels sprouts.

The Peter Mark, at first glance appears to be nothing more than your average California roll but is actually a foodie's "Russian Roulette," says Kennedy. Best when shared at a table, the lucky one to bite into the single piece stuffed with wasabi gets to chase it with the roll's accompanying sake bomb.


Location Info

Candyfish Gourmet Sushi

8 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
NDanna
NDanna

Again, for everyone who doesn't understand the reference to Jiro: It was to give readers some background on what critics consider true sushi, globally-revered as some of the best in the world. This does NOT say Candyfish is comparable, nor does it hail them as world class -- it was reference to the owners' desire to bring a higher level of quality than what is typically seen. They are trying to go a step beyond the ordinary with their concept, and appear to have an appreciation for proper technique and superior quality.

bocafrau
bocafrau

Sounds like the kind of Sushi place the hubby and I have to try. We are always looking for new and great sushi restaurants. One of my fave things to eat. And we love coming down to Atlantic Ave. in Delray. :)

Adam Koch
Adam Koch

i dont think that what candyfish is doing has anything to do with what Jiro does.

icculus17
icculus17 topcommenter

this is basically an advertisement, and that should be stated at the top.  The writer got a free meal to write this review, that's not real journalism.

icculus17
icculus17 topcommenter

How can you mention the greatest sushi shop on planet Earth in reference with this place?

 

Watch the movie on Netflix, then please edit your story.

NDanna
NDanna

 @icculus17 No free food, sir. Clean Plate Charlie bloggers are NOT allowed to receive free food. I conducted an interview with the owner, and this article is based on what he believes about his establishment. As you can see, everything stated in this article is referenced to Kennedy. I never gave my opinion, or said it was "good," "bad," or "OK." The opening paragraph is simply a means of backstory -- that is the best sushi in the world, and they are hoping to offer the best sushi in Delray. 

icculus17
icculus17 topcommenter

 @NDanna ok but no offense, most of those rolls would make a Japanese person vomit.  Fish and Rice, that's all you need at the greatest sushi shop in the world. I like to taste the fish in my meal, not the 15-20 added ingredients.  If you want to compare it to Nobu, that makes a lot more sense. Basically it's sushi for people who don't like sushi.

NDanna
NDanna

 @icculus17 I understand exactly what you're saying -- and agree. It's up to the people eating there to decide for themselves if this truly is "gourmet" sushi or not...

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