In its second year in The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale, Shiro of Japan has drawn droves of diners from Forest Hills, Bayside and Howard Beach, among other communities throughout Queens.
Some were familiar with the unique hibachi and sushi dining experiences offered up at its Long Island location for over 30 years. But most were simply won over by the new restaurant’s reasonable prices, expansive menu and warm atmosphere that makes it the perfect choice for either a romantic date or a party for pre-teens sure to be wooed by the spitfire grills.
Many start their meals with Shiro’s soba salad, a heaping, hearty mix of shrimp, crab, avocado, soba, mesclun and seaweed. Other, more seafood-heavy salad offerings include a spicy calamari salad and a ceviche, which features tuna, octopus, salmon, ikura and baby clam.
In addition to being a satisfying warm-up, the restaurant’s dobin mushi soup — a delectable chicken and mushroom blend served in a small tea kettle — makes the experience authentically Japanese. The sushi platter on Shiro’s appetizer menu allows diners to select different rolls, including those with toro, the fatty belly of the tuna.
But the restaurant’s hallmark sushi rolls remain the Black Dragon Roll and the Chili Roll. The Black Dragon Roll is stuffed with jake, which is chopped shrimp, crab, fish egg and mayonnaise. It is topped with avocado, eel, scallion and a sweet eel sauce. This contrasts with the spicy sauce drizzled on Shiro’s salmon-laden Chili Rolls. Other favorite rolls include the Taka Roll, which includes whitefish and salmon, and the Godzilla Roll, which includes spicy tuna and spanish mackerel.
If these dishes don’t entice diners, they can peruse the almost 50 different offerings on Shiro’s a la carte sushi menu, including octopus, sea urchin and fluke. All are rolled in rice made with Shiro’s 30-year-old recipe.
“It adds to the taste of the fish, it just enhances the flavor,” said co-owner Peter Faccibene of the rice. “I get emails from people who tell me that they come every week. We’ve been in the business for 30 years. We know how to get it right.”
Getting it right at Shiro also means ordering from their own seafood distributor, who brings fish from the shores of continents around the world.
Some of these fish land on the hibachi grill, such as tuna and chilean sea bass, but the most popular hibachi entrees feature Long Island duck with pear saute and rack of lamb. All are served with onion soup, a salad, a shrimp appetizer, vegetables and green tea.
Beyond the menu items offered for lunch and dinner each day, special happenings at Shiro pack the restaurant. At their fugu nights, cooks will prepare the delectable blowfish. Because the animals’ internal organs contain lethal amounts of poison, preparers need licenses to serve the dish, making it one of Japanese cuisine’s most celebrated dishes.
Shiro holds sake tasting nights at which adults learn about the more than 20 different types of sake the restaurant offers. Shiro is the perfect place for unique and exciting parties or intimate family get togethers. Holiday party reservations are now being accepted.
Lunch is served from noon to 5 p.m. every day. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Shiro is closed from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. For more information or to make reservations for your party call (718) 326-8704.
Shiro’s sushi can be purchased at the Amish Market in The Shops at Atlas Park and ordered from the restaurant to go. For a complete take-out menu, visit the restaurant at 80-40 Cooper Ave. at 80th Street or visit their website at shiroofjapan.com.