Marc P., Princeton University
Take short walk north from the intersection of Nassau Street and Chambers and you’ll pass a sketchy stairwell leading down to a small sushi restaurant called Ajihei. Though it doesn’t seat many and the line was rather long, my dinner companions and I decided to try our chances and attempt to get one of the few tables that seats more than two. After a substantial wait, we were seated and treated to piping hot mugs of green tea.
Because of the restaurant’s $20 minimum per person—a little strange— I decided to get a single entrée: a sushi combination consisting of several pieces of nigiri and a roll priced at a few dollars more than the minimum. After what seemed an eternity— each member of the party was deathly hungry—our food arrived, and it seemed just as much a feast for the stomach. Admittedly, there are only so many ways a tuna roll can look, but these pieces appeared bright and fresh, and not surprisingly, tasted even better. Although I’m an avid eater of Frist sushi, I’m not unaware of its shortcomings, and the sushi at Ajihei surpasses it at every level. Additionally, although you won’t find the busier specialty rolls that populate the menus on trendier sushi places, the more standard rolls and nigiri are executed so well that there’s not really any room for complaint. The pieces are sizeable, fresh, and flavorful, and the dressings—wasabi, ginger, soy reduction on the unagi—all complement the fish very well.
In short, Ajihei may not be the best place to go if you’re on a budget, in a hurry (or on any sort of schedule), or have a large party, but it is the best place to go if you’re in Princeton and looking for a great sushi meal.