In history of tasting, I mentioned that my first culinary adventure was to a sushi restaurant. Since then, I have had a love of sushi. Luckily, my husband likes it as well so we usually eat at a sushi restaurant on every trip we take. This has allowed me to sample sushi in Boston, NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orlando and Chicago to name a few places. But the best sushi I have ever had is right here in East Lansing, MI. Sansu restaurant is located in Hannah plaza, on Hagadorn. It is housed in what was once the USA cafe. Sansu, owned by the Jeon family and run by their daughter Rebecca, opened in a small space on the same strip but later moved to its current location to expand due to it's popularity. The change also allowed for a larger sushi bar and tatami seating (except you don't have to sit legs crossed, the floor is dug out and your feet drop in). This is much more comfortable, with the same authentic feel. They also have two "party" rooms in the back where you can have authentic tatami seating and privacy (great for a girl's night out). The decor is very elegant and clean and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful (even if they are not your server). They will even make kid friendly chopsticks for the child (or adult) who has not mastered the art.
I must talk about the food! I have said that it is the best sushi I have had and I am not exaggerating. The rice is fresh and soft and the sushi and sashimi portions are generous. However, the rolls are what sets Sansu apart from all the others. The blending of flavors and the creativity behind the rolls make for a fantastic adventure for the taste buds. They are not only full of flavor but beautiful too. The sushi chefs create a masterpiece of flavor and art. See for yourself:
Sometimes it looks too beautiful to eat (that would never happen of course, it is too good). I always eat entirely too much when I come here not being able to decide between the rolls. Tonight we ordered (starting from the bottom) the Spider (fried soft shell crab and cucumber), Spicy Lobster (lobster salad and avocado, topped with masago), Tempura Eel (eel and avocado tempura fried), Rock and Roll (Salmon, tuna, and crab rolled and tempura fried and then re-rolled with Sansu's special sauce drizzled over it) and Koala (tempura shrimp, avocado, yamagobo, topped with eel). Sansu's sauce is spicy and savory and smooth and adds just the right amount of kick.
The rolls range from simple (just one type of fish with avocado or cucumber) to exotic (several types of fish with Japanese vegetables or fruits). My sister-in-law's favorite is the Mango passion roll (salmon, mango and cream cheese). Who would have thought that these three flavors would go together? It is truly fantastic. There is a roll for every palate.
Each meal starts with soup and salad (if your meal is over $9):
They also have a vast appetizer menu. You can go simple with the edamame or try something new like the Avocado Boat, which is my favorite. Feel free to bring friends that don't like sushi. Their dinner menu is just as good. They have full meals and bento boxes. (the bento boxes are also on the kid's menu-just because you are a child doesn't mean you can't enjoy a fantastic meal) Here is the kid's teriyaki chicken box:
The bento boxes usually include the meal of choice, tempura shrimp and vegetables, fruit and California rolls. (and this is just the kid’s meal!)
They also have a dessert menu, which includes pastries and cakes from Chapelure (located in Sansu's old location around the corner and owned by Tae and Soogee Ahn, daughter of the Jeon's). They have a full bar with many unique cocktails and sake. Sansu is a dining experience. It is a great place to take your family, meet friends or co-workers, go on a date or even have a meal on your own. I am a happy girl any time I get to eat at Sansu.