You’re Family at Kashi, And Family Eats Well

By Sophia Ricco

Kashi has garnered a remarkable reputation among diners in Huntington Village with exceptional flavors and service.

Opened eight years ago, Kashi of Huntington has proven to be such a success that four more locations have been opened in Syosset, Bellmore, Rockville Center and Stamford, Connecticut. The Japanese restaurant offers authentic cuisine, an expansive sushi bar and lounge and a hip vibe. Customers know and love Kashi for its welcoming atmosphere and delicious dishes.

“We have a lot of returning customers and they’re more than just a customer,” manager Ben Poh said. “We treat them like friends and family, we know and greet them by name and we see them many times a week. We create a home feeling.”

Kashi’s menu was created by the restaurant’s owner, a former sushi chef who crafted plates with an attention to detail for presentation and flavor. Since his departure to focus on the other restaurants, Kashi has encouraged their chefs to let their creativity flow and create their own dishes.

“Anytime our chef creates a new item, we’ll put it on a special menu that we share with our customers,” Poh said. “We ask them what they think and collect the feedback. We make adjustments to make things better until we are sure it’s the right product.”

For Poh, it’s crucial that customers are honest and offer criticism on new dishes, before they roll it out at all the restaurants. A new appetizer to hit the menu is Blue Point Oysters with Cajun Sauce ($11/six), a recipe with inspiration from Louisiana. The fresh oysters are grilled with a little bit of cheese and a sauce that kicks. The smooth texture remained while a zesty array of seasoning gave it a spicy and interesting taste.

Even though, Kashi specializes in Japanese cuisine, the chefs are not afraid to pull inspiration from other cultures to heighten the flavor.

“A lot of restaurants have an oyster bar, where they serve fresh oysters,” Poh said. “But we wanted to put a twist on it… If we’re gonna serve them, it has to be something new and different.”

Kashi’s Petite Filet Mignon ($14) is an appetizer to tempt your tastebuds. Served with fresh mashed potatoes and covered in wasabi butter, the steak was perfectly seasoned and cooked. It was juicy, thanks to the wasabi butter that melted in and gave a hint of spice without overwhelming the taste.

“In terms of flavor, the kitchen chef creates a taste that will inspire people,” Poh said. “We believe there’s four palettes on the tongue: sweet, spicy, sour and bitter. He has to find a balance between the combinations.”

Kashi chefs take pride in their presentation, which is evident in the Sushi and Sashimi for One ($29). This gorgeous array of fish features pieces of tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and red snapper, along with spicy salmon sushi roll. Each piece was precisely cut and had a fresh and luscious taste.

“The fish we have to guarantee as fresh, we don’t want there to be any surprise flavor,” Poh said. “The chef is in charge of accepting the delivery every day. He inspects the delivery to make sure the fish is good, he can tell as soon as he looks at it if something isn’t right and will send it back.”

Heighten your sushi experience by ordering fresh wasabi to your table. Kashi recently introduced this decadent option as alternative to the typical wasabi served at restaurants made from a powder. Fresh wasabi comes from grating Wasabia Japonica root into a paste or chopping up and marinating fresh wabai with seasonings for kizami wasabi. Fresh wasabi offers a less burning kick and more of an herbal, smooth taste.

“We brought in fresh wasabi because we wanted customers to taste the difference between this and typical wasabi,” Poh said.

Freshness comes at a price, however. With wasabi root running $100 per pound, Kashi upcharges for the fresh ground wasabi, but for sushi fans it’s worth it.

Long Islander News photos/Sophia Ricco

Long Islander News photos/Sophia Ricco

12 Elm Street, Huntington

Cuisine: Asian
Atmosphere: Modern and elegant
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 12-3 p.m., 4:30-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 12-3 p.m., 4:30-11 p.m.; Sunday 2-10 p.m.