Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Enso sits in a prime spot of Charlotte’s EpiCentre and presents itself as an upscale Asian bistro and sushi lounge. Its swanky atmosphere, dim lighting and enticing music made me feel like I was in a restaurant that the girls from “Sex and the City” would have frequented (however, my SATC bubble popped when I saw a video of men doing martial arts playing on one of the walls.) The velvet chairs and satin curtains add to the alluring environment and the experience provided for a very enjoyable evening. 

I’ve always heard Sauvignon Blanc is the best wine to enjoy with fish, but one of my companions recommended the Ergo Temperanillo Rioja, 2009, which I had never even heard of. I now have a new favorite wine. We ordered Edamame, Sushi’s answer to Mexican’s Chips and Salsa. It was almost overcooked, but I appreciate the fact that it wasn’t too crunchy – many places don’t cook their soybeans long enough, making it nearly impossible to bite the beans out of the pods! 

There must be 50 sushi options on Enso’s menu, from Sashimi to Nigiri, from Maki to Tataki, and the oh-so-daring Tempura Rolls. One member of my party humorously remarked that “eel is the gateway sushi” – meaning that new diners of sushi usually choose the standard California and Spicy Tuna Rolls, but once you try eel, you’ll become more adventurous with your orders. I went with one of their specialties, the Kiwi Roll. Shrimp Tempura, Sweet Potato and Avocado filled the rice roll, topped with Sliced Kiwi and Sweet Eel Glaze. I was impressed with this unique combination of flavors, as I’d never experienced fruit in my sushi! I was delighted to see something like this offered on the menu.

I also sampled the Mango Roll, featuring Spicy Eel, Blue Crab, Shrimp Tempura, Spicy Mayo and of course, Mango. Two fruit sushis in one night – pretty outrageous! It was harder to detect the mango than the kiwi, but the roll was still outstanding.

I can’t wait to return to Enso and sample more of their delicious creations, not to mention the pages and pages of Asian Fusion cuisine. I already have my eye on another roll – the Surf and Turf Roll sounds like a foodie’s dream. 

210 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

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