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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Local Favorite for Sushi

Kiku also serves the full range of Japanese cuisine

Kiku, sushi, Milwaukee, food
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For the past five years Kiku has been one of Milwaukee’s favorite sushi restaurants. A frequent entry in the Shepherd Express’ Best of Milwaukee Readers’ Choice Awards, Kiku was voted Best Japanese Restaurant several times. Located on the busy corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Second Street, Kiku is conveniently situated to draw both the daytime business lunch diner and the evening dinner crowd.

High-backed booths provide privacy, while a seat at the sushi bar is enjoyable for those who like to watch the swift hands of a sushi chef at work. Tables with sleek, modern chairs, which can accommodate larger groups, are also available. A wall of windows facing the street offers diners the opportunity to observe the hustle and bustle Downtown. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, cheerfully answering questions and offering good suggestions for our order.

Budget-minded folks may do best visiting Kiku for lunch. On weekdays, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., go for the two-roll lunch ($10.95) or three-roll lunch ($13.95) and choose from a delicious selection of handmade maki rolls. Teriyaki shrimp ($11.95), served on a bed of perfectly cooked veggies, is an exceptionally good choice for a bento box lunch. Boxes come with rice, three pieces of California roll and a crispy fried spring roll. A pleasant surprise is the quality of that Japanese restaurant staple, miso soup, and ginger dressing green salad, both included with lunch. Kiku’s miso is based with a beautifully clear, flavorful broth, not the cloudy version many restaurants serve. The ginger dressing is made fresh in house, and is a memorable topping for a relatively simple salad of crisp lettuce, carrots and cucumbers.

The dinner menu consists of gorgeously presented sushi, sashimi and maki rolls, as well as a large selection of teriyaki, tempura and noodle dishes. As with most Japanese restaurants, prices at Kiku rise as the sun goes down. Weekday happy hour specials and frequent social media coupons are out there if you care to look and help ease sticker shock. Teriyaki dinners ($11.95-$34.95) range from simple yet tasty veggie teriyaki to high-end tuna and lobster teriyaki. The rice and noodle dishes ($10.95-$19.95) range from classic chicken fried rice to more adventurous choices, like swordfish and shrimp yaki with thick rice udon noodles.

The main show at Kiku though, is the amazing selection of maki rolls ($4.50-$15.95) and sushi ($1.75-$5.25 per piece). Try the Las Vegas maki roll ($15.95), spicy crab with tuna, salmon, spicy mayo and tempura flakes. Or, stick with simpler options like the Alaska roll ($6.95) with salmon, crab, cucumber and avocado. Whatever you choose, the presentation and quality of the food will be excellent. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself thinking, “It almost looks too pretty to eat.”

Kiku

202 W. Wisconsin Ave.

414-270-1988

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kikumilwaukee.com

Handicap Accessible: Yes