South Tulsa Sushi: Nhinja Sushi and Wok is a Must Try

By on September 15, 2014

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Nhija Sushi and Wok has taken fast casual sushi to the next level.

Fast, Fun, and Fresh is an accurate summary for casual sushi and wok concept created by owners Kang and Mary Nhin.  Nhinja Sushi and Wok offers a bright, family friendly, fresh-focused and affordable option for quality sushi in south Tulsa that is absolutely 5 star.  Located at 68th and Memorial among plenty of national chain restaurants is this Oklahoma family owned and operated gem.

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Several years ago, before opening their first location in the OKC area, Kang and Mary had the clear vision for this concept but could not agree on what to name it. As they were continuing to brainstorm on possible names their oldest son joined them at the kitchen table.  It was then they found out that their son Mikey’s friends on his basketball team had nicknamed him “Nhinja”.  Kang and Mary looked at each other and knew immediately they had found their brand: Nhinja Sushi and Wok was born.

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Kang sat down with me to talk for a bit before I ordered: “I have worked in the restaurant industry here in Oklahoma my entire life.”, He started  “My wife and I knew there would be demand for a fast-casual, reasonably priced, sushi and wok that did not sacrifice quality.  And it was very important to us that we create an environment where parents would feel comfortable dining with their kids.”  Indeed, they were right about the demand.  This Tulsa location is their 4th and they are opening a 5th in Yukon in just a couple weeks.  Their sauces are handcrafted, their ingredients are fresh and their seafood is top-grade.

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As you walk up to the counter to place your order, you pass by giant pictures of kids enjoying Nhinja sushi and an adjacent wall stacked and decorated with popular Asian beverages.  Upon placing my order I peaked back into the kitchen, then Kang offered to give me a quick tour.  “I’ve seen a lot of kitchens, Kang – A LOT.  And this is probably the most clean and organized one I’ve ever seen,” I told him.  I watched as four sushi chefs worked together seamlessly preparing dishes just ordered by hungry Tulsans on their lunch breaks.

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So, Cool story?  check.  Welcoming fast-casual ambiance? check.  Friendly professional service?  check.  Now it was time to test the food itself. I brought three others from the TulsaFood team with me to help and we ordered three starters, three sushi rolls, and three wok’d dishes.  We liked the number 3 that day.

First came the starters: Lettuce Wraps, Gyoza, and the Nhinja Poppers.

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At $6.95 the Lettuce Wraps might be the best deal on any Asian dish in Tulsa for the flavor, quantity, and quality.  I scooped a wonderful blend of chicken, water chestnuts, scallions, rice sticks and garlic soy into a crisp lettuce leaf, spiked it with some chili sauce and the meal began.

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Next we tried what is surely a kid favorite here – the Nhinja Poppers.  These are rice balls stuffed with salmon and then tempura fried and served with Kang’s house spicy mayo. (4 for $3.95)

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And our last starter dish before we dove into the sushi rolls was the Gyoza.  These Asian style dumplings are stuffed with ginger, pork, and sweet garlic sauce.  There is plenty of rich flavor in each bite and well worth $3.75 for four.

The first sushi roll we ordered and tried was the “Samurai” (10 pieces). Inside the roll is tempura shrimp and avocado, but what it’s topped with makes this roll unique.  It’s topped with grilled steak, spicy mayo and eel sauce.  You normally don’t think you’ll be eating beef when you go out for sushi, but that is why were intrigued to order this dish and we all loved it.

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Next, we wanted some real heat so we had to try the “911” roll (7 pieces).

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Of the many things we enjoyed about eating here we were very impressed with the quality and portion of fish in these rolls.  This “911” roll is packed full of fresh yellowtail, tuna, and salmon.   But, what makes it one of the hottest rolls on the menu is the addition of the aptly named “Dynamite Sauce” on top of the fish before it is rolled. It will light you up, fair warning.

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And then, of course, living in Oklahoma we had to try the “Thunder” roll (10 pieces).  Kang says this is Nhinja’s most popular sushi roll and I can easily see why.  Tempura shrimped is rolled with avocado then topped with the crabsticks and their spicy mayo.  Absolutely delicious.  And all three of these rolls are just $8.95 each.

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We were already getting pretty full, but when we saw the three Wok’d dishes land on our table we knew this meal was not near over.  We first sampled the Cantonese Cashew.  You can order this dish with chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu.  The protein of your choice (or tofu..) is stir-fried with a savory mixture of mushrooms, baby corn, and cashews in a thick, signature house soy garlic sauce.

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Then we tried the Crispy Honey Chicken (Chicken and shrimp are the options for this dish) and the Spicy Kung Pao ($7.55).  I wanted to try these dishes in particular to see how they stood up to the similar dishes you find at popular national chains in town.  The verdict is this:  You are not sacrificing anything when you choose this Oklahoma restaurant over any national brand.  I personally loved the Kung Pao, especially for under 8 bucks.  The fresh chicken is stir-fried with snow peas, chili peppers, peanuts, scallions, and carrots in Kang’s hand crafted signature kung pao.

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TulsaFood would like to thank the Nhin family for bringing this delightful concept to Tulsa.  Best wishes to Kang, Mary, Mikey, Kobe, and JoJo Nhin!

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Nhinja Sushi & Wok

www.Nhinja.com

6746 S. Memorial Dr. | Tulsa, OK 74133 | Main: 918.893.5525

Nhinja Sushi & Wok on Urbanspoon

 

Mary and Kang are hosting a fundraiser on Kickstarter to help bring sushi to Yukon. There are some really great rewards tiers so we recommend checking it out and supporting their cause!

TulsaFood.com Staff

About TulsaFood.com Staff

TulsaFood’s mission is to inspire it’s readers to visit local restaurants, experiment with new cuisines, and enjoy amazing dining experiences in the Tulsa area. We achieve this through our commitment to publishing consistent, relevant, and excellent writing, photography, and videography that highlights our city’s incredible food culture.

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