Shinsei Offers Pan Asian Cuisine with a Texas Flair

03.09.2014 by: Allison Turpin
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Shinsei is a hip restaurant that offers Pan Asian cuisine and fresh sushi in a relaxed but trendy atmosphere. Upon opening the large windowless wood doors, you are immediately transported into a dimly lit restaurant bustling with happy customers. The space is decorated with warm brown and green tones, and the main bar area is directly in front of you with restaurant seating to your left and upstairs. We highly recommend having a reservation, but if you don't, try to grab a seat at the sushi bar. They also have a great Happy Hour if you sit near the main bar.

Everything on the menu is a creative take on Pan Asian cuisine from owners Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing (last names sound familiar to the Dallas culinary scene?). They are the culinary duo that teamed up to create a restaurant that caters to their local neighborhood and provides declicious, innovative Asian dishes that still showcase their Texas roots.

Beetlejuice Coctail and Kirin Light Beer

Kendall Roll and Spider Roll

Shinsei has an extensive wine list, but it also has several appealing cocktails and foreign beers. We tried the Beetlejuice cocktail which used a beet infused vodka as the base. Flavors of vanilla bean and lime were subtle with the beet flavor surprisingly at the forefront. 

You simply cannot go wrong with any of the sushi choices. We love how they even have a separate tab in their menu for "Shinsei Regulars 'Off the Menu' Sushi Favorites." Any sashimi or roll you try will be guaranteed to have freshness as the key ingredient. We tried the Kendall roll and the Spider roll. In the Kendall roll, light tempura shrimp and avocado is topped with a thin slice of pink tuna and shaved jalapenos. The cold, delicate tuna flavor is immediate, followed by the crunch of the shrimp and finished with a smooth hit of heat from the jalapenos. It is a very well-balanced sushi roll with just the right amount of spice. The spider roll is deliciously crunchy with the softshell crab and avocado. Your table will probably fight over the end pieces with the crab legs. 

Garlic Pork Potstickers

Thai Fried Rice and Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Dean's Oooey Gooey Chicken

This restaurant is more than just a sushi bar though. We started with the garlic pork potstickers. These were flavorful, soft pillows of ground pork and garlic served with a scallion ponzu sauce. Overall, Shinsei's entrees are well composed and creative. We particularly liked Dean's Oooey Gooey Chicken. It is surprising how much we love a barbeque chicken dish at an Asian restaurant. The chicken is tender and moist, the potatoes are creamy and whipped, and the haricot verts are tender and crisp. The real show stopper though is what lies beneath. Everything lays on a sweet, thin tamarind sauce that is so good, we literally cut our chicken and dunked it back in the sauce in hopes that more of it would soak into the bird. We actually thought about licking the last of the mashed potatoes and sauce off the plate but somehow refrained.

The entrees are outstanding, but can side dishes really bring back customers? In Shinsei's case, they can. If you couple the Thai Fried Rice with the Crispy Brussels Sprouts, you basically have a meal on its own. The rice comes to your table with a fried egg on top and you get to impatiently watch as the waitress cracks the egg and stirs the yolk into the steaming rice. Small bites of veggies are mixed with the sticky rice, and interlaced through the bowl is a carmelized, salty flavor that makes the dish almost sweet. Brussels sprouts have become quite the popular item on Dallas menus, and some places do them better than others. We would put Shinsei's Crispy Brussels Sprouts at the very top of the list. They are almost unrecognizable when they are served to you. The dark color is not because they are burned but because they have been doused in a sweet soy asian sauce and then fried to perfection. They are crispy, salty and seriously addicting. We wouldn't recommend leave Shinsei without trying them.

Shinsei is a neighborhood dinner and drink spot that is trendy and lives up to the hype. Everything you order will be satisfying and fresh and will make you excited to return to try something else on the menu that you didn't have room for that evening. And you might even find yourself going back just for a bowl of brussels sprouts.

Shinsei {Official Website}

TAGS : Park Cities , Shinsei