After finding success in Palm Springs, Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey opened a second location, this time in Phoenix, earlier this year. Diners settle in the Scandinavian-inspired space for sushi and next-level cocktails in the Melrose District.
Helmed by Chef Engin Onural (who achieved 27th place at the Sushi World Cup in 2017), Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey offers a cozy, minimalist vibe, with framed photos decking the walls, brown leather booths and a stunning bar that runs nearly the entire length of the restaurant. While the restaurant is fairly quiet and relaxed to kick off the evening (great for a date night or family dinner), come peak dinner hours, things grow a little more busy and bustling, for a fun outing with friends.
Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey specializes traditional Japanese sushi with global influences, with nearly 20 options for sushi rolls, plus nigiri. Instead of sticking with the classics (options like Dragon and Caterpillar are available), go for the signature rolls, some with exciting and unexpected ingredients. The Sandfish roll features spicy tuna, crab meat and avocado topped with potato threads, spicy aioli, teriyaki sauce, micro greens, green onions and black truffle zest, while the sweet-and-spicy Koko comprises shrimp tempura, crab meat and avocado, crowned with tuna and coconut flakes.
Though it is tempting to skip straight to the rolls, don’t miss the delicious spicy tuna tostada to start, as well as a few of the non-sushi entrees. The Japanese pork belly boa buns, scallops (with the addition of walnuts as well as yuzu vinaigrette and sea beans in a gorgeous presentation) and the braised and grilled octopus are all tops.
Don’t know what to choose? Opt for the omakase (be sure to come early as Chef stops serving this tasting menu an hour prior to close).
As its name suggests, whiskey is on display on the cocktail menu, and there is an impressive array of rare and distinctive options to choose from. The Nagano Old Fashioned features a lemongrass-infused Japanese whiskey, Iwai 45, for a refreshing twist on the traditional tipple. The Norsk Hage is fruity Japanese whiskey mule that is not to be missed. Prefer tequila? The Brumosa–a take on a margarita–is a beautifully unique blend of reposado, NARAN, Lillet, pineapple matcha, citrus and Thai chili. The talented pros behind the bar even invite guests to pick a favorite spirit, and they will whip up a cocktail just for them.
Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey is open Sunday to Thursday, 4:30 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.sandfishsushiwhiskey.com.
4232 N. 7th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85013