There are the sushi spots where you always order the same things because it’s good and why fix something that isn’t broken. But then, there’s Dai Kichi in Upper Montclair founded in 1988, where the menu simply won’t allow you to fall into a rut. Earlier this week, we found out that this beloved sushi restaurant would be closing its doors this weekend after 35 years in business at 608 Valley Road. Read on to learn all about Dai Kichi and what we will miss about this sushi spot in Montclair.
^ Dai Kichi’s Owner, Aki. Photo credit: Dai Kichi
Photo credit: Dai Kichi’s website
This week, Dai Kichi posted a message on its website, saying that the sushi restaurant would be closing on Saturday, September 16th, 2023. See the full message above.
All About Dai Kichi
It’s hard to go wrong on the extensive menu at Dai Kichi, so it’s best to start with the small plates and have a little fun. Gyoza is perfectly pan-seared to make the dumpling chewy and crispy all at once. The Edamame Hijiki seaweed salad, a twist on edamame, is also a favorite here.
Read More: A Guide to Sushi Spots in Montclair
If you want to start with something meaty, Chicken Karaage is simple and addictive, and Beef Negimaki is sliced thin and a little too easy to devour. Shishito peppers, fried or grilled squid, and pork buns are all great options as well.
A real gem in the small plates menu is lightly-seared Tuna Tataki. Dai Kichi absolutely nails the “lightly seared” component, and the result is mouth-watering tuna. Add to that fresh ginger, scallion, and ponzu sauce, and this small plate item becomes a big indulgence.
If it’s possible to look away from the starter menu, scroll on to an array of sushi, sashimi, and rolls. Salmon Don is always fresh and savory. It’s served with snappy pickled ginger, wasabi that clears your sinuses without leaving you in tears, and sushi rice with a hint of vinegar that makes it addictive.
Dai Kichi creates excellent standard variety and specialty rolls, too. The Hello Kitty is a standout roll that is worth a mention. Besides having a name that everyone loves, the Hello Kitty offers a different take on salmon, this time grilled and balanced with cool, creamy avocado.
Other menu options continue with teriyaki, tempura, udon, nabemono, donburi, etc. The light and healthy menu is limited, but calorie counters need not fear. Click on any roll offering and find a list of customizing options. Add on toppings, sub in brown rice or soy paper, or make the roll naruto-style (substituting cucumber for rice). All these choices are easy to select and don’t require typing in special requests
Perhaps the only downside to Dai Kichi is the lack of desserts. But what Dai Kichi misses in sugar, it makes up for in sweetness — via a menu for pets. Grilled chicken breast is the only option here, but the ability to treat your furbaby is a fantastic bonus.
There’s still more time to enjoy Dai Kichi before the spot closes on Saturday, September 16th, 2023, so go try it out before then if you haven’t already. In the meantime, stay in the know with all of the local happenings by following @themontclairgirl on Instagram + TikTok.