By Matt Starlight
Dishes that bear the name of their very restaurant are typically known to be representative of their overall style. When it comes to the Rock-n-Crunch roll from Rock-n-Sake, typical would be an inaccurate descriptor, more appropriately replaced by relieving or perhaps congratulatory.
As sushi connoisseurs have long known, the crunchy roll is about as basic as it gets. Pepperoni pizza, general tso’s chicken, cheeseburgers. All of these dishes could be stitched into a national cuisine’s flag, but anyone who can take a dish like this and really make it work, make it something it hasn’t already been a thousand times, is to be congratulated.
Rock-n-Sake seems to be up to the task with the Rock-n-Crunch roll. Eel, snow crab, asparagus, and tempura batter rolled with smelt roe on the outside and drizzled with housemade eel sauce certainly isn’t a combination blowing the minds of sushi fans across the nation, but what Rock-n-Sake seems to be doing here with this 4 roll option is livening up what many may describe as a classic, dare I say typical, roll.
That may also be why this particular roll is given the namesake of the restaurant. This is Rock-n-Sake’s mission: take what’s been done before, but do it better and more authentically than the competition. It’s what they’ve done with the Rock-n-Crunch, and it’s what they do with the rest of the menu as well. Classic. Timeless. Perfectly executed.
Yes, the snow crab is fresh and tasty, crunchy asparagus and tempura are a delight in contrast with the softness of the rice and savory goodness that eel sauce is known to bring, but these are all just the moving parts of a bigger machine. The best way to lose the big picture is to get lost in the details, so be sure to take a step back from this particularly delicious dish and try to take in what Rock-n-Sake is going for with it. They gave this roll their namesake for a reason. It’s as renowned as pepperoni pizza, but executed so that you forget the thousand other times you’ve had it and remember why it became so renowned in the first place.