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October 18th, 2006 12:00 am Kevin Allman | Food Reviews & Stories

Restaurant Guide 2006


The devoted patrons of Sinju (and they are legion) swear that it's the best restaurant of its kind in Portland. That's arguable—but it's certainly one of the prettiest sushi-toriums in town, with tatami rooms overlooking 10th Avenue and immaculate tables that seem to have been set using protractors. The chefs' ethos is perfectly expressed in the tako sunomono; the simple octopus salad is at first briny and bracing, but finishes as clean as the perfect cucumber moons on which it's bedded. Also excellent is the tonkatsu, a panko-breaded pork chop served with a plum dipping sauce, and the Sinju steak, redolent with ginger. The chef's choice nigiri sushi platter brings no surprises, just a very good rendition of greatest hits: snapper, tuna, and river-fresh salmon. Even elements that are usually throwaways are memorable, like the pre-meal iceberg salad, perfectly chilled and tart with vinegar. The sleek decor is a perfect fit for the Pearl, and the platings and presentations are worthy of a magazine food stylist. (KA)

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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