Saturday, August 6, 2011

Afin Modern Japanese Tapas

I first have to apologize for the pictures on this post. It was dark and I have a not too fancy phone. They do not at all represent the meal. Amazing pictures (provided by the restaurant, I’m sure) can be found on the restaurant’s yelp page

I heard about Afin Modern Japanese Tapas when a coworker checked in there on her Facebook page. I immediately googled it and found out it was a new sushi restaurant opened in north central Austin. I looked at their menu and decided it sounded like a place I would want to try. It seemed similar to the uchi/uchiko restaurants – interesting flavor combinations – but possibly a little more accessible. The following day the Groupon was for Afin! I instantly purchased it and was able to try it on the evening of August 5.

My friend and I had $60 dollars to spend (I only spent $30 on it – hooray Groupon!) so decided to start out with the Calamari Tempura. It was drizzled with honey and sesame seeds – not too much- and was amazingly tender. I will forever be disappointed with other places’ chewy calamari.

Delicious escolar.
The second dish we ordered was the Karai Escloar. This was amazing. It was super white tuna sliced thin, topped with garlic chips, a dab  of Sriracha (I think this is what the menu calls a Korean chile pesto), a thin slice of chile, and served in sauce that made my friend and I wish sushi restaurants had bread baskets so we could sop it up. This was my favorite dish of the night.   

Choo! Choo!
We ordered two rolls: the Choo Choo roll named after Chef Choo and the Land and Sea roll (surf and turf sushi style). The Choo Choo roll was a spicy tuna roll with avocado and cucumber topped with seared peppered tuna, goat cheese and a honey wasabi sauce. The combination of the goat cheese and seared tuna was terrific. At first I was put off by the amount of pepper on the tuna but eventually the flavors melded. The spicy tuna in the roll was great. I normally dislike spicy tuna – something about whatever it is usually mixed with to make it spicy turns me off – but this on was a little more subtle. The Land and Sea roll was an albacore, jalapeno and avocado roll topped with seared thinly sliced filet mignon. I had to take the beef off and eat that separate from the roll because I wanted to taste everything and the roll was kind of clunky. My friend liked everything in one bite. Both rolls were delicious.
Land and Sea Roll

We also got 4 sushi orders: sea bass, tuna, salmon belly and yellow tail [sadly, no pictures of these]. I had the tuna which was topped with a mini parmesan crisp and a tiny dollop of honey sour cream and the salmon belly which had a basil-miso vinaigrette, lemon zest and pistachio. Of the two, the tuna was better but only because the accent flavors on the salmon belly were overpowering.

We were both stuffed. Our tab came out to $59.00 (completely covered by the groupon, sans tip). Had I paid full price I wouldn’t have felt cheated by portions or quality.


  1. Sounds amazing....have to add this to my list for Austin.

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