Brett Michielin, of the Mo-zam-bik fame, is at it again. This time his newest foray into the restaurant scene is an open-air sushi restaurant based at the Boulevard Shopping Centre just off Ballito's Willard Beach.
Caro, my wife, and I were taking it easy at home after a particularly festive birthday celebration for her best friend Lucy at Fiamma Grill last night, when my phone beeped. Brett had invited me to like his new page Sushi Ninja Ballito . Intrigued I got in touch with him to find out when he was opening and the news was good; just after 3 today.
We peeled ourselves off the couch and made ourselves presentable before popping past the office to grab my camera. You see I very rarely "take it easy" and had spend the majority of the day building the webpage you are currently on. Not bad for a day's work, hey? Anyway I knew I would need a first blog post and what a fantastic co-incidence this timing was. You could be reading a blog post about Nando's right now so thanks Brett!
And then we arrived. The first thing we noticed is the re-design of the new parking lot. "Why did they make the parking smaller, wasn't there already an issue for space?" I asked Brett. He laughed, I obviously want the first one to ask. "There are actually 2 more parking spaces than before after the work". He's going to need every parking he can get.
There is an amazing "Al Fresco" feel to the new restaurant. With a similarly simplistic approach to the venue as he took with Mo-zam-bik, the result is an open and intimate space where the breeze cools you on a hot Summer's day giving you a very pleasant sense of relaxation.
Sushi Ninja doesn't have a Liquor Licence yet. You would think that would be a problem but it creates a unique opportunity for patrons to bring along their favourite tipple of choice and enjoy it without having to pay a corkage. What a money-saver! We were both still a bit tender from our festivities the night before so Cokes with lots of ice it was for us.
The restaurant had only been open for about an hour so understandably the food took a little while to come out. Again this wasn't a problem though because there was a pleasant vibe and tables were openly all interacting with each other while the kids did their thing. anyone who knows Brett knows how hands-on he is and it was great hearing about whats to come for Ballito's newest gem.
The food arrived and boy did it look great! Caro and I had ordered Salmon California Rolls, Salmon Sashimi, Prawn Battleships and Salmon Roses and there they were, beautifully presented and garnished. The first thing we noticed is that the portions are larger than those typically found in the franchises.
It tasted every bit as good as it looked and the freshness and quality of all the ingredients was very apparent. We hadn't finished our first serving and we had already asked Hazel, our friendly waitress, for another order of Prawn Battleships and California Rolls. The tables around us had equally positive feedback regarding their dishes.
All in all it was a great experience and Caro and I spent the walk back to the car planning our next trip there. They will need some time to settle like all new restaurants do so prepare for a little wait, but definitely put it high on your list of places to try as it will be worth it to enjoy that delicious sushi in a fantastic ambiance with the ocean breeze at your back.
Have a look at our Facebook page here to view more photos.