Japanese and Korean flavors are being served in a small corner of downtown Nicoya. Kabuto Sushi, an oriental restaurant, is located about 50 meters north of the northwest corner of Nicoya’s park.
The new restaurant offers soups, ice cream tempura, Thai salads, pastas made from vegetables and even the famous fortune cookies. For vegans, there are also options, and chef Kenneth Salazar can prepare sushi to taste.
For example, during one of The Voice of Guanacaste’s visits, the chef prepared a dish as the client requested, with ripe plantain and shrimp.
The concept is oriental, so people eat sitting on cushions almost at floor level, and instead of Costa Rican alcoholic drinks, they plan to serve Japanese beer, sake (Japanese liquor) and wines, which, according to the owner, will arrive soon. For now, they only offer iced tea.
However, a television blaring at high volume detracts from the place’s style, and at night, the white light bulbs glare at the customers more so than providing lighting. The customer service isn’t the best, either, since the waitress isn’t familiar with many of the options, and neither she nor the chef warn clients that they can only pay with a credit card if the amount is greater than ₡7,000 (about $13).
Imperial Dragon: seaweed, avocado, shrimp, surime, rice, tobiko and cucumber.
Rolls are their specialty. The mixture of ingredients allows each one to be tasted separately, a very desirable balance when it comes to this Japanese food. The taste of the tuna and the salmon is light and fresh. If you love chili, don’t hesitate to try the tempura with spicy mayonnaise.
Orders are served on a rectangular plate and garnished with wasabi and ginger.
Nigiri Surime: rice, seaweed and surime.
Any kind of roll costs ₡3,700 (about $7), and there are great combinations to share with family or friends.
The chef is not a beginner in preparing oriental foods since he was raised by a Chinese man and has worked in Chinese restaurants since he was a teenager. In addition, he worked in the production area of Hotel Real Intercontinental and had his own section on economical cuisine on the program Giros.
Avocado Nigiri: rice, avocado and seaweed.
Why the name Kabuto? It is in honor of the pilot of the famous robot Mazinger Z (a Japanese cartoon series), one of owner’s favorite characters from childhood.
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Good: The price is right for the amount of food served.
The Bad: The noise from the cars and high volume of the television are annoying. They only accept credit card for amounts of ₡7.000 (about $13) and higher.