Pack a Freshy: Nordic Bay

Sushi is everywhere. It is a healthy lunch, a great date night and a fun way to gather friends with crowd-pleasing menus. It is also a great business with little overhead, as long as the fish stays fresh. But that seems to be the problem with most of Dongguan’s raw fish factories. They put more emphases on their bottom lines, seemingly, than they do on quality and freshness of the little bite-sized products.

There are certainly exceptions to the rule when it comes to the traditional Japanese themed restaurants, but there is a new trend of spots for sliced fish flesh. We tried Nordic Bay for lunch just after noon and were seated in the small storefront with lacquered pine tables among smiling faces. The right side surface wall was painted with a scene from Northern Europe as testament to the origins of the catch.

Restaurant REVIEW-feb

There was no background check for the claims by the waitress that the salmon came in whole and unfrozen, but it was certainly fresh tasting. The tuna was, admittedly, flash frozen, and the center was noticeably too cold, but as fresh as you could ask for where we were. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though, because their slogan is “focused on sashimi,” and their business cards goes on to say that they focus on imported seafood from famous markets.

It says they get their sea urchin from Canada, the salmon from Norway; they serve French oysters, and ship in the scallops from the northern Japanese seas of Hokkaido. Sound too good to be true? Well the prices give a little weight to the claims. Which may feel odd in the tiny fast-food style environment, but there is a nice rack of wine to offset that.

When we ate the northern clams, the flavor tasted like the sea, but it was a clean crisp sea salt sea and not the turn-and-run kind. So if you find yourself at a Nordic Bay, or one in its style (see: Deep Blue Norway Salmon or Nor Salmon), don’t be scared of the fish.