Today I was invited to join the MSG150 crew. I had seen that their previous post was Ocean City, and given that they have a planned out route, was hopeful that this would mean I would get to eat next door at Shanghai Garden. We used to call Shanghai Garden “chinese crack” because of our addiction to the hand shaved green noodles. But alas, when the call came in, it was a different garden that I got to eat at–Bush Garden. I arrived a bit ahead of the others and peeked into half of the dining room. Booths were so tall you couldn’t see over the top, allowing for the ultimate in privacy along one wall. The other half was an enormously long sushi bar. The size of the sushi bar gave me a little bit of hope in regards to the food.
Let me back up. Bush Garden is not a place where I had high expectations for the food. Mostly known for being a karaoke lounge, I was a little surprised it even bothered being open for lunch. In fact, there were quite a few people milling about and eating lunch. The entrance way has a small bamboo seating place and an indoor garden area that looks like it come out of a miniature golf course. We were taken back to the karaoke lounge area. I ordered, full of confidence from the size of the sushi bar, a sushi special.
For $6.95 I was served a miso soup, a small salad, 5 nigiri sushi and 2 hand rolls. That is dirt cheap, my friends. For $6.95 you get the pieces of square shaped half frozen tuna maki at the grocery store. And this was definitely better than store sushi. It was clearly made on the spot, the rice was made that day, though not too recently. The fish quality was definitely not top notch. It was cut into odd shapes and was slightly grainy. It tasted fresh though, not old, and they did not skimp on it. My 5 nigiri were ahi and albacore tuna, salmon, shrimp and a white fish that I didn’t identify and can’t remember. One hand roll was cucumber and the other was spicy tuna, a favorite of mine.
Overall, I have to admit I was pretty impressed at the amount and quality of sushi I got for 6.95, though I’m not sure I wouldn’t just rather get cheap food elsewhere and save sushi for the splurges!