THE EATBEAT: Try Shing Ya's Heart Attack specialty rollIf you have one Heart Attack, you probably will want another. That is, if the Heart Attack is the roll they serve at Shing Ya Japanese Cuisine on South Third Street.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
If you have one Heart Attack, you probably will want another. That is, if the Heart Attack is the roll they serve at Shing Ya Japanese Cuisine on South Third Street.
The Heart Attack is one of 15 specialty rolls — which come in an appetizer or main dish version — on the menu at restaurant that has been operating rather quietly in downtown Grand Forks since November.
When I went there this January, I was impressed by the orderliness of the restaurant and the friendly service.
My companions, Lauren Hornbaker (LH) and Allyssa Hieb (AH), are adventurous and knowledgeable about Japanese food. LH finds the Heart Attack from the sushi bar her favorite dish at Shing Ya. She likes the spicy tuna and finds the paring with jalapeno and cream cheese is just right.
She ordered it as an appetizer and invited us to sample it. After tasting the Heart Attack, I agreed that would be on my list to order on another visit to Shing Ya. (We also had an order of edamame. The fresh soybeans were good, but some of them were hard and seemed a little past their peak.)
And after one visit, I want to go back because the small restaurant has been completely renovated and tastefully decorated in a Japanese theme.
The menu is orderly and easy to read. The choices are there for those who like sushi at the small and inviting sushi bar at the rear of the restaurant. And choices are there for people who shudder at the thought of raw fish.
I am one of them. But I was immediately attracted to the curry selections on the menu and ordered sliced pork cutlet curry ($7.95) served with rice miso soup.
The skillful presentation of orders makes dining at Shing Ya a special occasion. Each order is artfully displayed on a plate or dish appropriate for the food.
My curry dish was presented on a large plate — almost a platter — with the curry sauce on one side and a row of crisp, tasty pork down the middle with rice on the other side.
The Teriyaki Chicken Bowl ordered by LH and a Tiger Roll that AH chose were delivered on small platters that somehow made the food even more inviting.
We had piping hot green ming tea, which seemed just right on a cold winter night. The main servings were so generous we had food to take home.
Before leaving Shing Ya, we made a quick visit to the sushi bar where chef Sheng, who used to be with Little Bangkok in East Grand Forks, was presiding. He was having a good time with 7-year-old Adina, who loves sushi and was there with her parents, Jack and Kim Weinstein.
Sheng is a friendly, fun-loving chef who has joined the ranks of people in four Japanese restaurants that seem to be flourishing in Greater Grand Forks. (The others are Little Bankok and Drunken Noodle in East Grand Forks and Fuji on South Washington Street in Grand Forks.)
Many of the Japanese restaurants are staffed by people of Chinese descent who have taken an interest in Japanese cuisine.
Steven Li, a friendly, smiling and slender man who runs the kitchen and oversees the business of Shing Ya, was born in Beijing and says he lived in Japan a long time.
He is warming up to his first winter in North Dakota. Part of his work after he came here in September was to redecorate and refurbish the restaurant that had been vacated. He created an inviting, orderly cafe with tones of maroon, black and white. The booths are redone. The chairs and tables are new.
Slowly, it seems, people are discovering Shing Ya. When the temperatures were way below zero Jan. 20, the place was fairly busy with hungry customers.
Shing Ya Japanese Cuisine
108 N. Third Street, Grand Forks
Owner-operator: Steven Ming Li.
Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner, 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Mondays.
Telephone: (701) 772-0515 (reservations accepted).
Report card: Shing Ya is attracting customers who seem to have a yearning for sushi and other Japanese fare. The small restaurant is redecorated in an inviting fashion with a sushi bar in the rear. The prices are reasonable. Selections are wide. The restaurant excels in inviting, appropriate presentation of foods. Beer and wine are available.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.