2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
2004, 2006, 2008
Lunch & Best Sushi"
elegant Japanese restaurant.
sushi and sashimi in town.."
Best Japanese Restaurant in
Journal February, 2000
A Place for
Japanese Sashimi and Sushi
417 Magazine November, 2003
Does the wasabi at
Haruno give you vitamin A or vitamin C?
BY GREGORY HOLMAN
Young Jung, who owns Haruno Japanese Sushi
Bar on South Fremont Avenue, is as stylish,
entertaining and ebullient as Haruno itself.
The day I met her, she was decked out in a
classy Dolce & Gabbana outfit, down to the
denim skirt and fishnet stockings.
Jung says Harunos space in a shopping
strip just off Battlefield is kind of a
hiding-place location. But its busy. On any
given night at Haruno, you'll see a perky
crowd of mostly under-40 folks, drinking red
wine or elaborate martinis with dinners of
contemporary U.S.-Japanese sushi new twist
to our towns historic obsession with Asian
The bestseller here is not an
unpronounceable assortment of raw fish; its
Jurassic Park, a sushi roll made of crunchy
shrimp, cream cheese, eel, avocado, and more
eel. (Why the dish is named after the movie
was not immediately obvious to me, but this
sushi, tailored to the American palate,
tastes good.) Sex in the City is another
fave, a sushi roll made of deep-fried crab,
scallops, green onion, smelt roe, the usual
sticky rice and anointed with bracing hot
As Jung tells me everything there is to
know about Haruno, I find I can just barely
understand her. She constantly repeats
herself cheerfully but very quickly. I
expect she must enjoy explaining Japanese
cuisine to people like me, i.e., Ozarks
natives who have never traveled in Japan
and, despite our best intentions, remain
mostly clueless about sushi-eating.
Jung tells me that the first couple
months Haruno was open, business was slow
but kept building until late last spring.
Then Haruno expanded, adding Haruno Next
Door by taking over the space just south of
the original restaurant. The two rooms make
up one restaurant with two very different
super-contemporary sushi bar, Jung explains
when I ask her about Haruno Next Doors
style. The bar areafull of blue and
stainless-steel hues, clean lines and long
bench-style seating along the wallis
trendier than the restaurant area, which is
more traditionally Japanese. We have 30
kinds of sake, more like upscale city style,
First year was very traditional. I wear
kimono; I play traditional Japanese music,
Now, Jung says, more customers prefer the
jazz musicians that play the bar on
weekends. Lots of regular customers spread
mouth-to-mouth about us, she says. (I think
she meant word-of-mouth.) Lately, Jung has
also been promoting Midnight Sushi, sashimi
and yakitori are available until 12 a.m. in
the bar. Thats unusual: Most of
Springfield's fine-dining places, whatever
their flavor, finish up at 10 p.m. or so.
Another unusual aspect of Haruno is one
of its sushi chefs, Jenny Jung, who came
down from Chicago to help the family run the
restaurant. She's the only woman sushi chef
in Springfield. (Sushi-preparing has
traditionally been a bit of a mannish
Jenny emphasizes the health aspects of
sushi. Younger people like it because they
know the sushi's good for their bodies
health, she says.
Wasabi has vitamin C and eel 3,300 of A,
Jenny explains. (Word to the wise: Wasabi is
Japanese horseradish, a green spicy paste
that you mix with soy sauce while eating
maki-mono sushi. To learn more about sushi
lingo, check out the next page.)
Wasabi-A! says Jung, who was meticulously
applying Jenny's makeup for the photo that
appears on this page.
No, wasabi-C, Jenny answers.
Whatever the particular vitamin and
mineral contents, sushi is a big hit in
Ordinarily, 417 reproduces a recipe from
the restaurants we profile. In Harunos case,
we thought it would be more practical to use
this space to explain sushi basics. Chef
Jenny Jung tried to explain how to create
this Sex in the City roll (above photo),
made of crab sticks, scallops, masago (smelt
roe), drizzled with a spicy sauce and served
with an elaborate martini from Harry Hinz,
the bar manager. I got lost between the
complicated frying and rice-rolling
instructions. What I do know is, its good.
We ate it after we photographed it. (We also
tried the Mussel Beach and Jurassic Park
rolls; they're a tasty mix of U.S.Japanese
Is sushi raw fish? Not always. The
seafood in sushi can be cooked or raw.
Are California rolls sushi? Yes,
no, sort of Americans invented them.
Do I have to eat with chopsticks?
Yes. A few hints: Practice at home before
you go out. Two big no-nos: Don't ask for a
knife; this implies the food is too tough to
be eaten properly. Also, don't use your
chopsticks to pass other people food. This
is like passing around cremated bones at a
Japanese funeral. And remember: Don't
agonize over making a mess; everyone else
How many kinds of sushi are there?
In Springfield, you're likely to see two:
Maki-sushi, which is a roll of rice and nori
(a sheet of pressed, dried seaweed) filled
with fish and vegetables. Nigiri-sushi is a
hand-shaped ball of rice topped with egg or
fish. (You get to eat this with your
fingers, not your chopsticks!)
Whats up with wasabi? Its the
green Japanese horseradish paste that you
mix into the soy sauce in which you dip your
sushi. Use in moderation! Jung and Jenny say
theyve seen people mistake wasabi for some
kind of butter; it isn't!
Two Haruno's share one great menu
Friday , May 2005
Finding Nemo (and a
Haruno offers an ocean's
worth of options for the discerning fish
Friday , March 2007
| | | | Picture
Since it's opening in
early 1999, haruno sushi bar & Grill has earned awards as the finest and most authentic Japanese Restaurant in