Last weekend, I was invited to a blogger brunch at mai cuisine, a fast-casual restaurant located near Grand Central on 41st and Madison. Â What makes mai interesting, is that the front of the restaurant is more like a deli, where you can pick up pre-packaged foods, and the back is more like a restaurant.
We started with the deli. Â mai is actually owned by the same parent company as the sushi supplier to Whole Foods Market and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit concerned about eating sushi that’s pre-packaged. Â I’ve done the Costco sushi thing before, and while it is edible, the rice is often hard and there’s a ton of it. Â As I approached the deli line, I was instructed that I can make my own bento box, picking my favorite dishes along the way (these range from $7.80 – $10.80). Â My eyes are often bigger than my stomach, so I went with a couple dishes. Â I grabbed a California roll, a spring roll and stopped by the hot deli counter to grab shrimp tempura and vegetable tempura.
Surprisingly, the sushi didn’t taste anything like Costco, and tasted really fresh. Â There were 8 big pieces of sushi, so this dish filled me up. Â I tried two different kinds of spring rolls – the Vietnamese fresh spring roll and then your traditional fried spring roll. Â The Vietnamese one was great, filled with shrimp and fresh veggies. Â While I liked the spring roll, I thought it was a little soggy from being heated up in the microwave. Â I would have preferred it if it was cooked in a toaster oven – so think of that if you are purchasing food at mai and reheating in your office. Â I felt the same way about the shrimp tempura. Â The veggie tempura was a favorite of mine, so I definitely advise ordering that dish – and it tasted fine heated up in a microwave.
We then were treated to a spread of sushi from mai’s Chef Shira – problem is, I’m not an adventurous sushi eater, so I sat this course out. Â Instead, I snacked on the tamago, which is a special egg omelet that tasted almost like a sweet custard. Â It was creamy and got me in the mood for dessert.
For dessert, I was treated to the chesnut waffle cream-wich, which were two waffles with a sweet cream and hazelnut in between. Â We split these into quarters, and they were rich enough that a little bite was perfect – so great for sharing! Â I also tried mochi ice-cream for the first time and I went with the sweet bean. Â For those of you who haven’t had it, mochi is like a little sweet doughy ball, filled with a flavor of ice cream. Â As you cracked open the shell, the ice cream oozes out. Â Sweet bean reminded me of a sweeter vanilla bean.
Whether you are on the go and need a quick spot to grab lunch, or are looking to enjoy sushi in a casual atmosphere, mai cuisine offers both options. Â In fact, we want you to try it so we’re hosting this giveaway! Â We have a $20 voucher for dinner that can be redeemed from 5:30 – 9 pm Monday – Friday and expires on March 1.
There are five different ways to enter our contest, and each action below counts as an entry:
1) Comment below.
2). Like us on Facebook, and leave a comment below letting us know that you did so.
3). Â Follow us on Twitter, and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle.
4). Â Tweet about the contest, and leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
5). Â Like mai cuisine on Facebook and leave a comment below letting us know you did so.