Jellyfish Chicago-Sushi for Brunch!
If you’re a fan of pan-Asian cuisine and sushi any time of the day I’ve got the perfect new brunch place for you! Jellyfish, a Chicago celebrity hot spot is now offering brunch at their beautifully decorated gold coast restaurant. This year-old restaurant known for their creative sushi rolls and bright Asian flavors recently started serving brunch on the weekends. Jellyfish invited me in to try some of their most popular brunch dishes, along with some other lunch and dinner options. I’ve worked with Jellyfish several times and I honestly couldn’t think of one bad thing to say about their service and their food. Brunch was no exception. I’ve been lucky enough to meet with several members of Jellyfish’s team, Chef Jason, Chef Puje, General Manager Alain, and Managing Partner Joseph DeVito.
As soon as we were seated Chef Jason came over to our table to introduce himself and give us a rundown of their new brunch menu. The menu is broken down into four sections: beverages, soup and salad, to share, and sides. Beverages include some tasty twists on the typical brunch beverages like a lychee mimosa with lychee puree and prosecco and a bloody mary with a uni (sea urchin) shooter. We opted for glasses of fresh sake and yuzu-infused sake shooters.
Being adventurous eaters my friend and I told Chef Jason to surprise us when it came to the rest of the menu. He started us off with his specialty, the avocado and crab salad that was topped with a little bit of seaweed and tobiko (caviar). The crab was shredded into perfect little bite-sized bits with creamy chunks of avocado and the tobiko on top added a nice salty pop.
I could tell immediately that our meal will be filled with very high-quality ingredients. Chef Jason also sent out some super-fresh edamame that is actually grown in the same fields as green tea giving it a floral flavor.
Next Chef Jason surprised us with two different sushi rolls, one that is on the brunch menu and another from their regular sushi menu. The brunch menu has one of their most popular rolls, the lobster mango roll with lobster, mangoes, avocado, flying fish roe, topped with a little mango puree sauce.
The second roll is called the el sol with spicy tuna, spicy shrimp, avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, creamy yuzu, and red tobiko. I really loved this fresh tasting variation of a regular spicy tuna roll and the creamy yuzu gave it the added sweetness it needed so the cilantro and jalapeno didn’t overwhelm the whole roll.
In addition to the sushi rolls Chef Jason also brought us out his twist on chicken and waffles. The batter of the waffles is infused with matcha (green tea powder) that added a different nuance to the waffle and the Amish chicken is tempura battered and twice fried and topped with a coconut drizzle, maple syrup and accompanied by a fruit cup filled with strawberries and kiwi. If you’ve ever imagined having a gourmet chicken nugget, you must try the green tea chicken and waffles!
The last thing we tried, the soy braised beef boa Chef Jason specially made for us from Jellyfish’s dinner menu. The beef was so soft and tender which went well with the slightly sweet bao and amazing pickled vegetables. The sweet soy sauce the boa was braised in was so tasty I wouldn't have been opposed to sipping it like a broth. I’m hoping that I can wheedle the recipe out of Chef Jason so I can make this at home myself!
If you’re not so sure about sushi for brunch or sushi in general, my Q&A video with the charming GM Alain and head sushi chef Puje can help you decide exactly what to order and hopefully convince you that sushi at any time is always delicious!
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