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Maki Express Home | Order Here | Appetizers | Noodles and Rice | Teriyaki & Tempura | Sushi - A La Carte | Sushi - Eating Healthy | Sushi Terminology | About Us | Our Location | Contact Us

209 W. McMillan St., Cincinnati, OH 45219
(513) 721-6999

Cuisine: Japanese
Attire: Casual
Price: Under $10
Parking: Street Parking

Maki Express stands out with its clean, brightly lit storefront. Inside, three small tables are available for dining in, and everything on the menu can be ordered for carryout. The owners are friendly, and as befits a restaurant called "Express," service is fast. The menu ranges from light and fresh sushi and teriyaki to heavier fare such as tempura and katsu don (a deep-fried pork loin with vegetables and rice), ensuring that Maki Express can appease a variety of appetites.

Features: Alcohol free, Catering, Family friendly, Smoke free, Take-out offered, Vegetarian friendly
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

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Review From The News Record

Review from Cincinnati.com

Review from CityBeat

 

 

Newspaper Review
City Beat Review
Quick Eats

Sometimes good things do come in small packages. MAKI EXPRESS, located near UC (209 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, 513-721-6999, no credit cards), is a tiny place with fewer than a dozen seats. It serves up excellent sushi in a warm, welcoming setting.

When I order sushi, the many combinations often overwhelm me. With so many different rolls to choose from, I sometimes end up with diner's remorse -- that unpleasant feeling of thinking that I should have ordered something else.

Not this time. I plopped down at the counter and asked the sushi chef to whip up three of his finest rolls. He happily obliged. I think I'm going to stick with this approach to ordering sushi from now on.

I got the Grilled Tuna Roll ($8.50), the New York Roll ($8.50) and the Supreme Roll ($9.50). All were excellent -- a unique melding of different flavors and textures that rivaled the offerings at some of the fancier, more full-service sushi restaurants in town.

The Grilled Tuna Roll was delicious, made of tuna marinated with homemade sauce, garlic, pepper, cucumber, avocado and seaweed powder.

When it came to the Supreme Roll, my strategy of putting the responsibility for ordering in the hands of the chef worked well. Made with eel, cream cheese, tuna, salmon and cucumber, it wasn't something I would have typically ordered. I loved it. The creaminess of the cheese mixed perfectly with the fish and rice to create a thoroughly enjoyable combination.

The star of the meal was the New York Roll. Based on the minimalist, uninspiring description on the menu ("spicy tuna and tempura flake, avocado on top"), I probably would never have ordered this. The roll was beautifully presented, encased with thin, overlapping slices of avocado drizzled with a creamy pepper sauce and was spicy, smooth and pleasantly crunchy from the bits of tempura flake.

The menu at Maki Express also includes hot and cold appetizers, noodles and teriyaki and tempura dishes. Service is fast and friendly, and everything is available to go.

Its friendly husband-and-wife owners have been in the food industry for years, but this is the first restaurant they've owned, and it really shows: the mom-and-pop pride of the place is inescapable. Co-owner and sushi chef Likit Thumrongthaisakul, a native of Thailand and formerly a Thai chef, learned to make sushi from a Japanese uncle who's also a sushi chef.

Maki Express is the kind of small, neighborhood restaurant that's typical in bigger, more ethnically diverse U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco. A great place for takeout or a quick in-and-out meal, it has a bit of an undiscovered feel to it. It's well worth a visit. Grade: A



Contact Craig Bida: cbida(at)citybeat.com

E-mail the editor

Enquirer Review

Enquirer Review

Maki Express made for sushi rookies
Christine  Mersch |  Enquirer   04/28/2006
Maki Express, a sushi bar and Asian kitchen in Clifton, is a hamlet of deliciousness. The small restaurant has room for fewer than 10 people to sit and dine, but these close quarters only add to the unique dining experience.

Likit Thumrongthaisakul opened the sushi joint on campus last September after he saw a void in the local market.

"I've been looking for a place to open one for two years," says Thumrongthaisakul, "and I finally found a space."

The restaurant caters to University of Cincinnati students, faculty and staff, as well as those who work nearby.

Seth Hudson, a UC student and Clifton resident, likes the relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant. "I'm not very experienced with sushi, but the layout of the menu makes it less intimidating. It's a great place for sushi rookies and people who just like good food."

I recently tried Maki for lunch with a friend. Our sushi appetizers included the traditional California rolls (six pieces $4.50) and the unusual deep-fried Terminator rolls ($7). The California rolls were tasty, but the Terminator rolls blew them out of the water. The Terminator combines salmon and cream cheese with a rice roll and seaweed, then the whole thing is deep-fried and served with eel sauce on top. This was definitely the highlight of our meal.

For the main course, our waitress suggested a popular teriyaki dish, which is served with Japanese rice and vegetables. Options include the teriyaki chicken ($7.99), salmon ($8.99), tuna ($10.25) and fried pork chop ($7.99). We tried the teriyaki tofu ($6.99) to keep the tab under $25, and we were not disappointed. The grilled tofu was crunchy on the outside and smooth on the inside.

Other tasty Japanese standards include the gyoza ($3.99) - deep-fried or steamed pork dumplings - and chicken udon ($7.25) - thick Japanese rice noodles in broth with chicken, vegetables and shiitake mushrooms.

Perhaps more familiar are edamame ($2.99) - steamed and salted soybean pods - and tuna salad ($5.25). Sushi prices range from tamako ($3) - two egg sushi rolls - to the Four Season roll ($11.95), made of tuna, crab, avocado and cucumber.

Considering Maki's limited seating, takeout is a good option here.

E-mail christinemersch@yahoo.com

          

Maki Express Sushi
209 W. McMillan Street,
Cincinnati, Oh 45219
Tel: (513) 721-6999