Smile Politely

Reliably good food from Sushi Kame

Dinnertime is a hard time. I’m exhausted from the day, and so is my family. Sometimes I don’t want anything complicated; I want an easy option. Sushi Kame comes in clutch for ease with a simple online ordering system and ample parking for pick up.

One Friday night, I put in an order for two appetizers, two entrees, and several sushi rolls. When I arrived, it was packaged and ready for me to take home. The small space was not fancy: just a basic counter with an open kitchen behind. 

The exterior of Sushi Kame has large kawaii photos of Japanese people in addition to computer printed signs reading Sushi Kame on the glass restaurant front. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

You can find Sushi Kame on Green Street between First and Neil in the plaza where D.P. Dough is located. There are several free parking spots available in the lot which made for an easy pick up. Sushi Kame was previously located on Church Street but moved to this new location last year.

There is no placard or signage above the store for Sushi Kame, just a sign for K Bowl. When I checked on Google, the website for K Bowl is listed for Sushi Kame. For online order pick up, I picked up my Sushi Kame order inside the storefront labelled K Bowl.

The exterior of the restaurant which reads K Bowl on a brick building in front of a parking lot. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Still anxious around small, indoor spaces, I spent less than two minutes in the restaurant (masked) before I was in my car, enjoying the smell of the bulgogi, on my way home. I unloaded my bounty and sat down to eat it.

A close up of the vegetable tempura appetizer from Sushi Kame. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I started with an appetizer of vegetable tempura ($5.50). I loved how crispy and hot it was even after a drive home. There were tempura fried zucchini, green beans, broccoli, and sweet potato. The zucchini was soft, but the batter remained crunchy. The green bean had a double crunch from the crisp bean and the crunchy batter, and I had to tell my husband that the green beans were all mine. The broccoli and sweet potato were equally delicious. The dipping sauce was sweeter than soy and just as thin, so it soaked through any cracks of the batter and into the tender veggies. Honestly, this vegetable tempura was everything I wanted in a tempura app.

There is a korokke appetizer in a small square takeout container. There is also undressed lettuce and a cup of dipping sauce. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This appetizer of korokke ($3.50) was a Japanese style potato patty served over a lightly dressed cabbage slaw. Panko battered and fried to golden brown, the korokke was remarkable. This version was filled with soft mashed potato, diced carrot, peas, and corn kernels. It wasn’t salty like I’m used to with fried foods; the korokke had a thin, crispy crust and a super soft middle. The dipping sauce was not needed, in my opinion, because it was great by itself. 

A close up photo of the chicken yaki udon noodles from Sushi Kame featuring mushrooms, broccoli, and onions in between thick noodles. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Next, I tried the chicken yaki udon ($9.50). You can choose other proteins like tofu, beef, or just vegetables. The udon noodles were long and tasty, but the chicken lacked flavor. The veggies were well-cooked and tender crisp, and they absorbed the light sauce. The dish had an ample portion of chicken in addition to lots of bite-sized vegetables like cabbage, thinly cut carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and huge slices of mushrooms. I probably would skip the protein next time and just order veggie udon because the vegetables and noodles were great.

A close up of bulgogi beef in a takeout container with white rice. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I really do love bulgogi, so perhaps this is biased, but I thought the bulgogi ($9.95) was incredible. Served with rice and miso soup (my miso soup was not included, so check your bag before you leave the restaurant), the portion of the beef was large as was the heaping pile of rice. This dish could easily be split by two people; we did, and I still had leftovers for lunch the next day. The meat was a flavorful marinated beef, sliced thin. If you haven’t tried bulgogi, it has the texture of beef from a Philly cheesesteak, but a flavor that is unmatched. This beef had a sweeter marinade than I expected, and it was not spicy at all. The veggies included with Sushi Kame’s bulgogi were carrots, sliced white onion, and long pieces of green onion which gave a little texture variety to the dish. The rice was steamed short grain rice, and it paired well with the beef.

An overhead photo of three fancy sushi rolls from Sushi Kame. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

For the sushi, I ordered four rolls: wasabi, spitfire, chicken run, and spicy tuna (not pictured above). I like that at Sushi Kame, some of the rolls are pretty affordable. The classic rolls range from $5 to $9.

A close up of the spitfire sushi roll from Sushi Kame in Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This spitfire roll ($8.95) had tuna tempura, cucumber, cream cheese, jalapeño, and spicy sauce wrapped in soybean paper. This roll had a good heat with the fresh jalapeño giving a slow burn with each bite. The roll itself was well composed and expertly rolled, and the cream cheese gave a yummy richness. In my tastes, I did not super enjoy the fried tuna; it reminded me of that cooked, fishy tuna from the tuna casseroles of my childhood, but if you enjoy a flaky, cooked tuna, you will like this.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The wasabi roll ($6.95) was made with salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber, then battered and deep-fried with unagi sauce. This roll was fantastic. To my Midwestern mouth, fried food tastes delicious, and each bite of this roll was heavenly. The cream cheese melted a bit from frying, so there was a creamy texture in every bite. The batter was light, so it was not too fried or oily. The seaweed chew led a few bites, and I liked that. There wasn’t much cucumber in the roll, but it was fine. The salmon was rich and so fresh, and together with the cream cheese, it made a decadent, delightful roll.

A photo of the chicken run roll from Sushi Kame: five sushi pieces with red onion, fried chicken, and rice. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The chicken run roll ($6.95) came with fried chicken, jalapeño, cream cheese, red onion, and spicy sauce wrapped in rice and seaweed. This roll was weird — in a yummy way. It tasted a lot like a chicken sandwich with the fried chicken, spicy sauce, and raw onion. The chicken was lightly battered and fried to a light golden brown, and the chicken remained crispy even after my ten minute drive home. Obviously, this is not a traditional Japanese roll, but it was excellent.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Lastly, I also ordered a spicy tuna roll ($5.25). It was a basic maki roll of raw chopped tuna tossed in a spicy sauce wrapped in rice and seaweed. Whenever I order sushi, I like to order at least one simple roll just to enjoy the raw fish which I’ve found to be reliably fresh and tasty at Sushi Kame. This roll was wrapped nicely, and it was a stellar bite of spicy tuna — which I made spicier by adorning it with a pinch of wasabi.

All in all, Sushi Kame was a great, easy option for takeout. Ordering was simple, and pick up was a breeze. They included chopsticks, soy sauce, wasabi, pink pickled ginger, and a tempura dipping sauce, so all we had to do was sit down and get to it. If you’re looking for a solid and affordable option for dinner, Sushi Kame is worth a try.

Sushi Kame
39 E Green St
T-Th noon to 3 p.m. + 5 to 9:30 p.m.
F+Sa noon to 3 p.m. + 5 to 10 p.m.
Su noon to 3 p.m. + 5 to 9 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

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