Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: The Cowfish

Name: The Cowfish
Location: Charlotte, NC
Lunch - Daily from 11am-4pm
Dinner - Mon - Thurs. 4pm-11pm
Friday & Saturday 4pm-12am
Sunday 4pm-10pm
Price range: $$

There's a great American-Asian fusion restaurant in Charlotte, NC and it's name is The Cowfish. At the Cowfish you can order a burger and sushi or you can combine them and get burgushi. If you're looking for a place to go for a date, with friends or just for something different yet familiar, this is the place to go.

I took my wife here for a date and we both had a wonderful experience. If you go on a weekend make reservations it will save you waiting too long as they have lots of people wanting to eat here.

The lights are low creating an intimate atmosphere. They play a selection of music from the 80's. The art on the wall is a kitschy selection of American and Japanese pop art. Helping to create a fun atmosphere and reinforce the American-Asian fusion theme.
"Don't judge me - I know when it's real."
"Fine -- Have it your way."

Despite being busy, the service was good. The waiter answered all of our questions and knew about the food. Even with all the customers he did a good job keeping our drinks full.

The food is gorgeous. When we sat down, we looked at what the neighboring tables were eating and I was in awe of what the food looked like. Each plate was a work of art. As they say, "you eat with your eyes first," and I sure was. The menu can be intimidating as a first timer but if you get a chance to look at the menu online it will help you to make choices when you're there.

We decided to start with an appetizer since we were both very hungry and settled on the Caribbean Summer Rolls. The rolls have a large shrimp, mangos, cucumbers, chives and mint wrapped in rice paper. The rolls are very refreshing. They are served with a spicy Thai peanut sauce which has the perfect amount of spice. It doesn't overwhelm and allows the peanuts to shine. When on the summer rolls it ties all the flavors together in a mouthful of harmony.
Caribbean Summer Rolls
For dinner we ordered burgushi. What is burgushi? Well this is how The Cowfish defines it on their site: "The Cowfish introduces a unique fusion of burgers and sushi! Burgushi items are served in various formats, including sushi rolls created utilizing beef & burger components and non-traditional ingredients, and sandwiches created using sushi components. The Cowfish bento boxes offer a sampling of both burger and sushi! Open your mind and your taste buds as you experience these originals brought to you by The Cowfish."

We had to try it. We both love sushi and we both love red meat. This was a win-win. I ordered the Deliverance Rolls - Southern Style Bar-B-Q-Shi - "Tender pulled pork, tangy BBQ sauce and tempura onion strings rolled with seaweed and rice, tempura battered and flash fried to golden brown. Each piece is topped with homemade bacon coleslaw to finish."
Deliverance Rolls
I also ordered the Surf & Turf Roll - "Seasoned natural Angus ground beef and cream cheese rolled with rice and seaweed, tempura battered and flash fried. Topped with a medley of yellowfin tuna, salmon, shiitake and button mushrooms sautéed lightly with white wine. Drizzled with sweet brown sauce and Japanese cream sauce, and topped with masago to finish. Served with a creamy dijon sauce."
Surf & Turf Roll 
My wife ordered the Fusion Specialty Bento Box - "A combo meal featuring both burger and sushi, including the featured mini-burger of the week, sweet potato fries, Thai cucumbers, edamame and the guest’s choice of a 4 piece Fusion Specialty roll (Mark’s, Rainbow or Tempura Shrimp Roll) or 3 pieces of mixed nigiri (tuna, salmon and shrimp)."
Fusion Specialty Bento Box
The Deliverance Rolls are great. At first I was a little put off by the taste of the seaweed with the pork but after dipping it in soy sauce the flavors married together. I had to dissect one of the rolls to taste each part separately and I have to say the pork is good. It is competition style pork. They don't make the BBQ in-house due to kitchen space and the hazards of having a smoker in the restaurant. So they buy it from Brookwood Farms. It is good BBQ. The Deliverance Rolls are worth it. Definitely try them.

The Surf & Turf Rolls are a wonderful combination of beef and fish. Each serving of this roll is like a mini meal. The tempura around the outside ads a nice crunch to the roll. When dipped in the creamy dijon sauce you get a nice burst of spiciness that takes the roll to another level. Of the two burgushi rolls this was our favorite.

My wife had the bento box. Everything in it was spot on. She really liked the burger. It was cooked perfectly and served on a Hawaiian roll that made the burger even better. The Thai cucumbers were my favorite part of her plate. The dressing is so good. It is vinegary, sweet and spicy. It would go really good with BBQ in-place of slaw.

We decided to try dessert too. I ordered "The Moose is Loose" which is a layered brownie with chocolate and vanilla moose between the layers. The moose was fluffy and the brownie sweet making for a rich sumptous ending to the meal. I should have had a coffee with it. My wife ordered the "Apple Pie 'Wontons'." These are wontons filled with apple pie filling and served a la mode. The only downside to these was that there was not enough filling.
The Moose is Loose

Apple Pie 'Wontons'
If you're not a sushi fan I would highly recommend trying The Cowfish and their burgushi. It might change your mind. If you are a fan of sushi you will like this restaurant. As my wife said, "The food is so good you don't mind paying for it." The food is beautiful, fun and yummy. The ambience is relaxed with a fusion of Americana and Japanese pop culture. The staff are great as is the service. On the Gibbs Ribs scale* I give The Cowfish a full rack of perfectly cooked ribs with a stack of napkins. If you get the chance to go, GO!

*When I do reviews, books or otherwise, I rate the items with ribs (they are my favorite BBQ dish). A full rack is great and a single rib is poor. I will tend to stick to a full rack, half rack or one rib.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been dying to try the Cowfish... even more so now. Thanks for the review!

  2. Thanks Brittany. GO! My girls keep asking when we'll take them. Hopefully soon. it is defiantly worth it.

  3. I have been to Cowfish 6 or 7 times now... It gets better every time, and no matter who I take they are impressed. I hope they can keep up the Quality over the long haul. I LOVE this place.