There’s a whole lot going on at The Carousel in Great Neck, which opened recently at the site of the long-gone Fuji-ya. The front room is dominated by booths that border the eponymous carousel, a conveyor belt on which ride color-coded (by price) plates of sushi, salads and oddities such as roast-beef rolls and, most oddly, a selection of deli cheeses accompanied by two Ritz crackers.
We grabbed two plates of sashimi, tuna and yellowtail, and found them nothing special—and too cold. A plate of braised and chilled baby octopus was better, but the three plates drove home the disadvantages of a conveyor-belt service: unless there are a lot of people eating, the pickings are slim, and the more times the same plate of tuna rolls by, the less likely you are to want it.
From the sushi bar, we ordered the “Carousel special” a huge roll made with shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, spicy tuna wrapped in soybean paper with eel sauce and wasabi mayo. The roll itself was curiously bland—considering its ingredients—and not nearly so memorable as its presentation, which involved a martini glass from which descended a shower of shredded daikon.
We also availed ourselves of the menu offerings. I enjoyed a small bowl of udon noodles and the Okinawa-style stewed pork and hard-cooked egg. Skewers of grilled dark-meat chicken were OK, but the grilled “jumbo” shrimp with garlic salt and pepper were dry and nowhere near jumbo.
We barely scratched the surface of the menu—not to mention the bento boxes, afternoon tea offerings or the hibachi menu served in the back room—but it struck me that The Carousel may have too much on its plate.
The Carousel is at 20 South Station Plaza, Great Neck, 516-304-5192.