Although the notion of pairing tempura-fried rock shrimp with a spicy creamy sauce may not have originated with world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, chances are the dish became an Asian-fusion classic because of its popularity at his first Manhattan restaurant, Nobu, which opened in TriBeCa in 1993.
These days on Long Island, it's a challenge finding an Asian-fusion restaurant that doesn't have rock shrimp tempura on its menu. The following three do it justice, each in its own way
MERMAID ASIAN BISTRO & BAR, Lake Ronkonkoma, 846 Portion Rd., 631-588-8885
At this friendly fusion spot, the light, crunchy rock shrimp tempura drizzled with spicy mayo is a good way to begin a meal.
IZUMI, Bethpage, 440 N. Wantagh Ave., 516-933-7225
This chic Asian venue plays crunch against softness in its fine version of the Nobu classic, wherein batter-fried shellfish is lightly glazed with spicy mayonnaise.
DOMO SUSHI, East Setauket, 180 Rte. 25A, 631-751-2299
The kitchen at this sophisticated Asian spot redefines rock shrimp tempura with a drizzle of chili sauce instead of the usual mayo.
SAKE ASIAN, West Babylon, 76 Rte. 109, 631-620-3888
While waiting for your sushi, the "rockies shrimp" is a creditable rendition, featuring batter-fried shellfish drizzled with spicy mayo.