The premium temaki set comes with handrolls of toro, wagyu...

The premium temaki set comes with handrolls of toro, wagyu beef and salmon at Tiger Sushi in Great Neck. Credit: Newsday/Andi Berlin

Hot take (or at least a room-temperature take): Sushi rolls have gotten totally out of control. It's refreshing when a sushi bar takes a minimalist stance, shying away from garish contrivances that pack together multiple species of raw fish. At the new Tiger Sushi, restraint is not only a stylistic choice, but a cultural one. The intimate space in Great Neck has a classic Japanese aesthetic, and caters to Jewish clientele by offering a kosher-friendly experience. (It's not technically certified, but kosher practices are in place and there's no shellfish here.) 

Signature rolls occupy a small portion of the concise two-sided menu, and even among this category, only the Rose roll contains the trifecta of tuna, salmon and yellowtail. More prominent are traditional nigiri, temaki handrolls and hosomaki rolls, a precursor to American sushi where the seaweed is prominently featured on the outside of the roll. While this is typical in Japan, American sushi chefs created a new style by padding the outside of the rolls with rice to obscure the salty seaweed. Tiger Sushi embraces this natural wrapper, using high-quality sheets with a crisp snap. 

Tiger Sushi in Great Neck has a minimalist, chic interior.

Tiger Sushi in Great Neck has a minimalist, chic interior. Credit: Newsday/Andi Berlin

The selection here is not large, but you may need to whip out your phone for a quick Google search, as the Japanese names don't come with a written explanation. On a recent trip, the friendly server described fishes such as akami (a lean cut of tuna) and a personal favorite, the shima aji (striped jack). Sushi chef/owner Andy Bae, who also heads up the sushi counter at Oita Sushi in Park Slope, Brooklyn, brings in the highest quality products, said manager Joy Kim. Prices were in the mid-to-high range for sushi, with single pieces of nigiri averaging $7, specialty rolls in the $20 range and a 12-piece kosher omakase dinner for $70. 

It's not budget-friendly, but the most memorable item is the $48 premium temaki set. The word temaki typically refers to handrolls, but rather than wrapping them like ice cream cones, here they are presented like tacos, with seaweed on the bottom and the sides. The four offerings are tucked into a steel tray decorated with a cartoon tiger mascot. One contains a dollop of minced toro tuna, another has seared Wagyu beef, one has both, and the last has slabs of cooked salmon. Although the selections are more run-of-the-mill, they still amount to some tasty, simple bites of food. 

Tiger Sushi, 40 Middle Neck Road, Suite 2, Great Neck, 631-274-6442, Open noon-3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; noon-3 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.

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