Food Review: Kuma rolls into town with sensational sushi, subpar service

By Nicollette Niles

When you think of Waco, sushi probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Usually, I just head to the sushi section at H-E-B to get my fix, so when I heard Kuma opened on Austin Avenue, I had to check it out.

I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The atmosphere was contemporary and trendy. The restaurant had an open layout and decor was upscale, although the chairs and booths were spray painted black and did not look comfy or appealing.

I felt underdressed in my T-shirt and leggings. The formal ambience added to Kuma’s upscale atmosphere.

The first thing I noticed was the kitchen and sushi bar were within an eye’s view so customers could watch chefs prepare fresh sushi at the bar.

The staff was courteous, but they seemed a bit disorganized. I didn’t receive my drink until I finished my meal, which was frustrating because it was a Monday and the restaurant wasn’t crowded.

I placed my order and counted down the minutes until my food came out. It was exciting to see my sushi prepared and all the ingredients looked crisp and fresh.

The sushi did not let me down. It was flavorful and delectable. I opted for the spider roll and a fire crunch roll. Each roll had eight pieces. If you enjoy sushi, I recommend trying any of their contemporary sushi rolls.

I also ordered a side of pork belly fried rice. The rice was topped with an over-easy egg, which I found unusual.

When I cut into it, yolk soaked my fried rice. I don’t like runny eggs, so that ruined the fried rice for me. If that wasn’t enough, when I bit into one of the pork pieces, which I thought was a pineapple, it was all fat and left a bad taste in my mouth.

At $19, the check wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be.

Considering the amount of sushi that comes with each order and how freshly it’s prepared, I felt like I got my money’s worth from the meal.

My rating for Kuma is a three out of five stars.

I expected the food to be better due to their upscale atmosphere. Even though my sushi was flavorful and the atmosphere was appealing, the pork belly fried rice and service were below average.

Would I go back to Kuma? Probably, but only for an order of their sushi and maybe an appetizer.