In the mood for Asian food, we picked a place new to us, JuRin, which shows off its sushi and teppan artistry with the respective chefs front and center. JuRin, whose name means forest, has two locations, a restaurant in Geneva and the one we visited in South Elgin.
That eatery, set near the north side of the Silver Glen Crossing plaza, has patio seating with umbrellas, and an outdoor grill. We stepped into a spacious interior, with a bar and lounge to the right. Sushi chefs in the room’s center are ringed by an enclosed conveyor belt displaying their creations within reach of patrons in the booths. Appetizing sushi and other rolls parade by, the color of plate denoting price, with a handy reference at the table.
The remainder of the space is filled with tables enclosing large teppanyaki grills, where your personal chef presides as you sit ringside. The experience plays to all the senses, from aroma to taste to the staccato of the chef’s spatulas against the teppan, which translates as iron plate.
We arrived in time for lunch, the menu offering tempting combination meals, explained by our helpful server.
My dining companion picked the special bento box served at lunch. The presentation was appetizing in a bright red, compartmentalized dish. The box offers four of the type of roll you pick (select between California, Philadelphia, spicy tuna or shrimp tempura), and a choice of entree between beef, chicken, salmon, red snapper and sashimi. Included with the box are a spring roll, shrimp tempura, and a seaweed salad with octopus, with pickled ginger and wasabi as spicy condiments. It is accompanied by miso soup, sticky rice, and an iceberg salad with a pureed ginger dressing, delicious and mild.
I picked the JuRin Shrimp, one of the teppan specials, accompanied by its own array of side dishes, so we decided to approach our feast like small plates meant to be shared.
The Philadelphia roll with salmon, avocado and cream cheese was a melt-in-your-mouth combination. The beef arrived in a savory, teriyaki glaze.
I tried my first seaweed salad with trepidation, only to discover it was light and tasty, pairing beautifully with the octopus. We moved from one tidbit to another.
My shrimp were excellent. They come in a choice of preparations, and I opted for “egg yolk style,” something rich, unique and also new to me.
My yakisoba noodles were nicely prepared, and served with two savory grilled shrimp as an appetizer, plus salad, flavorful fried rice and an excellent teppan soup brimming with al dente morsels.
My companion couldn’t resist opening the lid next to us on the conveyor belt and reeling in a dessert, a terrific chocolate brownie confection.
From the drama of the teppan chefs to a serene aquarium, our meal was an escapist pleasure.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHERE: 588 Randall Road, South Elgin, and 1772 S. Randall Road, Geneva
PHONE: 847-488-1290 and 630-262-9590, respectively