After starting the year off in the State Street area with a little pizza, I decided it was time to change it up. I heard from a few friends that Slurping Turtle was worth checking out, but was hesitant since I went once last year and haven’t had a desire to go back ever since. Maybe I didn’t order the right things, but I wasn’t initially blown away so I decided to make a return trip to try a few more dishes. Let me just say: boy, was I wrong the first time.
There are a few different ways of figuring out what to order at Slurping Turtle, but the best option is to go with a group of 4 or 5 people and share (I know, sharing food is hard sometimes). When the waiter arrives, definitely ask for edamame, interestingly placed under the “Tapas” section of the menu (although these are the real tapas in AA). It’s the perfect snack to munch on before the real food comes, and it’s even better warm.
Once you’re settled, I’d highly recommend the Hamachi tacos, a delicious trio of tuna tacos with truffle soy and taro root shell that make for a really nice, light dish. They’re served in silver dividers, and their presentation–along with everything else served at Slurping Turtle–is plated carefully and beautifully.
Along with the tacos, you’ve gotta try the short ribs (the dish in the top image that you’re probably drooling over). Simply cooked, they have a bit of a barbecue taste with Asian spices, but also taste a little bit like steak. The combination of these two delicious flavors is simply something you can’t get enough of, and the noodles on the side are out of this world. But of the starters, my absolutely favorite is the Fried Brussels sprouts with crispy shallots. It’s dressed in a light sauce, and the crunchy sprouts with the crispy shallots makes for a killer combo.
Once you’re done messing around with appetizers, move on to some more traditional Japanese items. I highly recommend trying the baos. These are a pancake wrapped meat or vegetarian dish served with a side salad. Sounds simple, but it is absolutely delicious.
Another favorite is the sushi. Many Michigan students debate where the best sushi in town is, and I would probably have to say Slurping Turtle. If you’re trying to get a variety of flavors and only want to order one sushi roll, it has to be the Spicy Tuna Deluxe roll, with jalapeño inside and pieces of avocado and a sweet glaze drizzled on top as a substitute for soy sauce.
And now for the ultimate pro tip. If you’re a student or an industry worker, you’re in luck. Slurping Turtle has great discounts all week, including 10% off for students, 20% off for students on Tuesdays, and up to 40% off for industry workers (people who work at bars or restaurants). Despite it being a little pricey, the discounts make it that much more reasonable.
Overall, if you’re in the East Liberty area you have to try Slurping Turtle. If you can, sit in a booth in the back and ask for Bizzi, who will be sure to bring out your food quickly. They combine fresh ingredients that put a unique spin on Japanese food, but still have originals like sushi and edamame on the menu to keep purists happy. What could be better than that?