The 2022 Asheville Sushi War – Meet Murasaki

The Asheville Sushi War has been brewing for quite some time now, and many have not noticed. Sushi is getting old. As a matter of fact, sushi is a Japanese cuisine that can be traced back to the 9th century, but did not make it to the United States until 1966 when the City of Los Angeles embraced this dish. I don’t know when sushi officially made it to Asheville, but I’m so glad it did!
Of course we have the traditional sushi kings of Asheville such as Zen, Ichiban, Green Tea, and Wasabi; but lots of fusion is coming on the foodie scene lately. We tried the Korean sushi at Stone Bowl and now it is something we regularly order. Then we have had another great authentic Chinese cuisine experience at  Shanghai Dumpling House. They serve their versions of sushi which is pretty good. Then there is Heiwa Shokudo in downtown Asheville which features some tasty sushi, ramen, and hot pots. I believe someone said that this is the only sushi location in Asheville that is actually owned by a Japanese man, as most sushi restaurants around town are owned by Chinese families.
But there are some new folks in town that are taking over the Asian food and cuisine scene in Asheville, and we know exactly who they are…
First of all, Itto Ramen has pretty much led the way in the Ramen, Sushi, and Appetizer world when it comes to Asian food in Asheville. This family has really created a great restaurant concept and they are already expanding in the Asheville area with more restaurants.
Then we have Madness Sushi and Burgers which has perfected the art of Asian/American cuisine. I mean, you can go and get an amazing burger, while the wifey has her sushi. Plus the atmosphere is amazing, the staff is on point, and it is overall great. Love this spot! They just opened their second location in north Asheville and they also own Yum Poke, which currently has two locations in the area.
Next up is Mr. Sushi of course, and we have been going here for years! They started out in the Fresh Market in Asheville, and now have opened up two locations in Asheville, one on Hendersonville Road at the Market Center, and another on Merrimon Avenue in north Asheville. The amazing Nandar and her team can do just about any dish you can imagine. They have their normal menu and then you can also make special requests on dishes. And oh, they have Bubble Tea too.
And finally…. Meet Murasaki, the new kid on the block, but the owner has a nice portfolio of Asian restaurants in Johnson City TN, Cherokee NC, and Spartanburg SC. They just opened up on Long Shoals in south Asheville. If you remember where the old Pomodoro’s Café was, this is where they are, and just a hop, skip, and a jump from Biltmore Park. We stopped by and noticed they kept a lot of the original décor. Tommy T did a fantastic job making this place look and feel great for the previous restaurant so we are glad they repurposed it. We met the staff, ate the food, and had such a wonderful experience. See some photos below…

The menu at Murasaki is packed with ramen bowls, sushi, sashimi, and so much more!

I was looking for Escolar, but ended up trying this tuna sashimi and it was cut so perfect and tasted so delish!

This is the Ocean’s 11 sushi roll, which is shrimp tempura with shrimp and scallops on top. It was amazingly tasty, a sushi combination I have not had, and one that I would definitely eat again and again.

Special thanks to the amazing staff here are Murasaki! You can follow Chef Arsa on Instagram to see some of his sushi creations.


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