Niu B Sushi rolls onto Michigan Avenue


Courtesy of Carolina Sánchez

Niu B opened in June at 888 S. Michigan Ave. The restaurant puts a contemporary twist on Japanese cuisine.

By Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Casually elegant seating paired with an all-fresh assortment of sushi makes Niu B Sushi an exquisite choice for Japanese cuisine enthusiasts old and new.

Not to be confused with its sister location in Streeterville, Niu B, at 888 S. Michigan Ave., has quickly become a hotspot for fresh sushi in the heart of Chicago since opening its doors in June. With one glance across the dining room, tables are filled with business people meeting over fresh fish or groups of young 20-somethings gathering for a late lunch, it is clear that Niu B is a comfortable setting for the variety of customers Chicago brings.

The menu at Niu B ranges from affordable delicacies like the Spicy Maki ($6)—a classic maki dish filled with tuna, yellowtail, salmon cucumber, scallop cucumber or octopus cucumber—to pricier items like the Korean Kalbi ($16), marinated beef short ribs grilled with scallions topped with delicious Korean red chili sauce.

Niu B puts its own contemporary twist on classic Japanese cuisine that will entice any foodie. The Rock ‘n Roll sushi platter ($13) is a delicious meal of shrimp, octopus, shredded crab, spicy mayonnaise and avocado all wrapped inside a superb tempura-fried roll and sprinkled with a hint of unagi sauce. The sushi has a bit of a crunch from the outer fried roll, which makes for a pleasant inner surprise.

However, other menu items such as the oyster and ponza vinaigrette shooter ($6)—which includes fish eggs, soy sauce, a vinaigrette and a single oyster poured into a large shot glass—strays a little too far from the rest of the menu. While the oyster and fish eggs almost make up for it, the shooter in its entirety is too tart to handle.

The elaborate plating of the Sexy Mexican ($12), one of Niu B’s tastiest and most affordable plates, includes shrimp, spicy shredded crab and jalapeño. It is topped with delectable slices of avocado and is showered in a tantalizing Sriracha sauce that more than compensates for the tartness of the shooters.

Each of Niu B’s meals are designed with a quiet elegance that accents the flavors in each and every meal. For those less inclined to try seafood, Niu B has a variety of other fish-free plates, including choices such as the bone-in lamb chop ($8) to a succulent ribeye steak ($5).

The grace of the menu extends to the restaurant’s cocktail selection. The Old Fashion of the East ($12) is a mixture of 12-year-old Yamazaki Whiskey, Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Aromatic Bitters with an orange flame swatch. If a mojito ($10) is your style, Niu B offers a choice of raspberry, coconut or ginger flavored drinks.

Niu B’s staff is terrifically attentive. Each server is ready with a smile on his or her face and a refill of cucumber water or lychee red tea at the drop of a hat. 

The variety of desserts, from the hot chocolate lava cake ($8) to the lychee sorbet ($5) is sure to top off any entree. The chocolate lava cake is a dark chocolate cake topped with warm cocoa sauce and a scoop of black sesame ice cream. The lychee sorbet includes a gorgeous plating design with sorbet drizzled in mango puree and lychee fruit.

Niu B is a must for fans of fresh ingredients and friendly, casual dining. The elaborate plating and outgoing service has the potential to make Niu B Sushi Michigan Avenue’s newest hotspot.