As my keys are clicking and clacking away writing this review, I can hear my fellow foodies sucking their teeth in disgust about my selection this week. I understand that Chinese fare is not considered foodie cuisine, but remember the lesson we learned from DP’s last week about the book and cover, it applies yet again to Six Happiness. From the street it may appear to be just another Chinese food restaurant, but after you eat here just once, it will become YOUR Chinese food restaurant.
I have moved quite a bit in the past eight years of my life, and every time my hometown changes I embark on my standard provisions journey. There are three establishments, which in my opinion, are absolute necessities for anyone that moves into a neighborhood. First, and foremost, a good pizzeria is a must, secondly one must have a bar he or she can call their own, and finally a Chinese food restaurant for the nights where cooking seems like such a challenge. Once I find these essential stomping grounds, I can then call my residence a home.
Six Happiness filled the Chinese Food Void for me the first day I moved into Fair Lawn. After, an arduous day of moving into our new home, all I wanted was a cold beer and some much earned chow. Furthermore, I did not want to leave my land of boxes to acquire this desired nourishment. My sister, who was assisting in the move, mentioned that she had passed a small Chinese restaurant named Six Happiness right around the corner and she would venture there to pick up a variety of dishes for everyone. She returned with not only a hefty portion of delicious Chinese Food but also with a story and a house warming gift from the proprietor. Not only was every dish just as good, if not better than any other of the Chinese food restaurants that I have frequented, but once the manager found out that I had just moved in, she gave my sister a calendar for the upcoming year and wished us good fortune in the neighborhood.
One does not have to be a foodie to understand that customer service is a huge part of the dining experience. Everyone has dealt with that surly waitress/waiter that ruins your dining event and taints your memory of the establishment he or she works for. The wonderful staff at Six Happiness are always smiling and extremely helpful, even during the stressful dinner rush. The female that is constantly behind the counter, greets you when you walk-in, by name if you are a regular, and can seemingly take three orders at once, while preparing a to-go order. When you walk into Six Happiness you cannot help but feel welcomed.
So, did I confuse all my foodie readers yet? I know what you are thinking; Chinese food is great but is this not a foodie blog! You are outraged that I would profess to be a foodie and then choose a boring old Chinese food restaurant for my second review. Now take a breath and calm down, Freaked Out Foodie, don’t close the browser just yet, the reason Six Happiness should be on everyone’s foodie radar is not because of their General Tso’s and Moo Shu, but rather because of their simply divine Sushi and Sashimi. That is right, not too long ago, Six Happiness added a Sushi Bar to their repertoire and decided to leave all other Chinese food establishments in the area in their dust.
This is not just a Chinese food restaurant peddling a few rolls made from frozen fish and soggy rice; this is a real deal sushi menu that would rival any true New York City sushi bar. From the usual suspects on every sushi menu such as the Philly Roll, the Alaskan Roll and the Eel Avocado Roll all for just $4.95 each, to the not-so standard Spicy White Tuna Roll, Yellow Tail Jalapeño Roll, and the Shrimp Mango Roll, for just a little bit extra. There are way too many exquisite specialty roll options to mention here but they do offer a myriad of choices in this category as well as daily sushi roll specials to boot. The special rolls vary in price from $8.95 to $13.95, which at first seems high, until you order one and realize that they are well worth the price. I have never had a piece of sashimi or sushi at Six Happiness that I was not content with, as the fish always tastes fresh and the dishes are artfully prepared by the sushi chefs.
This weekend my wife, Kat, and I invited our guest foodie, Evan, to Six Happiness to partake in their lovely offerings. When we arrived, Evan, a foodie blogger himself, was perplexed on why we chose this restaurant out of all the foodie havens that are peppered throughout Northern New Jersey. I assured Evan that he would become a believer after dining at Six Happiness. As you enter the main door, this establishment appears to be nothing more than an average Chinese restaurant complete with the ever-present pictorial menu hanging above the counter. But off to the right is a small sushi bar which has about four tables awaiting the guests of Six Happiness Sushi.
The three of us entered the restaurant and were greeted by the delightful proprietor I described above, and decided to sit at the bar so we could watch the chef’s create the magnificent dishes we were about to order. As I stated in my last blog, Kat does not eat seafood, so she ordered the Veggie Roll Combo for $8.95, which consists of a Cucumber Roll, an Oshinko Yamagobo Roll, and an Avocado roll. Evan and I decided to share the Deluxe Sushi for Two entrée, which consisted of a Rainbow Roll and a Spicy Tuna Roll plus a variety of 16 other pieces of delectable Sushi for only $28.95. Each of our meals included a rather large salad, with a fantastic homemade ginger dressing, and Kat ordered some edamame for the table as well. If the prices were not spectacular to begin with, Six Happiness is also a bring your own bottle establishment, which in turn will save you even more money.
We opened the bottle of white wine we had brought along with us and awaited our salads with some light dinner conversation. Shortly after ordering, our salads arrived, along with the edamame. The salads offer a generous portion of fresh lettuce and tomato but it is really the dressing, as stated above, that is the star of this course. The edamame are lightly salted and cooked to perfection, leaving the end product simply delightful. At only $3.95, the edamame is a great added treat while you await the main course to arrive.
Our sushi arrived within minutes of us completing the salads and edamame. Kat enjoyed her veggie rolls as she always does. She loves the simplistic nature of the rolls they serve at Six Happiness, as opposed to some of the other local sushi places we have been to, that try to mix too many items into a veggie roll which tends to ruin them.
As for the Deluxe Sushi platter, I could not have been happier with our decision. The Rainbow Roll combined an array of different sashimi which is draped over a California Roll. All the fish involved was tender and amazingly fresh, plus the chefs had expertly created this roll. The Spicy Tuna Roll not only tasted great, but also had a welcome texture that other Spicy Tuna Rolls I have had in the past have lacked. I assume that they added a small amount of tempura crisps into the roll which give it just the right amount of crunchy goodness.
As we finished up our rolls the 16-piece sushi plate was served. The plate was extremely colorful and looked more like a piece of art than a plateful of food. As we began to taste the variety of fish that were on the plate, one thing became very apparent; this was not two-day-old fish. We were eating fresh, White Fish, Yellow Tail, and Salmon, which tasted like it was caught this morning. Then I took a bite of the Eel and like always, fell in love with Six Happiness Sushi all over again. Most places tend to over cook their eel, causing it to be tough and chewy; this eel was extremely tender and seasoned just right.
After Evan and I fought over the last piece of sushi and there was no more wine left to drink, we decided to get the check and head out. We had a coupon with us for 10 percent off, so the grand total of this fabulous meal was $39.60, which I was more than happy to pay. After signing our check and tipping the sushi Chefs we were on our way with full bellies and a decent amount of money still in our wallets.
The best part of Six Happiness is that it is not only our go to Chinese food restaurant but also our regular Sushi spot as well. This is a huge deal for all the mothers and fathers that read this blog — now you can order sushi for you and pork lo mein for the kids. That is right, you can mix and match your order and they will deliver it directly to your doorstep, free of charge. Six Happiness not only delivers your food, but they also deliver excellent customer service and high quality eats at Blue Collar prices.
21-08 Morlot Ave
Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
Hours: Mon – Thu, 11am – 10pm; Fri, Sat, 11am – 11pm; Sun, noon – 10pm
Overall 4 out of 5
Taste 4 out of 5
Presentation 5 out of 5
Value 3 out of 5