Sushi served with twist at Bayside restaurant

John Fang shows off the fish and other ingredients he uses to make his sushi. Photo by Ivan Pereira
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For the last seven years, John Fang has been honing his sushi-making skills throughout the country and now he is bringing his talents to Bayside.

The 26-year-old Chinese native said he was eager to open Tanko at 38-05 Bell Blvd. in August not only because he wanted to start his own business, but also because he wanted to show people a new way to enjoy Asian cuisine.

Fang, who lives in Flushing, came to the United States to study under a Japanese chef and he said he was able to pick up a lot of expertise while working in restaurants in Virginia, New Jersey, Manhattan and Long Island.

“I wanted to do something special,” he said.

The restaurant has a wide variety of sushi dishes to choose from. Fang and another chef personally make each roll for the customer, but the owner said customers who tried his menu would experience something new.

The cook said the main part of his training was to focus on the fish.

“The temperature, the freshness and the color affects everything about a sushi,” he said.

Fang puts his own special blend of spices and herbs in the sushi, including a little wasabi. Unlike other restaurants that offer the condiment separately, Fang said he puts a little inside his sushi to give his customers a true Japanese treat.

Aside from the sushi, the restaurant also offers other fusion entrees, including Thai curry sauce, hibachi and boneless duck.

“They like that the food is fresh and it gives them a surprise,” he said of the customers who have come in since the opening.

The inside of the restaurant is dimly lit with wood-trimmed walls and Asian artwork. Contemporary American music plays throughout the background because, Fang said, he wanted to entice a large audience.

“We wanted to create a design that was modern and simple, but at the same time give it a feel of an Asian [locale],” he said.

Fang added that he was impressed with the large turnout that he has seen and said he will continue to bring new, interesting dishes to the menu in the future.

“I want them to come in, try something new and go, ‘Wow, I never tried something like that. I want more,’” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 1:02 pm, October 17, 2011
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