What’s in a name?
Much actually, and in the case of Ninja Express, it conjures the image of a friendly ninja wielding chopsticks and a spatula rather than nunchucks.
Ninja Express has put down roots in an old Wendy’s restaurant on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. It’s a familiar space, as two recent occupants — the barbecue joint Hickory Hawg and a pizzeria called Slices — have tried their luck and lost at the same locale.
Ninja Express, at least, arrives with backup, belonging to the same company behind Tsunami and the Japanese steakhouse Yokoso.
So, naturally, Ninja Express brandishes similar Asian flair: hibachi and grilled entrees, beef, pork and chicken bowls, and katsu and curry dishes.
And it does so generously, the restaurant constructing hefty dishes to meet great appetites.
A serving of sesame chicken ($6.99) contains a sizeable share of fried rice and sweet carrots, as the other mixed duos of steak, chicken, shrimp and scallops include the same.
More notably, Ninja Express crafts katsu selections ($7.99-$8.99) either made from a mass of panko-breaded, deep-fried pork or chicken cutlets, cabbage and a sweet tonkatsu sauce, or touched up with a curry roux.
Of course, like its brothers in arms, Tsunami and Yokoso, Ninja Express metes out several sushi rolls, most similar to its brethren. Selections ($3.99-$8.99) include the Dynamite (a tuna-salmon deep-fried mix with avocado, cream cheese and spicy mayo); the GMC (crab, tempura flakes, shrimp salad and spicy mayo); and the spicy calamari (fried calamari, plus cucumber, avocado and hot sauce).