And of course, gimmicks make it fun. To start, you get to choose your tools for the night. In Japanese dining, that means chopsticks. Even if this place is Californian in feel.
A balanced diet should start with a salad. The Tobiko salad seemed tasty and it was. With enough saltiness from the roe, and of course great texture from them popping on the tongue, then crunchy julienned daikon, carrots, cucumbers, alfalfa and crabstix lightly married with Japanese mayo made for a light and refreshing start to the meal.
The white fish carpaccio was reminiscent of eating raw fish in the good 'ole days, with a squeeze of lime and sesame oil. A testament to the adage "why fix it if ain't broke". The lime and oil bring out the freshness of the fish here, and the vegetables add crunch to each bite.
Carrying on our raw theme, we thoroughly enjoyed the quality of our beef. Thinly sliced, and well done so as to dispense with any need for chewing despite an only slightly marbled cut, this was excellent for its beefiness in taste. I am not a fan of raw garlic so I passed on them, but any fears of mad cow diseases were put aside for this. Excellent.
Our finale of course had to be a roll - they have like a gazillion varieties so it took us a while to settle on this one. Actually D was just kind enough to give me the veto vote. Of course, I cannot remember the name of the roll, but the combo of crab meat, shrimp tempura, topped with Uni, flying fish roe and chives is good enough to make any mouth water. Finished with a sweet sauce akin to what they use for basting eel with, this was yummy.
There's a lot going for this place, especially if they keep the service friendly and happy (harder to get nowadays in China), fresh ingredients, and spacious interiors that have clean lines and cute paraphernalia from Japan.
- S8-30 (opposite Element Fresh), Bldg 8, Sanlitun Village South
- 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District
- Tel: +86-10-6415 3939