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Here I am, back to the Sushi Bar, my favorite Japanese restaurant in Lebanon. This time I am came to try out their new 'lunch formula' as well as satisfy my curiosity about Chirashi - something I have been hearing a lot about - offered at 35,000L.L.
Chirashizushi ("scattered sushi") is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes. Edomae chirashizushi (Edo-style scattered sushi) is an uncooked ingredient that is arranged artfully on top of the sushi rice in a bowl. Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style sushi) consists of cooked or uncooked ingredients mixed in the body of rice in a bowl. There is no set formula for the ingredients; they are either chef's choice or specified by the customer. It is commonly eaten because it is filling, fast and easy to make.
The lunch menu:
- Bentos (light bento, executive bento, maki passion, sushi passion, sashimi passion)
It's simple menu, straight to the point:
The cooking dish, three different plates depending on your cravings and a light healthy proposition. Great! Have lunch for $50 only at the finest Japanese restaurant in the country.
- Chirashizushi: Sushi rice topped with salmon sashimi, yellow tail sashimi, scallop sashimi and shrimp sashimi, garnished with oboro (dried fish), shredded nori and pickled takuan.
- Yuzu tart with glazed meringue: caramelized sugar, lemony, a thick crunchy tart
- Dark chocolate and chili ice cream, green tea ice cream, vanilla ice cream
- Sticky toffee pudding, hot spongy cake with caramel sauce and a vanilla ice cream
Eating the Chirashizushi:
- A circular rice dish covered with 5 different ingredients. A 2cm thickness dish that looks like what Lebanese know as the sushi cake.
- Three pieces of salmon, three pieces of white fish, three pieces of scallops, three pieces of shrimps and five slices of pickled radish that can change depending on the customer's choice and season
- The rice is a bit sticky making it easier to be grabbed by the chopsticks. The mix is dry afterwards (Raw Fish and rice) so adding some soya sauce to it is a must. Add it slowly, a bit on every piece and do not -please do not - soak the rice in soya sauce.
- Eat it with the chopsticks and it will take you more than 30 minutes to finish, especially as a first timer. Time will pass while trying to win the game of grabbing fish and rice at the same time. Ask for cutlery, it may be better and you'll be done eating in 10 minutes. I personally asked for a fork but it didn't work. Japanese cuisine is best savored with chopsticks. Breathe: After couple of bites, it will just flow and you'll get the hang of it.
The Food Experience:
- As known at the Sushi Bar, meals always start with their signature sliced pickled cucumbers that I really love
- The first time is a bit complicated getting used to eating a Chirashi but you'll eventually get the hang of it
- I love their desserts so much that two are already in my TOP10 list. The Chili chocolate ice cream is a sin.
- The YUZU tart is mouthwatering and creative at the same time. Using something that tastes like lemon but is not. The yuzu is a citrus fruit and plant originating in East Asia. It is believed to be a hybrid of sour mandarin and Ichang papeda. The fruit looks somewhat like a very small grapefruit with an uneven skin, and can be either yellow or green depending on the degree of ripeness.
The things I enjoyed:
- Yummy Edamame
- The use of tasty white non colored ginger
- The Oboro, a kind of dried fish preparation that looks like pink sugar and tastes like sugar candy (Ghazel El Banet)
- Tasty green tea served in their transparent set
- I love the hot towels distributed at the end of the meal
- The rice layer should be a couple of millimeters thicker
- I am not a fan of the lounge music playing in the background
An enjoyable experience you all must try. A simple and tasty lunch that can be enjoyed in less than an hour - during your lunch break maybe?