October 31, 2012 Dbayeh Mount Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Soto: Enjoy Tasty Japanese in a Mall
Casual Dining

Phone Number: +961 4 444 964

Address: Le Mall, Dbayeh, Lebanon

Website: http://www.soto-me.com/soto/default.aspx

Price Range: 35-50 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 7/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 24/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Value for money: Soon

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Soto is a genuine Japanese restaurant that serves traditional high-end Japanese food in a simple yet trendy atmosphere. With various branches around the country, I recently tried their branch at Le Mall, Dbayeh. The architectural details along with a cozy setup and good food makes Soto a place worth trying.

Located on the 2nd floor, next to Olio and Crepaway, this restaurant decorated in green and red pallets covering the walls reveals a classy feel. You have a choice between the bar, the inner area and the outer section closer to the mall's crowd. The choice is yours. And the best part is that if Japanese food is not your favorite, you can choose to have something from Olio (Italian Restaurant owned by the same people) while your friends enjoy their Sushi.

The menu sections:

  • Salads
  • Ceviche (Served on ice)
  • Hot appetizers
  • Soup
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Tempura
  • Teriyaki & Teppanyaki
  • Sashimi
  • Sushi
  • Ura Maki
  • Crispy Ura Maki
  • Soto Maki
  • Futo Maki
  • Soto specials
  • Gunkan
  • Hoso Maki
  • Temaki
  • A choice of set menus
  • Desserts

We ordered a selection of everything:

Crazy Crab Salad, Salmon Ceviche, Shrimp Dumplings, Special Mango Ura Maki, Salmon Phily Ura Maki, Lazy Smoked Salmon Ura Maki, Crazy, Crispy Smoked Salmon, Crazy Spicy Shrimp, Crispy Creamy Shrimp, Toyotomi Soto Maki, Nakata Soto Maki, Dancing Eel Soto Maki, Matsuda Soto Maki, Dragon Tail Soto Special, King Crab Soto Special, California Futo Maki, Dynamite Futo Maki, Salmon Skin Temaki.

I loved:

  • The Ceviche Salmon, served on a square ice block, is exquisite
  • The Crazy Crab Salad might be one of the simplest preparations but few get it right. Soto is one of them who makes this dish tasty
  • The Maki pieces are thick, generous and well rolled
  • The ingredients are fresh and tasty
  • Presentation of pieces on black stones is nice
  • The Soto specials are to die for
  • Most of the menu items are tasty. An overall success
  • A welcoming and pleasant staff
The pluses: Fresh and crunchy, enjoyable japanese rolls that I enjoyed piece by piece.
The minuses: One of the few restaurants where I couldn't find many negative comments to talk about. Bravo!

On their interesting website you can read the Sushi's story: "So you say you’re a sushi lover, and that you frequent sushi bars as often as your busy yuppie schedule would permit. But how much do you know about that delicious morsel you pick up with your chopsticks, dip into wasabe-laced soy sauce, and slowly chew in your mouth, piece by little piece, in between sips of sake or ice cold beer?  For instance, did you know that the word “sushi” refers not to the food but to a method of preserving fish? You see, many years ago, the refrigerator had not been invented yet. Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, the process involves cleaning raw fish, then pressing them between layers of salt, weighted with a stone. After a few weeks, the stones are removed and replaced with a light cover. A few months later, the fermented fish and rice are considered ready to eat. The resulting product has a flavor so strong that it obscures the fish’s taste altogether. Needless to say, the original sushi has got to be something of an acquired taste. But the method was popular in Japan from the 17th to the 19th century; and today, some restaurants in Tokyo still serve this original style, called Marezushi, after its major ingredient which is freshwater carp. So what you’ve come to know, and to enjoy, is really a new sushi, developed in the 18th century by a clever chef named Yohei. Most likely, he was super excited to use his newly bought refrigerator. Except for the vinegared rice the rest of the ingredients are as fresh as the Japanese way of preparing food can make it. Sushi became Japan’s best-known contribution to world cuisine."

Tasty Japanese can be enjoyed at Soto, a restaurant that I consider one of the best in its category...go try it!


Suitable For: Casual Dining





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