Sushi Tatsumi is the sister restaurant of another two famous Japanese eateries Sushi Naramoto (奈良本) and Ochobo (千代保), which opened by the famous Chinese actor Xu Zheng (徐峥). I have been to Sushi Naramoto in 2012, it was honored one of 50 best restaurants in China in 2013. Ochobo serves exquisite kaiseki which emphasizes on tempura. I expected a lot on Sushi Tatsumi as it is one of the most famous sushiya in Shanghai.
Visited: July.22.2015 (Dinner)
Address: 207 Mengzi Road, Shanghai, China
Hours: 12:00-14:30, 18:00-22:30, closed on Sundays
Menu: Lunch sets, Dinner Omakase $880
Tatsumi can serve 12 diners at the sushibar as well as a 10 seater private room. We booked the seats in front of Chef Matsuno, who has an experience of 12 years and had worked in a famous sushiya in Roppongi before he moved to Shanghai with his Shanghainese wife 5 years ago. He uses only the freshest ingredients sourced directly from different parts of Japan.
Dinner started with 4 assorted appetizers. The tofu skin rolled with shrimp paste was smooth and umami; Japanese tomato puree with tofu skin juice nicely boost my taste bud; Braised tuna chunks with Arima sanshou (pepper) has a deep flavor and was very delicious; Yellow okra with scallops has a very clean taste, nicely cleanse the palate and ready for the hot dishes.
Next came sashimi followed one by one. Kinmedai (金目鯛) has a very clean taste; Mirugai (ミル貝) was crunchy and has a sweet hint; Shima-Aji(縞鯵) has higher oil contents yet very clean and juicy; Chutoro(中卜口) melted on my tongue like butter and soon turned into rich oils with a endless aftertaste. All four kinds of sashimi were very fresh and umami, probably so far the best i had in Shanghai.
I loved the concept of grilled the fish with Longjing tea leaf, which brought a very unique and refreshing aroma to the fish. The white flesh was umami but i expected it to be more moist and tender.
The vegetable part of grilled dish was Matsutake from Yunnan Provence. The Matsutake has a very lovely fragrance, tastes juicy.
Next was the dish i came for, as well as the one i expected the most – wagyu roll with fresh sea urchin. The wagyu was sliced and seared with fresh wasabi in front of us, chef Matsuno rolled it up with two large slice of fresh sea urchin and seasoned it with homemade lemon soy sauce. It perfectly melted in my mouth with a light seared flavor and endless creamiess and umami. It was seriously a mouthful of bless.
The first piece was Hobo, which is also known as Robin Fish, the texture was quite similar to red snapper. The second piece was cutlass fish, chef slightly seared its outer layer thus it has a burnt hint. The first two pieces were very fresh and have vey clean taste.
For the shari part, not too bad compare to Oyama. But too bland comapre to those upscale sushiya in Japan and Hong Kong i have been to. Every single grain was firm and chewy, passed the test. In the meanwhile, i found the size of nigiri sushi very small – seriously the smallest i have had in all fine sushiyas. While those made by the Chinese chefs on the side were larger in size.
Aji was higher in flavor and oil contents. The chopped scallions and minced ginger balanced very well. Lovely.
Hokigai was very fresh, tender and crunchy, has a very deep sea-flavor.
How i wish then entire fillet is mine.
Finally my favorite otoro. This piece marbled, pinky lard of sea looks too perfect to eat. It was rich in oils but not greasy at all, with a lovely sweet twist and endless aftertaste. The best so far in Shanghai and mainland China.
Followed by iwashi (sardine), which was too high in flavor, the fresh flesh was tender and very umami.
The botan ebi with tamago was served in a cute bowl, it was a indulgent combination of creamy and rich textures. The ebi itself was very juicy and sweet, paired well with the umami egg yolk.
Maguro was marinated in soy thus higher in flavor. While i found this piece could be stronger, as it was hard to tell it was marinated. On the other hand, the fish itself was fresh and juicy.
Anago means it is almost the end of the meal. To be honest, as the size of Chef Matsuno’s sushi was quite small, we didn’t feel very filling at this point. Fortunately the anago was very pleasant, warm and melt-in-mouth tenderness, the white flesh was very delcious and the sweet sauce works very well.
Tamago is always my favorite piece, but very few sushiya made really impressive ones. The one at Tatsumi was quite weak – very hard to taste the prawn flavor, and it was not very ‘eggy’. I expected the texture to be more moist.
Two flavors of ice-cream were served at Tatsumi, we all tried tofu flavor instead of sake flavor. Not bad.
This is a more pleasant omakase experience in Shanghai, definitely cannot compete with Japan but quite nice in Shanghai. I don’t have too much sushi experience in Shanghai because for most of the time, i’d rather save the money for my Tokyo trip. Among the sushiya i have been to in Shanghai (Sushi Naramoto奈良本, Oyama 大山, Tsukiji Aozora Sandaime, Sushi Ichi), Tatsumi is not doubt the best and the most valuable one, next comes Naramoto. Another thing i want to point out is its shari, which i found could be stronger. The neta (fish) part was pretty well-done. Chef Matsuno is very friendly and speaks moderate Chinese and English. Service was good but the servers could have better knowlege of the ingredients. Anyway, It was a lovely meal with a great company.