Just how much sushi can one eat? We've got tons of places around town. There's the all-you-can-eat variety, which most frugal types seem to favor. Then there are the places that offer authentic Japanese sushi, for the food purists. Those cost a pretty penny, and the kinds of sushi to choose from are limited because the focus remains on the dishes. However, the newest restaurant in town, Hatsune, is a place where sushi lovers can go nuts. It's got the biggest menu we've seen. We have to warn you though: This isn't the kind of sushi you'll find in Tokyo. The owner hails from California and has brought his penchant for California-style sushi to the Middle Kingdom. Hatsune gets the most votes for best sushi in Beijing year after year, which is what inspired one government guy of the Gongshu district in the north of the city to invite them here. Without going into our usual praise of the development of the canal area, can we just say that we love, love, love the location of this restaurant smack dab on the canal across from Xiaohe street. Hatsune has taken space in one of the several buildings constructed as part of the renovation, and while the outside screams traditional Chinese, the inside is ultra modern, with a sprinkle of Japanese thrown in. Those just in for the sushi, take a left for the sushi bar. Just want a drink? Take a right for the bar. It's loaded with all kinds of Japanese liquor and international wines. The menu isn't just made up of innovative sushi. Upstairs there are three teppanyaki rooms, the biggest of which even has an area for you sprawl out on sofas after your gluttonous feast. While we didn't sample the teppanyaki (~300/person), we've been told the chef is much more entertaining than at other places in town. There's also a normal dining area for you to enjoy the many other more traditional dishes on offer, like tempura, premium cuts of mean, hibachi, etc. We like the divided spaces, we like the professional service, and we like the modern feel. All of this does add up to a great dining experience, and while it may cost a little more than the gorge-yourself-on-mediocre sushi places, it's worth it. You foodies out there know what we're saying. English menu available.
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