You know we do our best to keep you informed about the places to get topnotch food in town, but sometimes it takes us a while to save up the moolah to get there. That's the case with Nasubi. We've heard time and time again from our Japanese friends that this is by far the best spot to get Japanese food; but, such authenticity comes at a price. Nasubi originated in Shizouka, where it is firmly established with ten restaurants. Earlier this year it opened its Hangzhou branch on the fourth floor of the World Trade Center. We decided that if we were going to plunk down the cash to review this place, we'd better take along an expert to order the right stuff. Nakazawa (the editor of our sister mag Navi) was the man who took us beyond sushi, sashimi and tempura and showed us how to truly enjoy Japanese cuisine. We entered the doorway and were immediately wowed by the slick interior, created by master designer Junichiro Sato. Plopping down on the tatami, we ordered up some hot saki but were quickly instructed by Nakazawa that really good saki should be drunk cold. Lesson number one of many throughout the night. We began the meal with the Cow's Tongue that had been soaked in miso for three days and then grilled up. Tongue does turn people off, we know, but this is a tasty dish. We moved onto a soup that is described by patrons as, So good it makes you want to cry. The Chowder Stew (we get the redundancy, but you've got to understand, this is translated from Japanese, to Chinese, and then to English) is filled with shrimp, glass noodles, mushrooms, leek, red radish and tons of veggies. You can also order other stuff to throw in, but it's unnecessary. What makes this dish so special is that it has to be stewed for at least eight hours with seaweed and bonito fish. If you're really feeling extravagant, you can try the Japanese Hairy Crab a giant compared to the local crawlies which runs 1000RMB each. Speaking of money, a meal will set you back at least 250 kuai a head. Let us repeat, at least 250. But, it's absolutely worth it: fresh fish flown in from Nagasaki twice a week; food prepared by an expert chef 46 years in the biz; and immaculate decor. An obligatory experience. English menu available.
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