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Jusenkazen Japanese Restaurant/十千花前
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Those who don't love sushi, sashimi, and the various other bits of Japanese cuisine puzzle us. Sure, we're hip to the less-than-stellar history between this country and that one, and we know that everyone who first encountered a piece of raw salmon made a funny face before ending up hopelessly addicted, but let's face it; the Japanese make the best cameras, and they make some amazing things happen with little pieces of fresh fish. The fun doesn't stop there as we find ourselves slurping away at bowls of udon noodles, and raising tiny earthenware cups of warm sake to our friends, before getting down to the serious business of tearing into a steaming heap of sukiyaki. The MORE crew was lucky enough to be invited to try the fare at Jusenkazen Japanese Restaurant, near the top of the Friendship Hotel on Pinghai Road, to see what they have to offer in the way of authentic Japanese cuisine. For starters, Chef “Shige” Imamura is Japanese, which doesn't get much more authentic than that. He's been in China for less than a year, and his cool demeanor combined with his rugged yet boyish good looks will undoubtedly be a huge influence on the girls, while his ability to prepare exquisite dishes will keep the guys from noticing their girlfriends’ errant glances. Our meal was a winner, starting with fresh slices of tuna, yellowtail, and salmon over a bed of crushed ice. Skewered crab cakes, bacon-wrapped tomato, scallions, and chicken wings made for a satisfying second course. The highlight of the meal was watching the Chef prepare sukiyaki for us with thinly sliced pieces of premium-grade beef that paired perfectly with the trio of Shiitake, enoki, and shimeji mushrooms that quietly simmered away as the dish reached a state of perfection. One of the biggest surprises when looking through the menu, besides the prices, which are definitely on the higher end, was the amazing selection of sake in various forms and grades. With a smattering of high-end bottles like kirakucho, ginjou junmai, and kubota senju, there was also a good selection of beers and other beverages to choose from. Jusenkazen overlooks West Lake too, and while our view through the large plate-glass windows was rather poor, on a clear night, this place sports a view few places can match. Hangzhou may be heaven on Earth, but sushi packs a little bit of Heaven into each delicious bite.

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18/F, Friendship Hotel, 53 Pinghai Road

0571 8707 7888

Opening Hours:
11:30am - 1:30pm, 5pm - 10pm
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