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Mar 27, 2011 07:38 PM

Sushi/Japanese food in... Beijing?

I guess it's fate I'm going to Beijing for two weeks and NOBU decided to open a restaurant at the JW Marriott. :-)

Can anyone recommend a much cheaper alternative though. Small or local Japanese restaurant that has great sushi or has a omakasa tasting menu. Or are there any "hip" modern restaurants in Beijing that just have good sushi?

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  1. Is there a reason why you musy have sushi??!!
    For GREAT sushi, one would need to find restaurants that source their fish from Japan. However, in light of the current 'radio active' problem Japan is experiencing, a lot of restaurants have stopped using Japanese products. Due to dwindling choices, I would shy away from sushi for now!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Reminded me of how former Russian spy-turned-author, Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned in Itsu sushi bar at the Piccadilly, London, in 2006. He died 3 weeks later from acute radiation syndrome. It was discovered that he ingested polonium-210, probably slipped into his food/drink by Russian secret service agents.

      1. re: klyeoh

        well, that shows that you shouldn't eat sushi in Europe...i never went to Itsu when i lived in London but it looked cheap and vile...(instead, i'd sometimes go to the Mitsukoshi Dept Store sushi bar right nearby, and while it was limited in selection and absurdly overpriced, but did hit the spot on many a night)...

        1. re: Simon

          IMO, Itsu is to Japanese food in the UK what Panda Express is to Chinese food in the US - very popular with the local crowd, but you don't really see customers belonging to the ethnic group whose cuisine they are purportedly representing.

          I only tried Itsu once, in Heathrow T4 back in 2009, whilst waiting for a flight to Edinburgh. Maybe I should have waited till I reached Edinburgh to satisfy my hunger pangs!

          I also tried Panda Express just once, in 2008, in Denver, Colorado. After 2 weeks of sandwiches & steaks (and Rocky Mountain oysters at Buckhorn Exchange), I wanted something "different" - hence the Panda Express meal. Believe me - Buckhorn Exchange's bulls' balls tasted better than the pork balls at Panda Express

          Don't think I'll be going back to either chain anytime soon!

          1. re: Simon

            @Simon: My fave spot in London for a Japanese meal is Toku at the Japan Centre (formerly located on the Piccadilly, but now moved round the corner to 14-16 Regent St).

      2. -- i agree w/ Charles...unless there is some overwhelming life-threatening need to consume sushi during those two weeks, far as Japanese cuisine goes, i wouldn't trust anyone in Beijing to roll up a cucumber roll, let alone slice good raw fish...

        -- and since Beijing has a wonderful selection of regional Chinese, i'd say revel in that...not just the northern food, but all the great options of Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, etc...that'll keep you busy and happy for two weeks or two months...

        -- imo, Nobu is a waste of time and money regardless of what city/franchise one is in...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Simon

          There is one place that really is pretty phenomenal: Bei in the Opposite House.

          The chef is not Japanese, but he sources extremely good produce and his food is easily the best in Beijing when it comes to Japanese. There's not only sushi though, as you will have the choice between so many other things.

          That's definitely a great place.

          For the rest, well, it's not that amazing.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Ok, here, I might as well help you to the bitter end. Check out this site and please keep us posted as to your Big Beijing Sushi Eating Adventure.


            Oh please don't eat fish that glows, even you may love it so, Beijing you might try Chinese, it will put you more at ease. And us too.