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Shogun is a restaurant occupying the last floor of Annahar building, a beautiful restaurant with fine dining touches, taking Japanese cuisine to the next level and lately adding Chinese food to the menu. This was my third visit, I really enjoy this place.
Shogun is a large restaurant with a rolling bar in the middle and a drinks bar on the side. The restaurant is divided into smoking and non-smoking areas, drinks and food are both enjoyed in the same space. The two sections are separated by a wooden wall and high benches.
A lovely decor transports you out of your daily chaotic life. A low ceiling decorated with individual lights, a wooden floor and a cozy ambiance of light orange. Lounge music plays in the background. Three of the restaurant's tables are round and decorated with a red lamp in the middle. Relaxing chairs, placemats and a full set of fine cutlery. A black plate, a table napkin, chopsticks and a bowl of soy sauce. Dinner starts with water using Sohat's glass bottles. Enjoying a view of Beirut's Central District, we were approached by the waitress.
Japanese and Philippine waitresses, with smiles on their faces make sure your experience is memorable. With their Japanese outfits they walk around the table in style helped by some Lebanese waiters wearing black shirts and pants.
The menu is beautiful and printed on black paper with some photos covered with a UV spot. Soups, starters, tempura, kome, salads, crunchy salads, sashimi, sashimi medley, nigiri sushi, donburi sushi, makimono, temaki rolls, boats on sail, teppanyaki, robatayaki, set courses from the grill, desserts and a new Chinese menu is coming soon.
Tonight we had the chance to try some of the Chinese starters while the real menu was being printed.
- The tuna crispy salad, a light crunch, a tender fish, a light lemon note at the end. Thankfully, the salad is not served on shredded cabbage to create volume. It's very good.
- Crab, shredded cucumbers and carrots, fresh mayonnaise, sparkling tobiko, a crispy crunch. A lovely salad and again without any cabbage.
- Scallops with black truffles and basil. Oh my God! That's something not to be missed. Such finesse, such taste, those mini triangles of lemon. A unique offering. The freshness of the fish, the boost of aromas and the intensity of the black truffles.
- Edamame and spicy edamame: As good as you would expect. Spicy is spicy!
- Order the duck salad, this special salad is served on lettuce. Grab the lettuce and enjoy its filling. Tender duck, with hoisin sauce.
- Salmon on ice, wasabi and avocado with lots of lemon. Indescribable! Incredible!
- Seared tuna and lime on ice. I couldn't stop moaning.
- Look for the salmon tartar served in an ice bowl that looks like a tear drop. Diced salmon with diced avocados. Recommended!
- The tempura is like none I've ever had before. No smell of oil, no dark colors, simply a bright batter and a tender heart. Crunchy and fresh at the same time, those shrimp are to die for.
- Excellent Maki rolls, top quality fish and sashimi. The rolls are adequate in every respect; size, taste, the consistency of the rice and flavor.
- Now for the Chinese items: Fried shrimp balls and vegetable noodles. Amazing Japanese food, so let's stick to that for now. Why change the place's identity?
Dessert followed: Coconut sorbet and lemon sorbet from Menorquina. They are commercial, creamy and sweet but I like the idea of this ice cream served inside their fruity skin.
Don't miss the Mochi ice cream, they have the best in town.
The only thing I'd change:
- With such finesse, beautiful plates, upscaled offerings, the green, ugly plastic leaves they use as separators are a big no. Banana leaves, or simply nothing, is the way to go, rather than those commercial things.
I love Shogun.