January 27, 2014 Gemmayze & Mar Mikhael Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Tamashii's New Menu and Wider Choices: Rice...

3.7 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:74/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 8/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 23/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: Soon

I recently heard that Tamashii has introduced a new menu...Tamashii, nestled in the middle between Mar Mikhael and Gemmayze is a small place that offers fine Japanese creations in a cozy well designed atmosphere. Part of my Top10 list 2013,  of course heading down there again was a must.

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You’re welcomed into a nice architectural set up as you walk into this small restaurant, Tamashii, serving contemporary Japanese cuisine. I loved the wood paneled walls, the red tiles line following the shape of the square place, the light red ambiance as well as the television installed between the bar bottles, and more importantly the high ceiling which compensates for  tightness of this nice eatery.
 
Enter the place to discover a long bar to the right that can seat up to seven guests facing a TV screen and a rolling bar. On the other hand are three tables seating ten persons in a wooden setup. A high ceiling is relaxing and soothing while the industrial wood covering the walls reminds you of Japanese houses. Red, black and light wooden colors take over the space embraced with a soft lounge music that will make you smile.
 
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The menu is displayed in a book style with red Plexiglas covers. Open, browse, enjoy the pictures and tick your choices on the A4 paper. Things will go quicker and easier.
 
The menu:
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Appetizers
  • Tempura
  • Sashimi
  • Nigiri
  • 4 Cuts
  • Sushi balls
  • Gunkan
  • Uramaki Special
  • Uramaki
  • Temaki Handroll
  • Naked Uramaki
  • Hoso Maki
  • Teriyaki on stick
  • Noodles
  • Seven seas platters
  • Seven seas boats
  • Drinks
Lunch started with a plate of juicy and fresh edamame perfectly seasoned with sea salt.  With it we ordered a crispy salmon salad served in a bowl with a decorative piece of lettuce. Unfortunately the crispy is not as crunchy as it should have been but the salmon quality is perfect. Accompanied by some San Pellegrino we ordered and continued to the rest of the meal.
 
We Ordered:
  • Crispy salmon salad 22,000L.L: Salmon, Crispy, Spicy cream. Unfortunately the "Crisps" are not crispy
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  • Tamashii special 13,500L.L: Crab meat, chicken, cheddar cheese, nori. Since they don't contain rice, those creations are unique, creative and tasty. Served warm, discover a fried chicken envelop, crunchy from the outside with a white sauce on top. The combination of chicken, crab and cheddar cheese is great. Many textures combined into a soft, tender, warm, juicy and tasty piece with no rice
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  • Fried Soft shell crab 27,500L.L: Those are crab shells, served warm, crunchy on the outside, juicy and moist on the inside. I personally didn't feel anything related to crab. All what is felt is the strong crunchiness. Not one of my favorite pieces specially for its elevated price
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  • Wasabi Shrimp balls 16,000L.L: Shrimp, Tempura, Fresh mushrooms, wasabe sauce. Yum! The wasabi sauce covering it is great. Chunks covered with sesame with a soft and tender feel.
  • Fried Agimono 25,500L.L: Crab, eel, cucumber, iceberg, mango, eel crab and topped with a sweet mango sauce. I enjoyed its warmth, moisture and spicy aftertaste. An interesting order that was ruined by the feeling of heaviness and specially the soggy rice. Roll after the other, the rice problem is becoming clearer
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  • Diablo Roll 23,000L.L: Salmon, avocado, crazy, red pepper wrap, diablo sauce. Different from anything you've eaten around town, these rolls are wrapped in boiled red pepper giving them a beautiful color. Inside is a yummy and special creation where each ingredient ads a plus specially the wasabi and diablo sauce.  A must try
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  • Cavite Sling 25,500L.L: Tempura shrimp, Philadelphia cheese, mango and crazy wrap, mango sauce; Very nice and tasty, especially the sweet aftertaste. Again, the rice is too sticky and too prominent. Trying to enjoy the sweetness and richness, the quantity of sticky watery rice spoils the moment.
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  • Chili shake supreme 19,500L.L: Salmon, scallion, coriander. I'll simply say BRAVO. Creative and tasty
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  • Spider Tamashii 33,500L.L: Soft shell crab, crispy, crab sticks, scallion, tobiko. Served warm, each piece is full of taste and flavors. I already mentioned it in my last review and I'm reconfirming it again: The rolls should be smaller. This big plate is lunch on its own. The fried crab topping is chewy and not crispy. It felt like it was microwave heated
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  • Suzukury Hamachi 22,750L.L: Yellow tail, yuzu and truffle oil. That' a 10/10. Imagine slices of yellow tail, floating in a juicy sauce of yuzu and truffle oil. A fine dining creation like no other
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  • Spicy Red Dynamite 14,500L.L: Crab, volcano, shrimp, tuna wrap. Light and tasty, those pieces without rice are perfect for dinner
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  • Crazy Soy Wrap 13,000L.L: Crab, soya sheet, crispy. Yellow from the outside and wrapped with a soya sheet, five crab sticks rolled around shredded crab are tasty and beautiful to look at
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  • Ikura 16,500L.L: Salmon, roe: impel and good
Before moving on, I remembered a discussion I had with  my wife a few weeks ago. Since Tamashii opened at Storium Saliba, the supermarket near our place, my wife and her friends ordered many times for their gatherings. She used to tell me every time that Tamashii's rice was soggy, watery and neutralizes all the other premium seafood ingredients... And she was right. It seems the issue is not only in Kornet Chehwan but in their Gemmayze outlet as well.
 
Moving to try some simple non sophisticated wraps, we all looked at each other saying: "They have a rice issue in here." It's sad to taste something that good, with ingredients that refined, ruined by badly cooked rice.
 
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The things I loved:
  • The menu has been changed and the pictures improved from last year's review
  • Tamashii's "4Cuts" are a great idea of pieces without rice. I loved them
  • Each order has unique flavors and offerings mastered to perfection by professionals activating all your taste buds in style
  • Fresh, colorful and generous, the plates are mouthwatering
  • Owner and manager are always present to make your visit memorable
The minuses:
  • Crispy is not crispy in any of the wraps
  • The pieces are too heavy, too big and too fulfilling. Bigger is not necessarily better: Smaller and cheaper is much more appreciated
  • Tamashii's rice is too soggy and watery sliding under your teeth and filling your stomach at a glance. It's so watery that it covers the real taste of the other ingredients
  • Almost all the pieces are over filled with rice
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A $70/person lunch ended with a selection of sweet bites and their signature perfumed hot napkins. I still recommend Tamashii and invite you to visit it despite their urgent need to fix the rice situation, quantity of ingredients and portion sizes. Flavors here are not average and will be enjoyed.

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