Kami Sushi is the famous Japanese restaurant located at the entrance to Jbeil. An individual house with stone walls and long glass facades gives a nice view of the old city entrance. A closed terrace and a bar with three tables facing it welcome you to a Japanese experience. I was asked many times to come here and here I am.
White tables covered with paper placemats, bamboo chopsticks, white soy bowls, Kikkoman soy sauce and a leather holder for napkins. Wooden chairs with black leather seats in a space surrounding an old column from this majestic city.
Behind the bar four chefs roll beautiful maki pieces helped by three waiters in the front house.
I liked the feel of the place that's classy without being high-end, neat and clean with a sense of relaxation. A young staff, a clear menu and warm dimmed lights that were enough for me to take photos.
Dinner is served:
- A plate of crab, fresh crab, four portions of it each on a slice of iceberg lettuce. A crunchy lettuce topped with a mountain of crab mixed with diced carrots adding a touch of color. Juicy and lightly lemony, this is something I recommend.
- Crispy salmon, different from many I've had before. It has more flavor, more juiciness, more taste, a mix of crab and salmon made in a salad and not chunks of salmon only mixed with crisps. Salmon, crab, tobico, crispy, capers and the spring onions, which we asked the staff to remove, and recommend you do to; they mask lots of flavors. This salad has a light spiciness that appears in after notes.
- Tricolored usizukuri is a rectangular plate of thinly sliced salmon, tuna and white fish in a punzo, an extremely spicy sauce. That's premium quality fish, but a plate that's extremely spicy. Be aware.
- The temake salmon skin is neat; just neat, not chewy and not sweet, shredded salmon skin mixed teriyaki and sesame seeds. A lightly chewy nori leaf with a load of salmon skin inside. You might want to add a bit of soy which I don't recommend - did I tell you that I eat all my sushi without soy sauce?
- Makiwi: A maki, a kiwi slice and tempura in top with a lime leaf to decorate it.
- Now for the Makis: Beautifully rolled, a good size and served next to white ginger and some lettuce. The restaurant doesn't use those ugly plastic leaves many other restaurants use. Balanced rice, fresh fish and clean flavors, the rolls are exactly as one expects them to be in a casual Japanese restaurant. The rice is not sweet, the rolls are not chewy; I liked them.
The things I liked:
- The salmon salad is served without the ugly big lettuce under it to fill up the bowl.
- The presentation is neat.
- The staff is gentle and welcoming.
In Jbeil, Kami Sishi is definitely where I'll have a Japanese meal next time.