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After experiencing each of Tsunami's three locations we came back on a busy Saturday to try it when it was full. I usually like the Tsunami down in Antelias and was looking forward to a good meal.
Inside this small space are light wooden tables, decorative blue photos hang on the wall, a bar and three chefs roll the orders one at a time. A soft music plays in the background while people chitchat as they enjoy the ambiance.
Tsunami's menu is really big: 20 pages of everything Japanese. Soup, side orders, salads, hot food, sashimi, sushi, hoso maki, futo maki, gunkan, ura maki, Temaki and the set menus.
We ordered a wide selection to fully sample all their offerings. I was sure everything would be good, and I hoped that this Japanese eatery, that I used to call a coup de coeur, would live up to its reputation. Shrimp tempura, pacific storm salad, ocean dream, special Temaki, tasty shrimp, beef futo, special eel, Foie gras and many others.
The waiters, all from the Philippines, don't know much about the art of service. Only one smiles, they throw things on the table, and hardly understand complicated requests... We waited 45 minutes to be served.
Dinner finally arrived:
- The Pacific Storm salad is as good as I remember from the last time. A bed of crab, thinly sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots and the best thing of all is the sweet sauce. That's a salad pregnant women usually order.
- The crispy salmon salad, generous and fresh, is good. Cubes of premium salmon with lots of fresh crispy crisps in their sauce together on a bed of shredded crab. I love the idea of not putting the fish on a bed of lettuce, so the bowl is full fish.
- The shrimp tempura is crispy and good, but the sauce is tasteless. The tempura doesn’t taste of oil, they're not soggy but simply as good as you'd expect them to be.
- The Temaki is fully loaded, a fresh nori leaf wrapped around salmon.
- Now for the rolls. They were way better the last time I tried them. I think you know by now that I don't use soy sauce and prefer feeling the real ingredients and flavors of the rolls. Tonight's rolls were eaten without a tricky sauce and were way too chewy, the nori leaves are too tender, the rice too watery and chewy. The smoked salmon had a bizarre taste as well. Drop the roll in the bath of soy sauce like many do and everything turns out into a salty bite without any individual flavor.
- Tonight, the rolls felt too commercial for Tsunami which I always considered an upscale Japanese restaurant better than the fast food sushi that's out there. Bizarre that it's dropped so far in quality.
One hour passed, we were almost done and that's when the Foie gras landed on the table. It seems it was forgotten. A wrap of thinly sliced mangos around rice and a heart of Foie gras. Very hard greenish mangos but a roll offering a very good taste and an interesting sweetness.
- The restaurant is smoke free.
- The ashtrays shouldn't offer cigarette support. Smoking is not allowed anyway.
- The rolls were better. It seems that the quality changes between days. A busy Saturday night is a serious challenge.
- For the love of God, why are those super ugly cheap green plastic leaves used? If it's for decorative purposes, they're disgusting and cheap. Please, this trend has to stop in this country of ours.
- Service can, and should, be better.
Too crowded, noisy and not as tasty as it should be. Visiting on a Saturday night was not a good idea. Inconsistency!