Add: 630 Yongjia Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu / 永嘉路630号, 近乌鲁木齐路
Tel: 5466 0320
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 11:30am~2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm [Sat-Sun] 11:30am~2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Visited on: 2012-04
5 minutes before dinner, my friend called and said in an unsure voice, “I’m at the door, but this place doesn’t look like it serves sushi…” Indeed, the colonial villa in which Shari is situated in does not resemble a typical Japanese restaurant, but no one has ever decreed that sushi rolls can only be served in tatami-floorered rooms, right?
We started with an assorted appetizer plate (98 RMB), which included shari tofu (Japanese tofu mixed with mascarpone cheese), umani (Japanese traditional stewed clam), kamonegi (roasted duck and fried scallions with balsamic), tomato with avocado, onsen tamago (half-boiled egg with miso jelly), and nanbanzuke (fried white fish marinated in sweet vinegar sauce).
It’s a pretty-looking plate with dainty small bites, but not everything was memorable – I enjoyed the shari tofu and onsen tamago, but everything else is a blur. Each appetizer can be ordered on its own, so perhaps you can try to shari tofu (12 RMB) just by itself.
We proceeded to sample the rolls, starting with a Spicy Tuna Roll (85 RMB) - spicy tuna salad with lightly grilled tuna on top. This turned out to be one of my favorites of the evening.
Philadelphia Roll (83 RMB) wasn’t too shabby either – salmon, crab salad, cream cheese, and salmon roe on top.
Snake Roll (128 RMB) - cream cheese, avocado, leek, and grilled eel.
Least impressive was the Spider Roll (85 RMB) - fried soft shell crab, avocado, lettuce, and flying fish roe. I’m usually a fan of spider rolls (fried soft shell crabs are difficult to resist) but Shari’s rendition was quite bland even with the accompanying sauces.
We had a side order of Karaage (58 RMB), deep-fried chicken with scallion soy sauce. Not bad, not too special.
After so much cold food, I really needed something to warm up the stomach, and Una Chazuke (48 RMB) seemed like the right choice. I’ve always loved ochazuke, which is rice served with hot tea broth, and Shari’s grilled eel and shiso ochazuke was a perfectly comforting chaser to the sushi rolls.
For desserts, we first tried the Sesame Grilled Tofu Brulee (32 RMB), sesame tofu topped with a layer of crispy caramel. The flavor was quite lovely, though I didn’t particularly enjoy the sandy texture.
More agreeable for my palate was the silky smooth Green Tea Pudding (38 RMB) served with brown sugar syrup.
Our dinner at Shari was not spectacular, but satisfying for the most part. There’s also a lovely, spacious outdoor patio that would be great for events (there was a birthday dinner on the evening of our visit, for example). But here’s the most important part of this blog post: if you go download the “ShanghaiWOW” app (Chinese only) from iTunes, you can get 50% off all sushi rolls! The deal is valid until August 15th, and you just need to show the “coupon” on your phone when you get the check. A regular dinner at Shari would be about 200 RMB/person, and ours turned out to be 150 RMB/person – the difference was not huge because we ordered quite a few other items as well, but your dinner can potentially be quite a lot cheaper if you just stick with the rolls…