Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Sushi Naramoto 壽司奈良本

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Sushi Naramoto 壽司奈良本

Add: 1/F, 557 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu / 永嘉路557号1楼, 近岳阳路
Tel: 6230 0226
Hours: 5:30pm~late
Price: 1000 RMB/set
Visited: Jul 2012

I remember hearing about Sushi Naramoto when it opened last year and thinking: “Woa, really? More expensive than Sushi Oyama?” An omakase dinner set priced at a whopping 1000 RMB…curious, very curious. Let’s see what it involves.

Naramoto’s original sushi bar in Jing’An is currently being renovated, so we went to his second newly-opened location on Yongjia Lu, diagonally across from Surpass Court. The new Naramoto occupies the first floor of an old villa overlooking a tranquil garden, and I expected the setting to be very serene, but somehow the ambience was rather uneasy when I walked in. It was around 6:15pm so it was before the dinner rush, yet I was barely acknowledged when I entered. Not a good first impression.

Here are the sushi chefs at work. Kenji Naramoto-san is the one in the center.

Appetizers: marinated mackerel and chopped tuna.

Another detail I didn’t quite like about Naramoto is that we were not given a menu of our dinner set and no one explained to us what was being served. Even after telling the waitress and sushi chef that I would like to learn about what I’m eating, I had to ask again after almost each plate was placed before me…a contrast from other omakase places I’ve been to in Shanghai. Quality-wise, the food was indeed very good, starting with this assorted sashimi.

The toro cut they chose is in-between chutoro and otoro so it’s not super fatty.


Chawanmushi, made with imported organic eggs from Japan which have larger egg yolks, giving the steamed egg a yellower hue and a richer flavor.

Kinmedai and oysters shabu shabu. The tastes were not impressive, and I was rather put off by the drippy, sloppy presentation.

Kobe beef sashimi.

Then, a series of nigiri sushi starting with a perfect chuturo (tuna belly).

Ika (squid), creamy, chewy, sweet.

Akagai (red clam), crunchy!

Kisu (Silver Sillago), this one I didn’t enjoy as it was difficult to chew.

Ebi (shrimp), very considerately cut in half for the ladies.

Mountain yam with shiso.

Anago (sea eel), fluffy goodness. The chef put it right on my hand and instructed me to eat immediately while it’s warm.

Tamago yaki (Japanese sweet omelet).

Miso soup, cooked with shrimp heads, lovely aroma.

Green tea ice-cream to finish.

The meal at Sushi Naramoto was certainly very good, but it’s just not worth the 1000 RMB price tag in my opinion. Regarding service style, perhaps Naramoto caters to a different clientele – I noticed that most patrons that evening were local Chinese, and even the music (which eventually came on) was in Chinese – maybe they don’t care as much about the details of what’s being served, so no explanations are offered? I’m not so sure.


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Written by sugarednspiced

August 1st, 2012 at 9:24 am