went to cafe sushi in cambridge for pork belly’s birthday din din. we opted for omakase at the sushi bar, the expression of ‘leave the selection to the chef’. chef Seizi Imura presented a series of plates in progression and rhythm as the meal unfolds.
drinks – i got poochi poochi sparkling sake and pork belly only got a ginger ale since he was kinda sick.
food – from the omakase, we received 13 pieces of sushi and 2 apps. the sushi was mostly white fish. although i left the selection to the chef, i was disappointed we did not receive one piece of tuna.
the $85 per person omakase was a rip off. their sushi mostly costs $3 -$5 a piece on the menu. 13 pieces would only cost $40-$60, not to mention we didnt even get a good variety of fish.
taste – although our food was exquisitely made and tasted generally good, i wasn’t a huge fan of chef Seizi Imura’s style. he topped/paired each fish with some other ingredients to give the overall sushi a ‘creative taste’; however, i found the extra ingredients to be very over-powering, repetitive (a lot of citrus such as ponzu, balsamic, lime, yuzu, lemon, bloody orange), and did not always complement the fish.
for example, i love hotaru ika (firefly squid) and hotaru ika already has a distinct savory flavor, so simply pairing it with a shiso leaf would be delicious, but Imura san paired with a salty/citrus sauce which i thought totally ruined the natural umami flavors of the squid. i dont mind extra flavoring at all, as long as it complements the fish, but this wasn’t the case at cafe sushi.
the ones i enjoyed the most were the last three pieces: maine uni, hokkaido uni, and salmon all of which was topped with the least amount of extra crap. the size of the nigiri was perfect, not too big or small.
i could see why people like Imura san’s style tho: for those that dont enjoy fish’s natural flavors, Imura’s ingredients paring/seasoning can def get rid of or hide some of the flavors.
overall meal/service/ambience – for a $250 meal, i received nearly no service, my sake was chilled in a really cheap old looking plastic bucket, i was drinking from a pretty ugly short champagne glass, and we left still pretty hungry. just saying…
the sushi wasn’t served at the best temperature as the guy in training was taking forever to put the toppings/garnish on the sushi.
will i return? – that’s definitely a yes. although i wasnt a huge fan of imura san’s creations. the restaurant still offers a great/unique selection of fish from all over the world. i would def skip the omakase and pick from what’s ‘in season’ which gives you more control of the menu. i would choose the simple traditional nigiri instead of imura san’s signature creations. try not to get the maki since you can get them at any restaurant.
birthday cake – strawberry cake from paris baguette at hmart cambridge. super delicious!
1105 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone number (617) 492-0434