I have always had a very crazy schedule, and many of my friends know that organizing any kind of gathering with me is a total nightmare. I think some of them have just given up on me altogether. On the bright side, my schedule typically doesn't interfere with my precious sushi adventures, except in the case of Takumi Japanese Restaurant. It was almost as if they set their hours to prevent me from visiting. I first tried to visit them on a Monday and found out that they were not open on Mondays. Then, I tried to go for lunch on a Tuesday (it says on their website that they are open on Tuesdays for lunch), and instead of any sushi, all I got was a sign that said lunch is now only offered from Wednesday to Friday. Seriously?? However, despite all the steam swirling out of my ears, I decided to try one more time...
...on a Friday morning, and this time, the door finally gave way to my majestic presence. Inside the restaurant was a semi-fancy atmosphere coupled with some elegant jazz music in the background. One quick sift of the menu was all it took for me to notice that the sashimi and nigiri were very pricey. I'm sure we are all familiar with the love-hate relationship between me and my wallet, but this time, I decided to go easy by ordering combos rather than separate pieces of nigiri.
First up was the four-course Tempura & Chicken Teriyaki Don Lunch Set.
Chicken and Tempura Don - B+
The Chicken and Tempura Don came with tender, juicy chicken as well as two plump tempura prawns with a good snap. The batter had a distinct sweet flavour, but unfortunately, it lacked crispiness and was rather soggy. The rice would also benefit from a bit more sauce, though this issue was somewhat relieved by the savoury tempura sliced onions.
Eggplant Enjoying a Tranquil Bath - A-
They did not give me a name for this dish, so I decided to call it Eggplant Enjoying a Tranquil Bath. This dish consisted of two pieces of juicy, mostly soft eggplant bathing in a light soy and mirin mix akin to agedashi tofu sauce. It was served cool and garnished with grated daikon and green onion.
Mashed Potato Appetizer - B+
The Mashed Potato Appetizer was served chilled and generally had a soft, melty texture. Some of the vegetables mixed inside were a little chewier than expected.
Udon - B
The Udon was a soothing finish to the lunch set, though there was hardly anything special about it. The lightly fried bean curd ended up being rather chewy, and the noodles were a bit too soft for my liking. However, the broth had sufficient depth of flavour.
After the lunch set, I got the Assorted Sushi à la Carte (don't ask me why the sushi combos were labelled "à la carte"—I have no clue). At $25, this was more than twice the price of the lunch set. Those nigiri better have a beautifying effect on my face!
Tamago - A
Ebi Nigiri - A-
Sockeye Salmon Nigiri - A-
Albacore Tuna Nigiri - A+
The Assorted Sushi à la Carte got off to a solid start. The Tamago was sweet and cake-like with a soft, fluffy texture. The Ebi Nigiri had a nice snap and a pleasant sweet flavour, though it was a touch dry. Next, the Sockeye Salmon Nigiri was fresh and came in a thick cut, but still remained soft. The Albacore Tuna Nigiri melted perfectly in my mouth with a savoury, rich flavour, and I could totally feel my face becoming more and more beautiful as I ate it. Okay, fine, maybe not... The sushi rice here was very good, though it was not quite at the level of Miku and Octopus' Garden.
Hamachi Nigiri - A
Madai Nigiri - A
Ikura Nigiri - A
Tuna Roll - A-
Both the Hamachi Nigiri and the Madai Nigiri came with a delectable smooth texture and a delicate flavour. The Ikura Nigiri was juicy and rich and came with lots of fish oil. I also liked how it was bite-sized. The Tuna Roll came in large pieces and contained the same heavenly, melty tuna as the Albacore Tuna Nigiri, but the roll ended up being quite rice-heavy (this is evident from the photo).
The service was friendly and professional, as expected from a restaurant that claims to be in the "Fine Dining" category. I also very much enjoyed the food here, which was carefully prepared and consistently well-executed. However, there is also a slight premium for the semi-fancy atmosphere and the location. If you are not really looking for ambiance, you can also try Kaide Sushi Bar, which offers nigiri at a similar quality level for a lower price.