From Shogun with Love

The Shogun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The cold was setting seriously in… The wind was blowing… the smell of the sea floating in the air… Definitely not a time for bees to be flying… But there she was Striding in her Shoes… mine de rien… towards the building where our GPS led us… towards the Den of the Shogun… A Japanese Restaurant in the heart of Beirut…

The place is really classy… Located on the top floor of the Al Nahar building, with a great view on Martyr’s square, you could almost feel the heart of Beirut beating…

Our host was there, our good friend Sergio with his usual warm greetings… He guided us to our table and made sure everyone was seated comfortably, The Bee sat with us just next to Chicho and HaruSan, I was just next to my Cozy…

A bit Darker than I had anticipated, The Shogun was more of a modern restaurant in design with not much pointing towards the Feudal Japan when the Shogun (Commander in chief) ruled with an iron hand over parcels of the land of the rising sun… A perfect destination for love birds, especially for the really close Valentine…

The table setting was impeccable and the waitresses who were dressed as Geishas (traditional Japanese female entertainers) were very efficient and professional… so efficient that we had 3 of them come to our table separately and enquire about our drink order…

The ambiance was warm inside, in contrast with the cold just outside the window on that 8th floor… Romantic setup… romantic view… romantic dinner…

Romantic presentation… beautiful… you could see the amount of love poured in every ingredient used, at least in those salads…

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The Spicy Crunchy Salmon can tell you a long story about the fish exodus right to the Churui-river near the Shibetsu town in Hokkaido district where the fishing takes place… It’s so fresh you could feel the palpitations of the salmon…

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The Tuna & Salmon Ice Boats (Tuna Tataki) & (Kisame Salmon) served with lemon on a large bamboo leaf were treat to the eyes… the fishing tradition of Nihon (Japan) was all right there in front of us on the table…

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A treat to the palet as well, the flavors blended very well, It was obvious though that the lemon was poured over the fish a bit early as you could see the borders of each slice starting to cook under the influence of the agrumes (citrus) acidity – an Utter delight…

Came the hot appetizers… The Sesame toasts, The spring rolls and the shrimp balls: Beautifully prepared, well presented, with however, unfortunately, one thing in common… the frying oil… it’s taste was present, not overwhelming, but present enough to taint the potentially great experience in taste we were going to have… It’s a shame since you could detect the art of flavors underneath it…

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The Spring rolls were the most affected by the oil issue, however, when you start dipping it in Soya… you quickly forget that mishap and join back the pleasures of Japan’s nights…

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The Sesame Toasts were croustillant and thankfully didn’t absorb much of the frying liquid which made it easier to appreciate and praised the way it was supposed to be… a good developed flavor was there…

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The Shrimps balls dominated in flavor, the oily taste was just a long gone background noise that the chili sauce finally sent to Bōkyaku (Oblivion)

The richness and the generosity of the dishes was commendable, everything was thoroughly clean, you couldn’t spot a mistake on the table or around you…

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The Maki Rolls landed on a the table in a neat round display, very rich in color… rich in taste as well… and here I have to be honest, It’s not the best I have ever had in Lebanon, but it’s certainly the ones I enjoyed the most… You see, a restaurant aura is very important to appreciate a meal, the décor, the air scents, and the setup, that je ne sais quoi that made the venue a very romantic one… and made me really appreciate what was served without nonetheless leaving my objectivity…

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The plat de resistance were the Japanese Yaki Tori (Chargrilled meat) Beef, Chicken and Shrimps skewers, tender, juicy and loaded with aromas… perfect marination, perfect consistency… Though for the record, I would not have presented the shrimps with the beef and chicken, it’s always better to present fish & sea food separated from bovine and poultry… It didn’t take anything from its delicieuse saveure…

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However, what made the real surprise was the diversity and the richness of the desserts that were served, Hats off… We really all did feel we were on a love date…

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The Bee and Chicho were taking pictures together… might be something going on there… time will tell… We all though, were taken by those Lemon Sorbet and the Orange Sorbet… Si si… mais si je vous dis…  I always loved frozen oranges and lemons… but those were way off the charts… I had already decided I would come back again to Shogun, but after tasting those sorbet… the question switched from certainty to  certainty of frequency…

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The name is somewhat intimidating when you know it’s meaning… but the content is an utter romantic gourmet destination…

Ryōshi Gaston

View my food journey on Zomato!

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