When your general manager not only graduated from Hokkaido University Marine Fishery but also worked for six years selling fish at the world renowned Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, you’re pretty much assured of decent quality behind the counter, under the knife and on the plate. And so it is at Beijing’s tiny sushi bar Yotsuba, where GM Harada Chang sources fish direct from Tsukiji, and which, since its opening back in 2004 has garnered something of a cult following amongst the city’s afishionados – so much so, indeed, that reservations days in advance are required.
And despite plaudits aplenty, don’t expect opulent decor or fancy presentation, on the contrary, part of the magic and success of Yotsuba is its elegant simplicity (a basic 10-seat counter and four suitably restrained private dining rooms of varying sizes accommodating from 2 pax to 20), where the focus is very firmly on seafood and knife skills. The usual delicious suspects make up the hand-rolled sushi and sashimi menu from sweet soy-glazed unagi (eel) to coral-coloured uni (sea urchin), octopus, abalone, monkfish liver and ikura (salmon roe), but don’t miss the good value tuna kaiseki, and hot dishes like crab miso soup, grilled squid and roast yellow lionhead. From Tsukiji with love – talk about market fresh!