We visited Samurai on Elliston Place last night, after hearing many positive reviews of the place as “the best sushi in Nashville.” Granted we always take that kind of recommendation with a grain of salt for various reasons, but we were still expecting something pretty stellar. We had a pretty good experience, despite some pretty huge disappointments.
Standard salad, miso, 6 orders of sashimi a la carte, 1 order nigiri, a couple of rolls, a couple of beers
+ dressing on the salad was quite good, but standard
+ sashimi was good portions, and pretty damn delicious
- we found out when the check came that they added $1 to each sashimi order (the pricing on the list is for nigiri. The server told us that the sashimi order was 3-5 pieces per order instead of 2, but did not tell us it was a dollar extra)
+ the sweet shrimp comes with the shrimp head deep fried in batter and drizzled with unagi sauce. yum.
- the sushi rice was not properly seasoned, and didn’t taste like anything
- the soy sauce was not sushi soy sauce. it didn’t taste right with any of the sushi
+ the presentation was gorgeous
- the mackerel was too warm, and too wet by the time it got to the table
- the wasabi was clearly the powdered kind (which we are used to and is usually ok), but this version didn’t seem to taste like anything
- the pickled ginger was virtually flavorless
I guess if you add up the minuses and the pluses there are a lot more minuses, and they’re sort of deal breakers. We decided that we’ll stick with Sonobana on White Bridge, but we’d give Samurai one more try if the opportunity arose. The fish was good, and relatively affordable – we only spent $71 before tax on all that fish. But if the next visit is the same, I don’t think we’d go back.