[Shanghai Girl Eats] Sushi Naoki 鮨直輝
Sushi Naoki 鮨直輝 | Dianping
Address: 1/F, 1838 Gubei Lu / 古北路1838号一层
Date visited: 2015.08 for dinner
Price: Omakase set starts at RMB1,000 per person
Will return: Yes
Update 2016.08: Sushi Naoki is now RMB1,500 per person
Sushi is one of my favorite things to eat anywhere in the world. But there is a caveat — it’s either good sushi or no sushi at all. Unluckily for me, sushi in Shanghai is probably one of the priciest indulgences because to get truly good ingredients, one must go to an omakase spot that flies in fish from Japan. There aren’t any California rolls or imitation crab to be found here.
People often ask me what my favorite sushi place in Shanghai is. I don’t have an answer for that anymore. Unlike a few years ago, there are now a few really good premium omakase spots in Shanghai with their obscure Chinese names that probably make more sense in Japanese (Sushi Oyama 鮨 大山, Aoki 橼舍鮨青木, Maison Asano 浅野府, and now this place). They are all around RMB1,000+ per person and get their fish flown in from Japan. You will break the bank at every place. So what is different? The chefs.
Sushi Naoki is run by Chef Kevin Lin, who is Taiwanese and has spent 20 years in and out of Japan. You may recognize him from Maison Asano. Kevin can speak Mandarin and Japanese and his conversations with me usually involve taking stabs at me for eating so much. In terms of style, Kevin has an affinity for torching things so if you like your sushi set on fire, this is the place.
A series of small dishes to start
Seafood soup with eel served in a teapot
Otoro (supreme fatty tuna)
Kevin torching beef rolls for other guests. It is common in omakase meals that food varies between guests even during the same night so please note that your experience may be different.
Akagai (red clam) – the kind you slam on the counter and moves
Chutoro (medium fatty tuna)
Kevin doing his torching thing.
Kinmedai (golden eyed snapper) – torched and sprinkled with pepper
Ebi (shrimp) – still alive up until its head got ripped off in front of me
And its head fried.
Baked uni (sea urchin) – actually not my favorite way to eat uni, would have rather had it raw.
Aji (jack mackerel)
The most delicious of all: 4-in-1 bowl with crab, uni (sea urchin), ikura (roe), and toro (tuna). Eat this and prepare to ascend into sushi heaven.
Hokkaido aka uni (red sea urchin) on hand during this visit.
Kevin lighting things on fire. Again.
Torched beef with garlic chips
Tamago (egg) to mark the end of the meal.
Kevin: Are you full?
Me: Yes, no more.
Kevin: Okay, here is another piece.
Don’t know, don’t care. It was good.
And now the meal is really finished.