Takami Sushi is Edmonton’s newest Japanese restaurant, offering fresh sushi and sashimi and a variety of rolls for those south of the river.The Japanese eatery is located on 61st Avenue and just off of Calgary Trail (104 Street). It’s a new development, anchored with a fitness centre and offices but the corner unit is pretty visible from the street. The decor is well thought out with open ceilings and polished concrete floors for an industrial feel. Black and orange accent colours keep things modern. I thought the seating arrangement for one half of the restaurant was a bit odd, very spaced out with round tables. At least your table has room to breathe. The back of the restaurant has a long stretch of tables and booths and great for big groups. It’s a birthday space if there ever was one.
Owner Michael Duong wanted to bring Edmonton fresh seafood and strives to bring in fish and ingredients from Japan every Thursday. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed: Renkodai sea bream, blue fin tuna, yellowtail and uni just examples of what’s been flown in fresh. It helps that their kitchen also knows how to really showcase the menu, the dishes are beautifully plated and are conversation-stoppers when they come to the table.
My first visit was for dinner on Family Day, a week after they had their soft opening. It was a full house, busy, and the mood ambient.Joe and I ordered the Beef Tataki to start our meal. Thickly sliced beef, seared and dressed in a ponzu sauce. Every Japanese restaurant has their own unique take on beef tataki. For the most part, I prefer the ones that are thinly sliced and very lightly seared. It lets the ponzu sauce really marinate through quickly and showcase the beef. Takami’s version is tasty but basic.
We also ordered a variety of nigiri to try, our standard order of sake (salmon), tuna (meguro), yellowfin (hamachi), surf clam (hokkigai), octopus (tako), and tamago (egg). The fish itself was quite fresh and a notch above other sushi restaurants in Edmonton. I’d say it’s a close second or third to Sushi Wasabi and Japonais Bistro. The rice was well done, not overly vinegary, a good temperature, and perfect in proportion to the fish. The most noteworthy part of our dinner: the Fire Sake Roll. I don’t have high expectations any time I order a sushi roll, it’s more of an item I order to have a variety of bites to eat. This one had shrimp tempura and cucumber, topped with torched salmon and drizzled in hot sauce, unagi sauce, and mayonnaise. Tempura flakes and green onions were used as garnish. Takami Sushi also uses deep fried yam strings to top some of their rolls which I thought was unique and quite tasty. It’s a deviation (or in this case, an addition) to the tempura bits that most sushi shops use and one that I’m thankful for. It added a great crunch and a touch of sweetness. The lunch menu differs from the dinner menu. There’s no bento boxes or lunch sets here as Takami Sushi is quite focused on nigiri and sashimi. Having said that, they offer two bowls of ramen. I’m always curious when my favourite bowl of noodles makes an appearance on a menu so I had to order the Takami Ramen. The bowl is a sizeable portion but at $15 a bowl, on the higher end. The noodles were well cooked with a large portion of pork covering them. The broth is interesting: a pork bone (or tonkotsu) broth with miso. It reads more like a miso dashi (the one you’d typically see when you order a small miso soup) with hints of sweetness from the pork. It’s nowhere near as thick, creamy, or rich as traditional tonkotsu broths but does surprisingly have good flavour. I’m so confused about this ramen bowl — it doesn’t feel like ramen or a Japanese dish, but I had no problems finishing it. Try it out and let me know what you think. I’m eager to return to try it again! Joe ordered the Sake Don, a sizeable portion of rice with thickly sliced salmon sashimi on top. The rice was slightly cold and Joe wished it was left to room temperature before serving.
We also ordered the Gyoza to start. They weren’t as crispy as I would have expected, the filling high in moisture content and thereby making the wrapper a touch soggy. Flavours were on point though, a good burst of ginger in the pork dumplings. I’m looking forward to seeing what other fish they’ll be bringing in and hopeful that they will update their social media every week. They’re in close proximity to our go-to, Sushi Wasabi, but overall, Takami Sushi is a great option for those who enjoy fresh sushi or sashimi. If you’re a fan of rolls, give them a go for dinner but keep in mind their roll selection is limited. Congratulations on your opening Takami! Takami Sushi
10430 61 Avenue
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