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TSU: Smoky, Noisy, Dark... But Good Food
I never imagined such a beautiful garden in the heart of Achrafieh with a view of busy Akkawi Street under the beautiful skyline of modern Beirut. That's Tsu, Beirut's latest Asian place, with a twist of freshness, finesse and color.
TSU took over Yasmina's restaurant in Achrafieh. A beautiful terrace covered with polished concrete is filled with designer wooden tables facing a long bar decorated with a huge metallic structure that opens up during winter to protect guests from the elements. The first impressions make you want to discover more. Inside is even better.
Calm, classy... A long white table passes under a concrete arcade facing a rolling bar. The main structure is a wall painted with a hundred colors like a huge painting.
Indirect lights, a soothing lounge music, a big tree filling up the terrace... Something I enjoyed is the light on each table inviting you to see your food and take pictures of it.
Before moving on to the food part, allow me to tell you that the first impression made me smile; a piece of art, some fine architecture, professional waiters, beautiful looking plates in a place oozing style.
Lounge, restaurant, bar, a relaxing space... It's well done.
- Cold Starters (From the farm straight to the kitchrn)
- Hot Starters
- Tempura and Dimsum
- Robata grill (Robata grill, a new live cooking concept)
- Wok (Hot, Fresh, Delivcious, Mains)
- Tsu Specialities
- Ura Maki
- Hoso Maki
Something to talk about:
The branding is awesome! The menu’s photos are breathtaking!
Let the experience begin:
- We started by a simple plate of edamame which was great. Amazingly cooked edamame with a light crunch topped with sea salt. Their flavor is awesome.
- Afterwards a selection of salads landed in style. A balanced crab salad with a light mayo sauce and tobiko topping presented in a frizé salad. An excellent crab mix, cut in small pieces, each lying one next to the other and no sticky excess of mayonnaise. I loved it.
- Yum! The chicken salad is exceptional. Light mayo, crunchy cabbage, tender chicken and sesame seeds. The flavors of Asia are felt in every bite.
- Warm, explosive shrimps on a bed of spinach leaves. What an innovation! The quality of the ingredients used, beautifully married together, makes that plate exceptional. I've rarely enjoyed food that good, perfectly created with style and passion.
- A bite of their special white ginger before moving forward to the rest.
- The white ceviche on ice is awesome! Tiny bits of moist white fish marinated to perfection in a colorful clay pot with avocado that melts like butter. Every bite has an after note of simplicity while putting forward a certain finesse full of exploding Asian flavors.
- Tuna taco like you've never eaten before. Generously filled diced tuna with tomato bits in a crispy crunchy, thin taco with the real flavor of fish and a lemony punch. Exceptional!
- Even the spring rolls are different and tasty.
- Shrimp tempura, maybe my favorite of all, those small, fried shrimp bits, juicy and tender mixed with fresh mushrooms in a spicy sauce. The different textures combined, crushing one after the other, erupting into flavors and making you invite everyone around the table to taste it.
- Order the makis, order them all, those little rolled makis stuffed with a well cooked rice that's not sweet or sticky decorated, with a portion of fish and not soaked in sweet sauces. Tender, juicy makis, good looking and really tasty, not complicated and super enjoyable. Until now, everything was great.
- Wait until you try their sashimi. Raw fish on ice, firm in feel, cold, thickly cut, tender on the inside and offering a texture showcasing their premium quality.
It was not over yet. Chicken in cashew nuts served in a metal pot. Tender chicken chunks with lots of colorful bell pepper squares as well as grilled cashews. Another plate was the shrimp in tai sauce. Extremely tender and buttered shrimps with tai sauce and rice.
Tonight was a pre-opening dinner, a gathering supposed to be a tasting before the official start and believe me, I left amazed. Mitsuya and TSU have taken Asian food to the next level.
The little details I liked:
- The soy sauce is served in beautiful glass bottles.
- The plates are colorful yet simple and nice.
- The lighting is nice and different.
- The sashimi selection is not to be missed.
- The waiter's clothes are stylish.
Love is an understatement. I'm coming back!