S8-30, 3/F, Sanlitun Village South, 19 Sanlitun Road,
Other outlet: 2\F, Heqiao Building, Bldg C, A8 Guanghua Donglu
We strive to be as objective as we can about our food, so we really do mean it when we say that Hatsune in Beijing is possibly our favourite restaurant in the world right now. We first dined at Hatsune in 2010, when we visited Beijing enroute to the Shanghai Expo, and going back this time round was a bit like making a pilgrimage to Japanese-fusion Mecca.
Chopsticks to brighten up your meal
To describe it simply, Hatsune is a Japanese-fusion restaurant that serves new and gastronomically exciting rolls. They have the usual selection of Japanese-y food like sashimi, tempura, and donburi sets to give off the impression that you really are eating in a Japanese restaurant. When we talk about the rolls however, it behooves us to reject the traditional frame of reference of assessing Japanese food and move towards a new rubric. Japanese cuisine is conservative, perfectionist and traditional; Hatsune rolls are creative, decadent and use far too much mayonnaise for your dietician’s liking. They still taste pretty darn good, and have become our world-standard of how similar rolls should taste.
We went to Hatsune twice last week, just so we could try as many rolls as we could before leaving. Try the AMA, Crunch-a-Bunch and Alex-foie rolls. The Alex foie rolls (Glen’s runaway favourite) combines sweet unagi sauce, tempura prawn and a generous slathering of foie-gras in an explosion of creamy, buttery, gout-inducing flavour. The Crunch-a-Bunch (Gloria’s favourite) was subtler with its generous sprinkling of scallions, a crunchier texture and a less over-the-top mayonnaise dressing.
The appropriately named Pimp-my-Roll – with everything in it!
Crunch a Bunch – with a generous sprinkling of crunch scallions
AMA Roll – not sure why it is thusly named… spicy and creamy
Alex Foie Roll – Tempura Prawns and Foie Gras pate make good bedfellows
To wash it down, try the seafood and mushroom tea-soup.