Thursday, May 16, 2013

[Review] Tani Sushi, Terenure Road North, Dublin 6W

Watching a skilled sushi chef at work is a real pleasure. The careful cutting of fish into precise sashimi slices, the ritual assembly of maki and nigiri along with the smooth practised motion of dipping the knife into water before letting the drops run down the blade. It's a peaceful, nearly spiritual experience. Dublin has several really good sushi restaurants, but you can always do with another venue, particularly when it is close to home and not in the heart of town.

Tani Sushi is a newly-opened Japanese restaurant in the heart of Terenure Village. It used to be occupied by Spoon Cafe, but has now been stripped out and redone with Japanese touches. The interior is simple with light wooden floors and tables, with Japanese wall hangings and a little bamboo screen. It's possibly too sparse as the room feels slightly bleak. Each table is simply set with glazed dipping bowls (mine was a vibrant azure blue), chopsticks and adorable egg-shaped toothpick holders that rock back and forth at the slightest touch. 

The menu lists starters, sushi in many varieties, along with cooked dishes such as cha han and teppan noodles. Everything is very keenly priced and I find myself dithering over different dishes, which is a good sign. We are visiting at Saturday lunchtime, but the restaurant is strangely empty with only a handful of people dining. Perhaps it was due to the bank holiday weekend exodus from Dublin. 
The cutest toothpick holder
The interior at Tani Sushi
My dengaku starter consisted of pieces of silky tofu, aubergine and mushroom, all coated in the lightest, flakiest batter and topped with a delicious homemade miso glaze. Seaweed salad was bright, nearly luminescent, green, with a slightly gelatinous texture, coated in a sesame dressing and served with mixed leaves. 
Dengaku (Miso glazed tofu, aubergine & mushroom)
Seaweed salad
His tuna set plate consisted of nigiri, thick sashimi slices, maki and fat ura maki rolls. With sushi, the devil is always in the details, and I loved the little leaf-shaped lump of wasabi paste, complete with vein-pattern. I am a fan of the American approach to sushi rolls and I had to order the Kani roll, a mix of soft shell crab, avocado, roe and crab meat. It came rolled extra wide, with crab legs  protruding from the final piece. If you haven't tried soft shell crabs before now, then you really should. The gentle crispiness is a lovely contrast to the smooth firm rice in sushi.
Tuna plate of sashimi, nigiri, maki and ura maki
The loveliest portion of wasabi ever
Kani roll - soft shell crab, avocado & crab
Overall, we really really liked Tani Sushi. Our server was lovely, even going back to the chef with a question from me about the dengaku. Ultimately, it's all about the fish, and we could not fault the sushi. There are lunch specials, including bento boxes, on offer during the week, but the regular pricing is good value where sushi is concerned.

Tani Sushi's internet presence is non-existent, but they do offer take-out on Just-Eat, and for the first time ever, I find myself tempted by home delivery sushi. Hopefully, the sparse interior will not deter punters, as this is a welcome addition to dining in Dublin 6W.

Tani Sushi, 93 Terenure Road North, Dublin 6W
URL: Tani Sushi on Just Eat
Tani Sushi on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

David said...

I've eaten there twice and enjoyed it both times. Their lunchtime offer of miso and a bento box is particularly good value. It's always empty, unfortunately. Not sure that Terenure is a sushi type of town. I'd love to see it succeed. Hopefully your comprehensive and positive review will entice more people to try it. Lovely pics, btw.

karen said...

I've eaten there once and had take out twice. Never thought I'd order take out sushi but definitely worth it. We had a toddler and a 7 year old with us and staff were really nice and friendly

dudara said...

There's one waitress who has been there every time we dined there. She's absolutely lovely

Anonymous said...

not bad at all, have you tried that new japanese restaurant in temple bar near to gogarty's? I think it's called Banyi Japanese restaurant

philip said...

I agree with dudara.Very good restaurant with top notch sushi/sashimi.Lovely friendly staff,the tall waitress is a gem!