Monday, September 14, 2015

Mitsu Ya, Gemmayzeh

[A look over the counter at the bar]

Mitsu Ya is a Japanese restaurant and a joint partnership between a Lebanese and Japanese chef Mitsu whom is himself the chef behind the bar. The restaurant is known for its fresh fish, mainly the sushi and sashimi but also everything in between. The food literally tastes and breathes freshness.
 Mitsu Ya is located in Gemmayze in Gouraud Street where most restaurants in the area sit quietly afar from the crowd and the noise of the pubs. You can find it facing Tabliyit Massaad, and for those of you who know where Urbanista is, it would be before it, on your right, at driving direction. If you are driving, you can either leave your car in a parking several meters on your left at walkable distance from the restaurant or leave your car with the Valet next to Tabliyit Massaad, on your left. If you are lucky, you can park in the space near the sidewalk. 
The interior decoration of the place is very charming, and I was first pleasantly surprised with the entrance door that opens with the push of a button. Don’t look for the button on your way out like I did, it will work automatically with a sensor! The deep rectangular elongated area of the premises gives you a view over the entire restaurant from the bar. Although the restaurant is considered to be rather small, it gives it a sense of coziness and comfort to this otherwise upscale and classy restaurant. 
The dress code, as I was expecting before going there, is casual elegance and it could even make the sparkly attire for women happen on the weekends. Jackets are not required for men. Also for summer, the place is not extremely AC cooled, so you can pass on the jacket or cardigan. The dress code for Mitsu Ya can be summed in a few words, “dress for the occasion”.
The value for price of the menu is great considering the average price of the Japanese and Sushi restaurants in Beirut. When we left after one appetizer, several main dishes, and three orders of dessert, my friend Rita and I had a full stomach and marveled taste buds. 
With a shared dinner of two, the bill divided amounted to $55 each excluding waiter tips. The appetizers reasonably range between $10 and $15 while the desserts we ordered were somewhere between $3 and $5 per piece. For the main dishes or roll, the prices can vary inconsistently depending on what you are ordering. For instance, beautifully rounded medium sized scallops and imported fish and food are tagged at a higher price than the Maki crazy rolls. Moreover, many of the ingredients are actually imported from Japan such as the yellow tail fish Hamachi, the sea urchin “Uni”, and the tuna belly “Toro”. Chef Mitsu has also been inspired from western cuisine and is offering fusion delicacies such as the Wagyu roll served with foie gras, which is my favorite item on the menu and what is usually the final surprise when your order the $85 “Chef-Mitsu-will-take-care-of-you” straight off the menu—I just forgot how it is precisely named on the menu, but you will see this option on the first page of the menu, on the lower left.  
Follow the pictures to know more about what we ordered. I definitely advise you to try Mitsu Ya, it will just turn a regular night-out more special. I would also recommend you to sit by the bar to witness Chef Mitsu effortlessly cook all of his orders.  Call 01/561110 or 71/561110 to book your reservations. 

Hamachi (yellow tail), Salmon, and Shutoro (tuna belly) Sashimi

Aubergine (eggplant) Miso, just so delicious!

Negitoro wrap

Maki rolls: Louisiana, Lotus Avocado, Crazy California.
The exceptional Wagyu Aburi roll topped with Foie Gras

Vanilla Ice Cream with Black Tahini

Green Tea Mochi with cream, (favorite piece of dessert)

Strawberry Mochi with Cream

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