If there’s something I love more than shopping, its shopping and sushi together, in the same place. So after doing some heavy Christmas retail therapy at Dunes Verdun on Tuesday I headed over to dinner at The Shogun Lounge, my favorite sushi spot in Verdun located on the 1st floor of the mall.
There are many things I love about this place besides just the sushi. For starters, the authentic Japanese ambiance which has garnered its fair share of loyal neighborhood regulars who dine there on a weekly basis. The friendly waitresses are sharply dressed in beautiful traditional Japanese kimonos and the sushi chefs behind the bar look like a scene right out of Tokyo- a thing I really miss at the newer lot of sushi joints popping up all over the city. I also appreciated how knowledgeable and mindful staff were about the menu, walking us through our selections meticulously and most importantly, patiently.
We began with the Crunchy Salmon Salad, this has to be by far one of the best I’ve had in Lebanon; diced generous chunks of salmon sashimi in a fantastic spicy mayonnaise sauce with flakes of crunchy panko topped with nori.
But the Shrimp Tempura was beyond perfection, fried golden succulent giant shrimps fried just right. The combination of crunchy warm batter on the exterior with the soft shrimp inside dipped in the hallmark thin sauce, was absolutely delightful.
Their sushi selection was quite original and since we were feeling experimental, we went for the Fuji Maki, something I hadn’t tried before; savory cooked salmon in a spicy sauce with rice, nori and sesame, which I totally recommend. We also tried the delicious signature and my personal favorite Shogun Lounge Salmon; a layer of rice and nori topped with smaller diced salmon sashimi bits. The Sheyen Special Maki did not disappoint, and although I’ve had shrimp tempura maki many times before, this one was actually topped with a thin slice of salmon sashimi which I thought added a lovely touch to this otherwise classic roll. Last but not least we had the scrumptious Shogun Maki a lovely mix of crab and shrimp.
And of course no Japanese meal is complete without a wonderfully seared cut of tenderloin marinated in a teriyaki sauce to share. I like my meat cooked medium-well with just a hint of pink. The stir-fried spinach and fresh mushrooms were the ideal side dish for this plate.
Price: A meal for two like this (20 pieces of sushi in total) with soft drinks will cost you an average of $65 per person which in my opinion is very reasonable considering The Shogun Lounge is considered an upscale sushi restaurant.
Verdict: You can’t go wrong. The place definitely continues to earn its spot as one of the most reputable and iconic sushi lounges in Beirut and the best part is if your friends don’t like sushi, they serve a full blown Chinese menu.