Celebration Time: YuZu at Supreme Tower!

Hi!!! What a week! First, I’m officially on the SideChef team as a remote writer! I completed my first assignment and couldn’t be happier. Even better, my paper took third at National History Day China yesterday (still 1 place away from qualifying for worlds… but.. oh well, I’m happy). With this kind of news, we HAD to celebrate. I wanted to go to Sun with Aqua (Bund #6), but after a long day of chaffering, my dad did not want to drive. Did I give up. Nope, turns out, there’s a YuZu within a 10 minute walking distance- guess where we ate

YuZu

YuZu is a fairly upscale Japanese buffet. Unlike most other buffets, everything at YuZu is to order, which prevents the “leftover food syndrome.” YuZu has three locations in Shanghai. We’ve been to the location at Heng Sheng Bank Tower and LOVED it. The one at Supreme Tower is less upscale, but they promised up the same food quality.  How was it, read on to find out!

Food

Japanese restaurants can really dent the wallet, so I’m usually pretty careful when ordering, but YuZu is a buffet. I took full advantage of my unlimited ordering powers. Here’s what we got. (Note: For comparison’s sake, I didn’t order many new items)

Appetizers

We got the meal started with some of our favorites from last time: assorted pickles, boiled edamame, cheese tofu, grilled ray fin and monkfish liver. On the whole, the flavors and quality was on par. The cheese tofu was especially welcome and we actually ordered a second portion for my brother. The portions were also slightly bigger than the ones at Heng Sheng Tower- a mixed blessing and curse. With that said, the monkfish liver, while fresh, was definitely lower quality and the plating wasn’t as refined.

 Sashimi

Nothing fancy here, just the usual sea bream, tuna, yellowtail and sea urchin. The sashimi, again, was extremely fresh, especially the tuna. However, the sea bream was rather haphazardly cut and the uni lacked flavor

Sushi

I must say, the sushi was the most disappointing part of the meal. First, the fish: rice ratio was way off. The rice was also pretty much tasteless. While that was bad, the death blow was the salmon roe, which had a strange, revolting metallic taste. Just avoid the sushi

Grilled

The sushi dragged down the bar, but the grilled items raised it back up. Again, we stuck with the favorites: salmon head, saury and tuna chin. Each item was perfectly seasoned. Even better, all the fish featured succulent meat under uber crispy skin. (special shoutout to the tuna chin!)  Another bonus, they don’t give you the entire hulking salmon head => more options, less stomachache! Honestly, I recommend ordering as many grilled items as possible!

Meats

I’m the world’s biggest sucker for grilled fish, but my dad and brother are definitely meat people. Luckily, YuZu has the meatlovers covered with a fairly wide assortment of meat dishes ranging from raw beef to hot pots to yakitori. We ordered the 5 skewer platter (Chicken skin, cartilidge, heart, gizzard and pork neck). While not as good as Torikin, the yakitori here was solid- better than 90% of Japanese restaurant. Highly recommended! Of course, 5 measly skewers weren’t enough, so we got another classic- sizzling beef tongue. It was solid, but nothing special.

Specials

Well, we decided to try some new items- crab miso soup and eel steamed egg. These were quite accidental orders. My dad and brother really wanted miso soup and turns out, YuZu literally offered 5 choices. They chose crab and I must say, good choice! The natural flavor of the crab actually infused into the broth, enhancing the natural umami. As for the egg, I’d really been craving eel all week, but didn’t have the stomach for a full order, nor do I like teriyaki.  When the cute little teacup arrived, I was a bit disappointed to see that the eel was still teriyaki; however, that disappointment melted when the velvety, umami spoonfuls of egg slid down my throat. The salt of the egg also balanced the sweet of the teriyaki, leaving just the soft, rich eel.

Service and Atmosphere

While the food may not match the Heng Sheng Tower location, the service and atmosphere really exceeded all expectation. The atmosphere oozed Japanese elegance, and suitable for all occasion. It  has a larger, open tatami platforms and tables for “casual dining.” For intimate gatherings and parties, there are plenty of boxes. Since there weren’t many people, we got our own box- great perk! There’s even a cute little sushi/sake bar.

The atmosphere was great, but the highlight was definitely the service. Our designated waiter could not have been more courteous or helpful. The food also arrived fairly quickly and in order, so we never really had to wait between dishes. My one suggestion is that, given the size of the restaurant and many set off areas, they could really use a calling system. When we wanted to add orders, I often had to go out to flag a staff member, and never the same one. Despite this, none had any problem remember or locating our box.

Overall Impression

Overall, YuZu at Supreme Tower is definitely a solid option. However, I still prefer and recommend the Heng Sheng Tower branch.

That’s it for this week! See everyone soon!

 

 

 

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