Monday, 22 August 2011


I went on a mini three day trip with Mr. F to Bellevue and Seattle, taking time off and enjoying the sun. Downtown Seattle has a wide selection of food and somehow I really wanted contemporary Japanese sushi. Thanks to beloved Google, I chose Japonessa in downtown Seattle after reading from a fellow reviewer that the "eggplant mochi was absolutely amazing".
With stroke of luck, Japonessa was having their anniversary that day, so they extended their "happy hour" menu till closing. But as it turns out, the eggplant mochi wasn't exactly "absolutely amazing".

We ordered:
Sashimi Set (Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Albacore, Shrimp)
Agedashi Tofu
Garlic Short Ribs
Signature Roll: California Crunch
(Snow crab mix, avocado, cream cheese, tempura’d, sweet chili allioli, soy glaze)
Eggplant & Mochi (fried with nameko mushrooms, bonito soy)
Plum wine

Please excuse the poor iPhone quality of these pictures :(

AMBIANCE |  Decorated with Anna Sui inspired Victorian mirrors, black retro chandeliers, black tables and booths mixed with accents of red and white, Japonessa is soo sexy inside. It is the perfect mid scale urban restaurant for a simple dinner before heading over to the bar and club next door. The dimly lit room and lively edgy tones really sets up a nice night out. Oh, there is complimentary wi-fi, thats a plus!

FOOD | The food lacked spirit. In all honesty, for its reviews, I had such high hopes for fine sushi, only to be disappointed with mediocre quality. The Eggplant mochi, garlic short ribs and California crunch were the top 3 recommended items on UrbanSpoon. But.... the original crispy and golden agedashi tofu was soaked in too much sauce, soggy and salty. The California Crunch was poorly thrown together with large chunks of rice, rather far from the mouth-watering elaborate detail written on the menu. Sashimi set, short ribs, eggplant & mochi were all very average dishes simply decorated on a white dish with a flower on the side. For me, the most disappointing is that everything was at room temperature. The garlic BBQ ribs were far from warm and the sashimi were far from cool, nothing tasted horrible, but the quality of a $15 sushi roll was... well, sub par.

Benefit of the doubt, it was Japonessa's anniversary day, perhaps they were busy. Given that "happy hour" menu items are supposed to be small finger foods, the dishes lacked intricacy. We ordered from the main menu as well, and really, there was no difference in quality. I'm sorry Japonessa, Mr. F and I were not too impressed this time around. 

1400 1st Ave
Seattle, WA
(206) 971-7979
Japonessa Sushi Cocina on Urbanspoon
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