Obento: sushi and sake

Obento is a Japanese restaurant situated at the top of Baldwin St with a view facing the Welsh Back and Bristol Bridge. The owners also run Zen on Millenium Square and Dynasty on St Thomas St. My housemate and I have been visiting since we first moved to Bristol almost five years ago. Finding the perfect selection of dishes for the perfect meal took us years to get right. We tested and rejected the yaki soba, most noodle dishes, the over greasy and tasteless tempura, the pan friend gyoza and the unpleasant teriyaki chicken. Why keep going back after so many failures? There was always at least one dish that was delicious enough to go back and try again.

The first of the most unusual choices was the dynamo roll which is a salmon and avocado sushi roll that is gently fried in tempura batter. The rice and salmon are warmed through and softened by the time they get to the table. The result is a pleasant but strange sensation of raw fish which has just started cooking slightly. Our next choice is of a hand held sushi roll called Temaki. I usually have the Californian Temaki which has crab stick and omelette while the housemate has the spicy tuna Temaki. The ebi (prawn) curry is superb and quite filling, the spider crab sushi maki is a bit more delicate tasting and topped with layers of avocado and larger fish eggs on top. We usually have a side of edamame as well and wash it down with hot sake.

I’ve grown to really like the sake, especially when served warm. I’d first thought it tasted like warm, cheap sherry but it’s become most enjoyable. Those dishes make the perfect meal and it’s been worth the effort of finalising the selection. It hasn’t been easy but it was worth the effort.

Obento, 69 Baldwin Street Bristol BS1 1QZ http://www.obento-bristol.co.uk/

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