Here’s something I miss about Brazilian cuisine: the Japanese food. What? Yes, you heard it right. It’s quite popular in Brazil. Especially in Sao Paulo, in the Liberdade area- the biggest Japanese community outside Japan.
I used to live in Santos – where we can probably find more sushi and temaki restaurants than fast food places. Blimey! So, yes, we do take Japanese cuisine seriously in Brazil.
But I have noticed that in Birmingham, it’s not a thing. You can probably count on your fingers where to go if you fancy some authentic Japanese food without necessary grabbing some sushi from a conveyor belt.
Nothing against it. It’s a Japanese thing, anyway. But I am all for a sitting down on a table or horigotatsu; where you can share some food and sake with friends.
But I knew Sushi Passion would be a good match. To be honest, I’m tracking their steps since it was still located at Birmingham’s indoor food market at the Bullring. Do you remember it?
Now well-established since 2014 at the Great Western Arcade, Sushi Passion is also a reference in offering the best sushi in Brum that was even recognised by All Japan Sushi Association for out Authenticity. Suzushi!
My friends and I decided to visit the restaurant last week. We were probably all missing some quality sushi anyway.
So, I have booked a table two days before via e-mail. The response was quick. Despite being spacious, it’s not a huge restaurant. So, I do recommend you book a table before when visiting it in a group of people.
Inside, Sushi Passion is as closer to traditional as you can get. The Japanese touch is everywhere from traditional paintings on the walls to chilled out music, and minimalist décor. There is a sushi bar where you can check the chefs preparing your food, of course.
The menu has a huge variety of sushi, sashimi, nigiri, temaki, and sushi sets to cater for vegetarians too. They also offer a nice selection of popular Japanese beers, wine, sake and non-alcoholic drinks as well.
I was a bit overwhelmed by the options, and we ended up taking too much time to agree on what to ask for, to be honest.
I have to point it out that it’s always good to see photos of all dishes displayed on the menu. It helps visitors that are unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine. Or the ones that doesn’t know the difference between a nigiri and sashimi, for example.
But don’t worry. If you are undecided people like us, or never have been to a Japanese restaurant before, their staff is more than welcome to help you along.
After asking for Lychee Sake – that comes on a nice porcelain bottle- we were up to try some gorgeous food. As the tradition asks, our sake was served on a small porcelain cup called sakazuki. And yes, I am a boring blogger that happens to be learning Japanese now. So, bear with me!
I was tempted to have the rice-lless sushi too. That was a nice adding to the menu this month, but we have chosen two “sets of sushi” to be shared – a vegetarian and Salmon Samurai one.
Both sets with a mix of sushi, hossomaki and gunkan. I also added a bowl of seaweed salad to the order.
Presentation is a very important element in Japanese cuisine. We literally eat the food with our eyes before tuck in. It has to be beautifully presented, and Sushi Passion chefs get it to spot on.
Flavours? They are all here. As expected, food is delicious at Sushi Passion. Freshly prepared to deliver all flavours expected in authentic Japanese gastronomy.
Is the food here a bit pricey? Yes, it’s a bit. But what else to expect of cooking with fresh and seasonal ingredients? To be fair, £65 shared by three people with drinks included is not a bad deal in the end.
Overall, Sushi Passion exceeds my expectations. Food is delicious. The restaurant is cosy and inviting. It was everything I needed to remind me that there is great sushi made outside Brazil and Japan.