Azumi: Harbor East, Baltimore, MD, USA
I had never intended to go to Azumi mostly because it didn’t seem authentic. However, when my friend M recommended that we catch up here over their happy hour, I said why not? M grew up in Kobe, Japan and speaks fluent Japanese. According to her, even though Azumi is somewhat expensive, she feels that the quality of the dishes are worth it. I will definitely try something if it’s recommended by a “native”! Things we tried were:
- Scottish salmon crudo
- Seared mushrooms
- Jalapeño Yellowtail
- Ahi (tuna) tatake
- salmon avocado roll
- tempura rock shrimp
Scottish Salmon Crudo
- great flavor: the sauce that accompanied the fish went really well
- fish was very fresh
- vegetable accents also went well with the sauce
- small quantity of fish but for the flavor, I would say it’s worth the price ($8)
Seared Mushrooms: this dish was so ridiculously good, I tried to re-create it at home, served with a scattering of Japanese herbs, four types of mushrooms (enoki, shitake, hon shimeiji or beech mushrooms, and a 4th I cannot remember) are seared in a butter ponzu sauce.
- the most amazing sauce ever: so much so we kept it around to dip things in – you can taste the slight hint of butter
- great quantity to share
- fish was super fresh
- very light on the tastebuds compared to the other dishes we ordered which was refreshing
- small quantity, not worth the price ($8)
- great fish freshness
- that sauce is amazing, especially with those fried onion bits
- quantity was too small like all the other dishes
- slightly expensive given the amount of fish ($8!)
Salmon Avocado Roll
- great quantity: the waitress actually said that the rolls were smaller than the normal dinner rolls, but we felt that this was still a pretty good quantity.
- generous with the fish
Tempura Rock Shrimp: this is not shrimp that has been pounded out flat but shrimp that has been kept whole and tempura fried. In addition, it is served with a spicy mayo aioli.
- great quantity, definitely shareable for two
- shrimp was fresh: it had that springy tenderness compared to the rubberized or mushy texture of frozen shrimp
- sauce was really great: slightly sweet combined with moderate tang
All in all here is a quick summary rating:
- Scottish Salmon Crudo: ****(4 stars)
- Seared Mushrooms: ****.25(4.25 stars)
- Jalapeño Yellowtail: ***.9 (3.9 stars)
- Ahi Tatake: **** (4 stars)
- Salmon Avocado Roll: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- Tempura Rock Shrimp: ****.75 (3.75 stars)
If you wanted to try Azumi for yourself, you can find them at the address below. A lot of the diners tend to come from the neighboring hotel or from the offices near Harbor East or Inner Harbor, sometimes down town. You’ll find a lot of people in suits but don’t be scared to walk on in in jeans. The service was excellent: even though we were seated at a booth and the happy hour was only in the cocktail area, the restaurant still honored our requests for happy hour meals because they had a client book out a good chunk of the cocktail area. Now that’s amazing service.
725 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21202
The one thing I do have to say though is…as hard as the waitress tried to make light-ice green tea, she epically failed. You don’t add ice to hot green tea, it just waters it down and makes it lukewarm green tea. You have to make green tea, chill it, and then pour it over light ice. That way you don’t lose the flavor. Not sure if anyone from the restaurant will ever read this but if you do, now you know. The food is great though!