Thursday 24 January 2013

Nanakusa, Japanese Grill & Sushi Restaurant

Just been to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi. A remarkable film about one man and his obsessive compulsion to become the greatest Shokunin that ever was. Jiro, now in his 85th year and still working every day, succeeded a couple of years ago when Michelin awarded him 3 stars. His only concession to, well anything other than his own pursuit, was when after a heart attack in Tokyo Fish Market aged 70 he decided to let his son buy the fish. His son, now 50, still waits for his father to retire or expire. Aside from an acute case of OCD it transpires the workaholic Jiro was abandoned by his parents aged 9, had a 'brushed over' spell in the army during WW2, a wife we never meet and a brilliantly wry sense of humour. As well as taking sushi to a level many believe will never be reached again, Jiro has elevated it's service to intimate and occasionally comic theatre. The film is a wonderful portrait of the inevitable flaws that accompany those who choose the pursuit of genius.

For once we'd forward planned and headed straight out the GFT down Sauchiehall Street towards Nanakusa at a brisk pace. I've loved Nanakusa since it opened. It does what it does well and has that remarkably elusive trait in a Glasgow restaurant, consistency. It's been a while since I've been and it didn't disappoint. Although I don't know for sure I'm pretty certain none of the chefs here spent 10 years massaging an octopus before being allowed to cook an egg. Yes, that's how long you spend being apprenticed to Jiro.

My octopus was bland and boring, but it was the only disappointment in the Chirashi dish. The prawn was tasty, the tuna and salmon, both raw, were delicious, the marinated mackerel superb and the warm steamed sushi rice below excellent. It cost £13.50 which felt about right. Fellow diners made good noises about the Spicy Niku Noodle Soup and some of the sushi, the avocado one was unfortunately hard.

To start we'd nibbled on tempura vegetables and deep fried squid. Both excellent, the tempura, squid and soft shell crab has always been outstanding here. Crisp, clean and not a hint of oil. Just hope they can keep it up for another 50 years.

Nanakusa, 441 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3LG
 0141 332 6303

 Nanakusa on Urbanspoon


  1. Your point about consistency in Glasgow restaurants rings too true. If a place is good today, there's rarely any guarantee it'll be good in 2 weeks let alone another year. This seems to be particularly a result of the faddish tendencies of the Glasgow diner: slavishly favour a joint as soon as it opens then abandon it after the requisite two weeks scenestering is up or when a new place opens, whichever comes first.

  2. I went to see Jiro at the GFT too and afterwards, went to Sapporo Teppanyaki. It would have been hard to not have sushi after watching that film! I agree that Nanakusa's tempura and soft shell crab are always delicious. I also love their mackerel.

  3. Chris A: It's a pain eh. Perhaps faddish tendencies but also proprietors failing to grasp why they're new place is doing so well. 'Chefs Vs Restaurant Owners', it's hard to conceive of a bigger ego clash of egos.

    glasgowgourmet: Such a shame the fish police say we can't eat it anymore. If I were Japanese I'd be getting paranoid. Cracking film.