Our sharp eyes quickly noticed a new Japanese restaurant called Shousijia (寿司稼) popping up on Xingfucun Zhonglu this past weekend. So we dropped by on opening night, May 1. This might not have been the best choice, seeing as the odor of paint still lingered in the air because the owners had slapped on a fresh coat just a day earlier.

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Thankfully, Shousijia's menu items are fresher than the restaurant's (literal) atmosphere. These dishes are straightfoward and quite similar to those served by rival Katoya (加藤屋) around the corner, which sits opposite to Great Leap Brewing #12 Brewpub.

We hunkered down at the bar and ordered a tofu salad (RMB 35), tuna sashimi (RMB 68), salmon dragon roll (RMB 78), and grilled sanma (RMB 38). It was a privilege to sit there and watch the chef teaching his apprentice to slice the sashimi and grind the wasabi. This was not only dinner, but also a show!

The tofu salad was light yet filling. It comes with a side of sauce that was both a little spicy and had a hint of peanut. 

The five-piece tuna sashimi, meanwhile, was adequately (though not exceptionally) fresh. What truly sets this dish apart is its  hand-ground wasabi. That bright green morsel was not as spicy as the industrial alternative that comes in a tube (available at most Beijing supermarkets). But hey, we're not complaining. Some real-deal wasabi is infinitely better than a phony substitute that reminds us of toothpaste, even if Shousijia's offering is a bit less fiery than what we've come to expect. 

The eight-piece salmon dragon roll was full of flavor. Added value: it comes in the shape of a dragon! This dish's price is in line with that at other sushi restaurants such as Shotamuni or Hatsune, meaning it's a bit pricey, but still worth it. And grilled sanma (saury) was better than expected because each serving includes two fish. The dish was feathery tender, making it worth the 15 minute wait time (a slightly annoying delay, considering there were only two other tables of customers). 

Thirsty patrons will also want to check out the drinks menu. There's quite a variety, from RMB 40 pots of standard sake brands, to more high-end, RMB 980 bottles, along with bottles of Asahi and Kirin beer. 

This new Japanese spot is well worth a visit. Its prices are similar to rival Katoya, but its food is fresher and the restaurant itself is cleaner (as long as you don't mind the smell of paint for now). Best of all: Shousijia's sashimi is fresh enough to avoid giving you funny tummy, unlike far too many Beijing sushi spots. We'll be back again soon, though it might be wise to wait a few days until the paint dries.

Shousijia 寿司稼, Xingfucun Zhonglu, Chaoyang District.

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Photos: Tracy Wang


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