Do you like sushi or other Japanese food? You see a lot of Japanese restaurants popping up in the Netherlands. One of them is the franchise Sushisamba. With restaurants in Miami, Las Vegas, London and New York, they have opened a new one in Amsterdam in September. On social media you could read that you had to reserve two months in advance to get a seat. But that is not true, you can still book shortly in advance. It still depends on the time and the amount of people you go with. We booked 2,5 weeks in advance and booked for four people.
The restaurant is very big with lots of windows and it is very brightly decorated in orange color. The waiter who helped us is French. I heard that the staff is very international. From the 120 people who are working there, only 10 are Dutch. Our French waiter has a strong accent, so it wasn’t easy to understand him, but we managed. 😀 We were seated on a table for four and he explained the concept to us.
The dishes have a combination of the Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian culture and cuisine. This mixture came from the time in the early 20th century when thousands of Japanese emigrants came to South America for work. As they brought their own cuisine with them and lived in big cities like Lima in Peru and São Paulo in Brazil, this mixture of culture and cuisine came to existence.
Sushisamba uses the concept of shared dining. The dinner menu card consisted of three components. In the first column you can find the small dishes and starter dishes, the second contains larger dishes and the last one consists of sushi rolls, nigiri and sashimi dishes. The waiter recommended us to choose two or three dishes from each column. It is also possible to choose only sushi dishes. If you do that you will get a large bowl or plate with ice to keep the sushi, nigiri and sashimi fresh.
As drinks they had a variety of alcoholic drinks and a few non-alcoholic ones. They had juices with lychee, guava, pink grapefruit and cranberry and the waiter told us that it was all made of fresh ingredients without any additions. That is good to know, because I know these drinks from cans and bottles that are full of sugar. My friends took the lychee drinks and I had the guava. They were all very refreshing and not too sweet.
It was difficult to make a decision of what to eat because we didn’t know how big the portions were. Our waiter helped us very well with it. Most of the dishes has fancy names with interesting ingredients in it, I will explain them in this post. We decided to choose the following dishes: The Negitoro with tuna belly, spring onion and soy sauce (dish in the back). This one was very basic. The taste was too light. Tiger Maki with takuwan (pickled daikon radish), wasabi tobiko (flying fish roe infused with wasabi), crab meat, tempura prawn, tiger prawn, wasabi mayo, beetroot yoghurt sauce with soy (dish in front). This is a real explosion of flavours. I especially like the taste of tempura with sushi rice.
The large plate dish Moqueca Mista with shrimp, squid, sea bass, mussels, clams, coconut milk, dendê oil (red palm oil from Brazil) and chimichurri rice. There is seafood in the dish with a reddish sauce and one hump of rice in the middle. It is delicious to mix the rice in the sauce, but there was more sauce than rice and there wasn’t that much seafood in it. The seafood was nice and I like the flavor of the sauce, it is like a rich red sauce full of flavor.
And the tiradito dish (Peruvian dish of raw fish) Kanpachi (greater amberjack fish from the yellowtail (hamachi) family) with yuzu, black truffle oil, sea salt, garlic and chive. This is one of the pre dishes. It is very small and very light of flavour.
The dishes were not very big, so we still wanted to eat more. We decided to order the sushi dishes, because these portions are larger. We chose the Tokyo Sky Tree with spicy tuna, tempura crunch, lotus root, aji panca (Peruvian red pepper) and spicy mayo. This dish is really amazing! It has this light spicy taste which I really love and the lotus root on top are like chips. They are really nice! I wish I can order a whole bag of it!
And the El Topo with salmon, jalapeño, shiso leaf (part of the mint family), crispy onion, spicy mayo and fresh melted mozzarella. This was recommended to us by the waiter. But I find the taste quite blend. It did have a nice crispy structure.
We also ordered the Lamb Chop with coconut and red miso. It didn’t have a lot of flavor to it and it was a little bit tough to bite.
Even though we were still a bit hungry after the second round, we decided to take a look at the dessert menu first. Some dishes really caught our eye and we decided to order them. I must say that they are very surprising and a good way of ending the dinner. We ordered the following: Sambabeet with beetroot, blueberry, coconut, banana, lime, lemongrass and pineapple. This is a beautiful and colorful dish, but also a surprising one. Everything has it’s own structure and taste, some I didn’t like, some I did. It was really interesting.
Alfajores with dulce de leche (well-known caramel paste in Latin-America) coconut, alfajores biscuit (South American sandwich cookies), caramel, gold and black salt. This is a beautiful combination of all kind of sweet stuff. It has a lot of flavor to it and it is not too sweet.
We also ordered Welcome to the Rain Forest with Asháninka chocolate, Asháninka coffee, vanilla, pistachio, macadamia and sugarcane. This is a very interesting dish. The ‘bowl’ looks like a cocoa bean and the dish looks like a little forest. If you eat it, you can taste the nuts, the chocolate and the coffee. I really loved the combination of flavors! The strange thing is that there are real rocks in it. Did anyone break their teeth eating them? I hope not. Asháninka is the name of the indigenous population living in the rain forests of Peru and a part of Brazil. They live from agriculture and they farm different products like coffee, banana, rice, sugar cane, sweet potato and cacao.
If you want to eat a lot or are really hungry, Sushisamba is not the best place to go to. You will still be hungry afterwards, since the portions are not that big. Even though the concept is shared dining, you don’t get equal portions of everything, like there was only one large shrimp in the whole seafood dish and when we ordered the sushi rolls we got seven pieces one time. Which is not easy to share with four people. It is more nicer to go here for a special occasion like a birthday party or bachelorette party. It is really interesting to try it out, because they have a lot of interesting dishes due to the mixture of the Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. I also learned more about the Latin-American cuisine when I checked the names of some of the dishes we ate.
Max Euweplein 64
1017 MB Amsterdam
Sunday till Thursday: 11:30 – 00:30
Friday – Saturday: 11:30 – 02:30