Best Sushi in Santo Domingo

rnSQheZhm7nz_ArdDB5HGoqpHojHZXG32XMoTW_GHUH4IvtBrreMwsxCKwNux3cfHdUMnBoj96Xm0--E_SXZnfw9xdsTVl0yVmKyGE1l3ZyfGlZVwyJWYDWWp-rSaem3nIkDZmxnYYXeOEcGpXLVfS69mRb6d5fcl35ppOQPjbWIi_wTiEjmIz1SabI didn’t expect to find a good sushi restaurant in Santo Domingo (sorry, don’t be offended, DR!) but I did. Shibuya is located on the ground floor of the Blue Mall (one of the most expensive high end malls in the city) and it is part of the SBG restaurant chain. SBG has a cafe on the same floor. While Shibuya is Japanese, the dishes are a fusion of Japanese-Peruvian dishes.

ATMpoBjWiFtROkEZn6sdydy_OFjQ8LbB2t283ejU-2_nSr8uK69psYXqZ-NunEjPtqWmUFHk3reBesEGmo4i9M5fftRkdWCi1Kb-yEBUPWTuIeInpw6xWcCj-JjL9iEwqhmehyHKU3vRSl8j1PwDeU5xdhPX5POBnN34zrpJCc5rroEhmJGNwIaTjUFirst, yes, they have a Japanese chef… for those who use this as a marker for a good Japanese restaurant. I don’t think he works every day so I imagine that sometimes the Japanese food is made by non-Japanese hands…

-7nSXy9n4-1OaRa9WOfxHigPGcNOmTFlQucYJFWjiHX9APK8NkT3aqDrPOR4jfcoRI888paTHCZroTmhtXxSP1Vj2AaAVfIC37xLbMo9Dfh8S9RZXZMKkdlMXP_44uCl6yB63hS1C_bPaLTw3tamykrZN6k1j2X4OclN-i7XDp2m37GdT-UTApOV_LThe sushi place has excellent sashimi (raw fish like the salmon in the first photo — a double portion), tiridito dishes (Peruvian “carpaccio” of fish — thin slices with sauce. See the photo of the fish in the yellow sauce, above.), and ceviches (classic Peruvian style in photo above, with deep fried sweet potato deep and Peruvian corn). Many of the other dishes are good as well, as are their cocktails. I liked their “tuna tartare” which was like a large portion of Hawaiian “poke” (raw fish salad mixed with soy sauce, green onions, sesame seed oil, and chili or mayonnaise… you get the idea) with extra ingredients.

CqE2xJy5A5PjmNkdoBglp4BIw3zPQxMZ1FI4g-go2vNa1LNDAYrmMwVFw23t3Q7xgk6jnynQfhDoLWdt3VTGKTpGF9Oaxv-G2aTCPPBWgDjmkcsKK3qxxdO2GpwqBQOjt8Eh9uJGAStxY3VLoC4xWrxpaEFSXJmShxkeKLCdrmviNX8i5PHeqO4V3II ate that this restaurant more than ten times and had almost everything on the menu. Their fried rice is super crunchy. I think they toss quinoa in it to make it extra crunchy.

NXmEAj5nlX-RBFJZvg2FsgKcQmhQtZB_n1nvL0Y8ItoAUK6vzB6TdhbkMgKNT7a04quiDFEvsZZHLzPZn8qD8AGwWoLUp5NJg7kKTERoq-81LQ2HzP76DD7HMyxfkHc6MBKEAf7t8rJoI1yvD2f9GIcCvANbSvMhlRMJhFQUtXTIyNiDVl0PTAFBtmAnother surprise at this place is their coconut cake dessert. Not at all Japanese, but is a nice nod to the Caribbean. Try it! I wasn’t convinced as I recall the straw texture of desiccated coconut… this cake tasted like warm apple pie.

As for this place being the best sushi place in the DR, I didn’t eat at too many sushi places but this place was so good that I looked forward to eating there. Who needs to go anywhere else? It’s not this local fish place…

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Canadian Caesar Cocktail

Down “south of the border” as the Canadians say about the USA, the Bloody Mary is a brunch standard. Up “north” it’s the Caesar or “Bloody Caesar” a drink created in 1969 which is similar to a Bloody Mary but is spicier and includes clam juice. It’s sort of a homage to “pasta a la vongole” or spaghetti with clams (which is one of my favorite dishes).  Supposedly the cocktail is similar to a caesar salad… whatever, it’s delicious. The best so far has been at Edible Canada where they add maple covered bacon — it’s not just decoration because the bacon adds extra contrast to the Caesar. Other places add pickles, cheese, etc.

According to Wikipedia, Canadians consume 350 million annually. Make that 350,000,006… and counting.

Secret Bar in Bogota with Hand Crafted Cocktails

IMG_3325*******Update: The location has changed! It’s now in the neighborhood of Quinta Camacho. Calle 69A, #10-05. *********

Yes, it’s a speakeasy, not illegal, but kept a secret like back in the days of prohibition. Yes, it has no name. Yes, it’s not well known yet…

IMG_3339The craft cocktails are good. That’s the important thing. The drinks have names like “J Bird” and “Shi-taque” and “Ayguey” (or something like that) and other cleverness. The drinks are gin or whiskey based with infusions and chartreuse as ingredients. They are refreshing, strong, and delicious. The bartender takes great care making the drinks as he mixes, shakes, squirts, dusts, and coddles the drinks (Plus, he has a magnificent beard).

It’s the kind of place where one can hear oneself, and ones friends talk (although it’s so dark you may not be able to see them) because the music is blues or other old school music played loud enough to enjoy but not so loud that you have to yell. The two booths have chains which activate a red light when you want to call for service (so you get to yank their chain). Fresh water is always served with the drinks to make sure that you won’t be hung over the next day.

IMG_3342The location has changed! It’s now in the neighborhood of Quinta Camacho. Calle 69A, #10-05. No longer secreted behind the Pan Asian food restaurant, Thom Ngon, on top of Xarcuteria near Parque 93. Go up the stairs and ring on the doorbell. Someone will open the little window (just like in the prohibition movies) and let you in. Maybe. The owner says that he wants this place to stay secret and hidden so that only those who like a good hand crafted drink will hear about this place by word of mouth. He says that he doesn’t want the meat market “seen scene” (my description) types here. We shall see.IMG_3340Unlike the other speakeasy, this place does not have food or snacks. Yet. Our waiter, Jesus, told us that snacks like peanuts or albondigas (meatballs) will be coming soon.

But no fish fillet sandwich… which some of us wanted… did I mention that the drinks are strong?