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Nasime, Chef Yuh Shimomura's Wonderful Japanese Kaiseki-Like Menu - King Street in Old Town Alexandria

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Grover and I NEVER go to any restaurant on two consecutive nights... well, up until now. We went to Nasime on Friday night early.  At 5:30 we were the only people in the restaurant.  At 6:30 every seat was filled.  The food both nights was amazing, light, fresh, subtly flavorful, (did I say fresh?) and different from day to day.  The progression was somewhat the same, soup with eggplant and a fish of some sort in a souper (sic, I know) flavorful broth, followed by Sashimi and some of the best Uni I have ever eaten.  As an aside, even the Soy sauce was remarkable. no, not Kikkoman, but direct from Japan Soy sauce.  I don't know if you can describe soy sauce like wine but this one definitely had depth, a smooth on the tongue, mouth feel and was just light enough to add complexity to the excellent sashimi.  The meat course was a New Zealand lamb chop.  Not exactly Japanese food, but (insert favorite superlative here) had touches of Japan in the spices and preparation. The fourth dish was Steelhead Trout in a stew like preparation with rice (as described on the menu "Japanese risotto").  Even though we were both complaining (happily) about being full, there wasn't a grain of rice in the bowl when we finished.  Dessert was Soy ice cream with banana and soy jelly.  The perfect end to a great dinner.  Overall, the pacing can be a bit off when the place is busy (and it will be after 6:30pm) and there is really only one server (the sous-chef fills in as needed) but the food is worth the marginal wait. 

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We had a lovely first (definitely not the last) experience at Nasime last night. We sat at the counter and started our meal with a beautiful, delicate Clam & Lily Bulb Chawanmushi - so creamy, the sweet crunch of the bulb contrasting with the slightly salty clams - both of them hidden beneath the custard cloud. The sashimi course included sablefish, salmon, and tiny sweet shrimp. Next up was grilled American wagyu and asparagus with a kinome (aka Szechuan peppercorn tree - from the chef's garden) ponzu. The visual showstopper was the blue crab noodle soup - with claws poking up out from the nest of noodles in a miso broth. Similar to Escoffier, we couldn't believe we ate the whole thing! Our final course was homemade green tea ice cream atop strawberry/pinot noir and coconut (I think) jelly. Every course was carefully prepared and presented by the chef; drinks recommendations and additional service cheerfully provided by the solo server. It is a great value for the quality and care that go into each dish, not to mention the creativity it takes to present a constantly evolving menu.

What a treat to have a gem like this a few blocks away! It was mentioned that they are usually able to accommodate walk-ins early in the week. And for a longtime resident of (and lifelong visitor to) Alexandria, hard to imagine such an incredible transformation of space that was previously part of Old Town institution The Lamplighter!

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1 hour ago, JimCo said:

I think Don is right that the best is Nasime but you can't get it a la carte. I think it's only sashimi and only part of the tasting menu. We're fond of Momo as a neighborhood place. Our distant third was Kyoto in the Bradlee Shopping Center. However, we were told by some friends who were regulars there that management cleaned house last fall and that it had really fallen off (and it didn't have far to fall...).

Nasime has an ever-changing four course fixed price dinner and sashimi is always the second course. Been that way since we first ate there the second day they were open through dinner last Sunday night.

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On 1/17/2018 at 8:43 PM, Escoffier said:

Nasime has an ever-changing four course fixed price dinner and sashimi is always the second course. Been that way since we first ate there the second day they were open through dinner last Sunday night.

I'm excited to try Nasime. Alexandria Japanese options are a bit depressing. I make the trek into DC for the better stuff.

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5 hours ago, Madam said:

I'm excited to try Nasime. Alexandria Japanese options are a bit depressing. I make the trek into DC for the better stuff.

Nasime is closed on Monday and there is seating for only 26.  Make sure you have reservations otherwise you won't be able to get in.  I'd suggest you ask for seats at the bar in front of the open kitchen.  Make sure you ask for the seats that are the farthest from the door because the first three seats have a blocked view of the chef.

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Nasime for Japanese but make sure you have reservations.  8 seats at the open kitchen, tables for about 10 (better be friendly) and one private room that will seat 8 in a pinch).  Menu varies every day so I have no idea what you'd eat. Prix fixe of $55/per person for 4 courses one of which will be sashimi.  Excellent food.

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1 hour ago, Escoffier said:

Nasime for Japanese but make sure you have reservations.  8 seats at the open kitchen, tables for about 10 (better be friendly) and one private room that will seat 8 in a pinch).  Menu varies every day so I have no idea what you'd eat. Prix fixe of $55/per person for 4 courses one of which will be sashimi.  Excellent food.

Yes, unless there's something I don't know, Nasime is the best restaurant in Alexandria right now (and has been since Restaurant Eve closed).

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This continues to be the best restaurant in Alexandria, that some people and no one knows about at the same time.  Which is good as it is a really small restaurant, and you do need a reservation.  We started with a wonderful dashi with enoki mushrooms and fish (I can't remember which), next course we upgraded the sashimi and had toro, urchin, river trout, and a range of other fish, all of them where just delicious.  The next course was pork tenderloin with a foie gras, miso sauce and roasted eggplant- again really nicely done, very rich, but balanced with the nice grilling of the eggplant.  Main course was a curry mussel udon/french onion soup mixture.  That sounds like a terrible combination, but it was quite delicious, I would have loved to have taken the leftover broth home to put some ramen noodles into the next day.  It made the dish very unxious, the udon noodles though cut through the richness, and the mussels were really plump. Last course was a yam ice cream and small crispy roll with red bean inside.  The meal from start to finish was just delicious, the pacing was good, our server was really nice.  It is a very close space, and if you can get the bar seating, I really enjoy that.  Really the food here is quite complex and just really focused.  

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Annoying that their reservation link sends you to Resy but Resy doesn't show any availability whatsoever. 

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21 hours ago, deangold said:

Annoying that their reservation link sends you to Resy but Resy doesn't show any availability whatsoever. 

Yo Dean:

Screenshot 2020-02-04 at 16.25.13.png

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Thanks. Maybe their page on resy was down when I tried, but now I get choices. 

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On 3/27/2020 at 4:22 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

Thought it might give each other ideas based on where and what you're ordering for take-out or delivery.  

Insanely delicious takeaway of Truffle Zested Oxtail Udon Noodle Soup from Nasime Japanese Restaurant.   Exquisitely prepared with lots of care by Chef Yuh Shimomura.  I just started following Nasime on Facebook to keep up with what is offered on the takeaway menu for both lunch and dinner, which updates frequently.  I called in my dinner order tonight and it was ready to pick up in 16 minutes.  Looks like delivery is offered within 3 mile radius, but I recommend you call to confirm.

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From Saturday, May 16, 2020, playful, fun and insanely delicious ultimate Japanese comfort food from Nasime Japanese Restaurant.  Panko Crusted Aji (Horse Mackerel) w/ Japanese Tartar Sauce on Rice with perfect accompaniments of Napolitan “Japanese Comfort” Spaghetti and Japanese Potato + Egg  Salad.  So good I ordered it again for Sunday dinner the following evening!

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Yesterday's Super fun and delicious Summer noodle dish from Nasime Japanese Restaurant!  Kani Hiyashi-Chuka (Blue Crab Sesame Cold Ramen Noodle) aka "Japanese-Style Sesame Sauce Crab Chilled Chinese noodles."  Each ingredient elevated the other and complemented so well together.  So refreshing on a hot evening.  Makes me look forward to Summer!

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From May 14, 2020, dinner takeaway of Chilean Sea Bass Agedashi Udon Noodle Soup. Chef Yuh Shimomura"s creations are well crafted with careful thought to ingredients and exquisitely executed.  His food is always delicious and so much fun to enjoy.

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From the beginning of this month, delicious dinner takeaway of Kamo Nanban, a Japanese Soba Noodle Dashi Soup of Duck + Scallion beautifully prepared by Chef Yuh Shimomura.

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On 6/6/2020 at 11:47 PM, DonRocks said:

Sashimi Bowl ($20) this evening:

SashimiBowl.jpg

How was it?

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55 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

How was it?

I just asked DIShGo what she thought (we each had one), and her answer was identical to my thoughts: The quality of ingredients was beyond reproach, but the dish was too busy, with too much going on - it needed editing (incidentally, the sauce atop the squid on the left was quite mild, and worked well with the dish).

$20 was a very fair price.

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2 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I just asked DIShGo what she thought (we each had one), and her answer was identical to my thoughts: The quality of ingredients was beyond reproach, but the dish was too busy, with too much going on - it needed editing (incidentally, the sauce atop the squid on the left was quite mild, and worked well with the dish).

$20 was a very fair price.

Interesting, thanks.  I've never been (too far) but am tempted.  After tonight they're moving to a few indoor seatings and a $48 bento-ish takeout.

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Just now, Marty L. said:

Interesting, thanks.  I've never been (too far) but am tempted.  After tonight they're moving to a few indoor seatings and a $48 bento-ish takeout.

Oh! Well, we had other things also, and I need to say that this bowl (a perfectly fine bowl) might have been the only item at Nasime that I haven't *loved*. If this isn't the best restaurant in Old Town, I'd like to know what is.

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