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“Unexpected Performance!”
Review of Hamachi

Ranked #136 of 1,071 Restaurants in Sofia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $40
Cuisines: Japanese
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed January 21, 2014

I saw that a few reviewers below compared the quality of Hamachi's food, especially the freshness of their products, to restaurants in Japan and called it basically mediocre.

I fully disagree with these opinions and I would like to put them into local Bulgarian context:

- Bulgaria and Sofia especially traditionally has close to zero tradition in fish preparation, so opening a seafood place in Sofia is a huge challenge
- Japanese restaurants are, the (low level) sushi hype of the last years set aside, practically not existent in Bulgaria, therefore opening a Japanese restaurant in Sofia practically means reinventing the wheel again
- and lastly, but probably most importantly, the sourcing of fresh fish in Sofia is impossible to compare with the sourcing of fish in Japan: for example a market for top-notch tuna compared to Japanese standards has never existed and will never exist in Sofia.

Therefore, it's neither objective nor fair to judge restaurants in Sofia and restaurants in Japan by the same set of criteria. If you did this, it would be best directly not to go to a Japanese restaurant in Sofia, but to wait until your next visit to Tokyo...

Keeping in mind these obvious market limitations above, if you still decided to visit a Japanese restaurant in Sofia, Hamachi WILL blow your mind!

It overachieves in every aspect, against all odds!

I would even rate the service, which reviewers below almost unanimously have rated excellent, the least impressive part.

What surprised me was the unexpected quality of their fresh products and of course the preparation.

Putting their (in my point of view excellent!) sushi aside, which for obvious reasons can be better and fresher in the best places in Tokyo (no surprise!), their tempuras, gyozas, their tonkazu, the soups they are making, the tuna and wakame salad I am eating every time... everything is just MARVELOUS and does match the higher standards of very decent restaurants in Tokyo!

IF you feel like eating out Japanese style in Sofia and you decided to visit Hamachi, you will have a blast of an evening - this is my impression of 4 visits over a period of one month.

...oh and finally: their prices are far from overpriced. Everything is very fair and I have been pleasantly surprised with the moderate bills I am getting.

Hamachi has earned my full respect for doing the impossible in Sofia! Give them a try without any hesitation!

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1  Thank Kamen_777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (45)
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29 - 33 of 45 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

The atmosphere in the restaurant was really cozy and relaxing. The service was surprisingly good. When the preparation of our food took a while the waiter brought a small compliment on the restaurant before we even had the chance to complain. Furthermore, the restaurant is a bit pricy but definitely worth it for that quality food.

2  Thank Aleksandar S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

It is located in a small street which makes it a bit hard to find. There isn't much place to park around it, but that problem is a constant all around the city. So you should be prepared to walk a bit. You can also get there by metro as "Vasil Levski station" is quite close.

The service was excellent; the waiter was attentive without being annoying. All items that are usually found in Japanese restaurants can be found in it; I haven't remarks or any complain about this.

The food was quite good, we tried soups, salads, seafood and pork. Everything was delicious, the portions are appropriate and they are nicely presented.

The price is higher than that of the average restaurant in this city but, if you go once in a while, it is well worth it.

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2  Thank Komalantz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

Great atmosphere. Friendly staff. Very helpful. My daughter came with me, and they were very accommodating as she was young and a little bored.

2  Thank Heidi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

This restaurant used to be a clear favourite in Sofia, but the last couple of times that we have been there have been disappointing. The service is perfectly reasonable and they have made an effort with the interior, but the quality of the food has definitely gone down. It used to be "expensive but worth it", but now I am sorry to say that it is "expensive, and not really worth it". Also very disappointed to see that the management are ignoring the new no smoking laws in Bulgaria.

Bottom line, best avoided until they get their act together again.

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1  Thank JamJul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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