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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