Restaurant review

Japanese food at Oshibori in Dundee

I don’t know why, but when I think of sushi and Japanese food, I always feel like there’s this elegance. That finesse you don’t see in other cooking styles.

Maybe it’s because I don’t make sushi or many Japanese dishes at home, so when I go out, spending more money than I should makes me feel more luxurious.

Everyone knows Oshibori in Dundee. Housed below sister venue Tang’s Dynasty, the restaurant at Nethergate has been part of the foodie scene since 2014. Admittedly, a few weeks ago I had never been there.

I suggested a bite to eat there after work to my colleague Mariam who came by several times and assured me that the food was good.

Outside Oshibori in Dundee. Photos by Kenny Smith/DCT Media.

Celebrating its eighth year in business, I thought they must be doing something right, so we booked a table.

We headed out on a Wednesday evening and parked across the road. When we got to the front door, a piece of paper informed us that we were going to have dinner at the upstairs restaurant tonight instead.

Oshibori and Tang’s Dynasty (Chinese restaurant) share the same kitchen, so it didn’t seem unusual to have all reservations in one space on quieter nights.

Spinning, we walked back to the front of the building and upstairs where we were then greeted by a second flight before arriving at the restaurant entrance.

The upstairs Tang dynasty entrance where Julia and Mariam dined instead of the main Oshibori restaurant downstairs.

And what an entry it was.

The bar alone was mesmerizing with all the color, draped curtains and chandeliers, and the eye candy didn’t end there, with greenery, mirrored walls, painted roofs up to the dining room.

Even the furniture looked very stately.

Greeted by one of the team members at the door, we were guided to the front of the room and seated near the windows. We were both on soft drinks so we ordered a diet coke each and diverted our attention to the menu.

Another shot of the dining room.

To paint the picture of what I was missing downstairs in Oshibori’s main house, Mariam described its quirky interior.

With wacky patterned wallpaper on a wooden roof, not to mention floor-to-ceiling seating, dragon carvings, and unique lighting, it sounded just as flamboyant as upstairs.

Oshibori down.
Inside Oshibori.

Glancing at the menu, I could see a few more tables joining the three already seated when we arrived. The music was more oriental with pipes playing, adding to the atmosphere of the venue.

Our bamboo placemats reminded me of the mats used to make sushi which showed real attention to detail.

There was plenty of choice on the menu with a whole range of sushi, gyoza, bento boxes, ramen and more.

I suggested we share a variety of items and thankfully Mariam joined in my fascination to try as much as possible.

The food

To start, we chose a Spicy Tuna and Crab California Roll (£8.95) consisting of eight uniform pieces.

The sushi didn’t take long to grace our tables and we were delighted as soon as they arrived. Fresh ginger, soy sauce and wasabi were provided on the side and the tuna and crab in the roll were deliciously moist making it easy to hold together.

California roll crab and spicy tuna.

There were large chunks of crab used and the tuna has a nice subtle spice that was quickly masked when cleansing my palate with the ginger. They were gone in no time.

We ordered a chicken katsu bento box (£16.95) and the Beef Guruden Gyuniku (£27.95) for main course. The bento box came with miso soup so we ordered another bowl (£3.95) to make sure we got one each.

The vegetable broth itself was umami and had tiny bits of tofu and chopped spring onion hidden inside. It was served in a plastic bowl with a plastic spoon and was what I can only describe as a warm hug – just what we needed after a long day at work.

The chicken katsu bento box.

The different compartments of the box were filled with a variety of treats, including fluffy rice, green salad, which was drizzled with a gorgeous Japanese mayonnaise, two vegetable gyoza, two pieces of California roll, and edamame beans.

The orange slice was a nice way to refresh our palates

The main event of course, in this dish, was the breaded chicken breast with the katsu sauce, which I really wish I had seen more of.

The sauce was brilliant, but its lack made the experience a bit less exciting. Although I will say the chicken was very well cooked and the crumb stayed put even when cut.

The Guruden Yuniku dish.

Costing £11 more than the bento box, the beef was a sight when presented.

Not only was it served on a gold dish in the shape of a fish, but it was dressed in scallops, flowers and was also covered in edible gold flakes.

This is my first time spraying gold glitter on my beef, and to be honest, I hope it will be my last. While I appreciate that the food is clearly art at Oshibori, as is the setting of the restaurant, the good beef doesn’t need a bit of a shine to make it stand out.

The thinly sliced ​​pieces of meat were perfectly cooked and the signature onion sauce with soft chunks of vegetables worked great with the fluffy rice. There were also a lot of them and we had a hard time tweaking it. It was the crunchy shallots on top that really sold this dish to me.

Chocolate death.

At this point we were quite full but we had just enough space to digest a dessert between us. I’m a huge chocolate lover, so the Death by Chocolate dish (£6.95) immediately spoke to me.

Fortunately, Mariam was on board.

Layers of warm dark chocolate cake were topped with two small chocolate brownies, chocolate mousse sauce and lots of cream, meringue and fresh strawberries. It was delicious and the stand of the night, although the katsu would have stolen the show if there had been more sauce.

Layered dessert.

The verdict

Oshibori certainly brings the wow factor when it comes to his dishes, and while there’s certainly no show without punch, I’m not sure the food should be dressed as high as it was .

Good food speaks for margins in itself, and sprinkling the dishes with gold, massive flowers, shells and other objects deters their shine in my opinion.

That said, with social media playing such a vital role in diners choosing where they want to eat, I understand why they did it and I suspect they are using it to attract those who like to share their experiences online.

I would love to come back to experience more dishes and see what else Oshibori has to offer.

Service could have been much more attentive as we had to ask several times to pay and struggled to get anyone’s attention, but overall enjoyed our stay somewhere a bit different from the norm .


Information

Address: 162 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4EE

P: 01382 690370

W: oshiborirestaurants.co.uk

Price: £70.65 for two soft drinks, California roll, miso soup, bento katsu, Guruden Yuniku and dessert. A service charge of £7.07 was added to the bill, bringing the total to £77.72.

Scoring:

  • Food: 4/5
  • Performance: 3/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5

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[Japanese fare at Oshibori in Dundee]

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