Authentic Japanese Cuisine at Your Fingertips
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When you bite through the crispy outer layers and tender inner layers of Hifumi Japanese Restaurant’s shrimp tempura realize that what you have by the tail is the essence of Japanese cuisine: freshness, simplicity and balance.
The tiger shrimp is freshly peeled and battered with egg and two kinds of flours for different textures, then fried to a light crisp in oil guaranteed fresh everyday. First try Hifumi’s tempura unadorned so that you can taste the special tempura recipe on its own. “Outside crispy, inside soft — you can taste the original flavor of the shrimp,” says Elise Ching, a long-time server. Notice the simple flavors of the fresh, unencumbered ingredients. “Your tongue will tell you the truth,” Ching says. Next dip the shrimp in the tempura dipping sauce to soak up some fresh daikon and salty sweetness. The Japanese were smart in this way, says Ching, matching foods together for the most benefit: the fresh radish cuts down the richness of the oil.
Served with vegetable tempura (eggplant, green beams, and sometimes sweet potato), miso soup, rice and tsukemono, the Shrimp Special ($9.25 and $10.25 Dec. 31 and Jan. 1) is the complete bento meal. This gourmet grouping stems from the Japanese tradition of daintily arranging dinner leftovers in wooden boxes for diurnal meals.
Just as traditional bento offerings change seasonally based on availability of ingredients, Hifumi’s offerings also change based on availabilities, customers’ feedback and Ching’s observations. “We ask customers what they like, and we keep that,” Ching says.
Visit Hifumi in Chinese Cultural Plaza during the Chinese New Year celebration for lion dances and fireworks, Jan. 25 and 26 and Feb. 1, 2, 8 and 9.
Hifumi Japanese Restaurant
Chinese Cultural Plaza
100 N. Beretania St. #113
Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., lunch 5-8:30 p.m., dinner