Like so many Japanese restaurants these days, Ebisu promises fish freshly flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, minimalist decor and a long, long menu.
Aside from its location, in the hip, slightly-ramshackle Ekamai Mall, there’s little that makes this sushi joint stand out from dozens around town. Out front you’ll spot a sake barrel and the requisite Japanese restaurant flags; inside it’s white brick walls and a painting of the goddess Ebisu, worshipped by Japanese fishermen.
Contrary to the minimalist interior, the picture-heavy menu clocks in at a mammoth 20 pages, covering most Japanese favorites bar ramen and udon. The highlight, of course, is sashimi and they offer many sets, from the grandiose Ebisu Sashimi (B2,990), piled with premium slices of otoro, chutoro, hamachi, madai, shima aji, botan ebi, hotate and uni, to the tuna lover’s maguro set (four pieces of premium blue fin tuna, at the current promotion price of B850) and the more standard ume sashimi set (B490). On our last visit, though, the maguro set didn’t burst with the freshness we expected and the accompanying sushi rice was a bit mushy.
Another supposed highlight, the gyu don (beef rice made with Kamui beef, reputed to be one of Hokkaido’s finest breeds, B690), is indeed aromatic with the sweet shoyu sauce hitting the right note. But while the taste was just about right, the beef was not particularly tender. Similarly, the monster roll (fried squid stuffed with salmon, foie gras and egg, B550) is spiced up by a delicious mayo and black pepper sauce, but the squid is a bit chewy, as if still raw inside. More successful is the spicy salmon salad (B195), which goes for straight-up Thai tangy and spicy flavors.
They’re rather lazy when it comes to dessert and drinks; the former is limited to only ice cream and a complimentary fruit jelly, while the sake list begins and ends with Ozeki at B180.
What it lacks in character, Ebisu makes up for in choice. Don’t expect prime ingredients, just a casual spot for a quick sushi meal.
This review took place in May 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.