When you speak to Western expatriates in Shanghai, I feel as there is oftentimes a tried-and-true list of places to go to eat. Brunch? Madison. Spanish Tapas? El Wily. High end Italian? Mercato. I enjoy all of those places, but sometimes I think people don’t venture too far outside those set places. For example I think Otto E Mezzo 8 1/2 Bombana is overlooked, and yet every bit as good as Mercato. Same for high end sushi, especially of the omakase type, where the conversation usually ends at Sushi Oyama. But I think there’s a better place, and for my money, is one of the best meals to be had in Shanghai, and that’s at Tenya 22 on the Bund.
From the well known purveyors of tuna sushi, Tenya (or Tianjia to use the Chinese), Tenya 22 has been open for a couple of years now in a sometimes empty Bund facing building. Several weeks ago, I had the chance to go again with my friends Michelle and Colin.
There’s really not too much to talk about – the sushi was about as fresh as you could get in Shanghai. The sushi chef had run his own place in Tokyo for decades before making the leap to Shanghai. Photos will do this more justice than my poor descriptions.
As always, we begin with sashimi. The tuna? amazing, with melt in your mouth tenderness and bursting with flavor.
Right at the sushi bar
My goodness this ebi was so sweet. It tasted faintly of the sea.
French oysters with horseradish
Grilled wagyu steak – the marbling was exquisite. I annoyed Michelle by asking if I could eat her steak too, but it would’ve been worth it.
Matsuki-san at work
Ikura and Uni Gunkan-maki
Bring your wallet, because it isn’t cheap – the omakase was around 800 rmb. But oh so worth it. Make sure to call and get seats at the sushi bar.
3/F, 22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu,
near Jinling Dong Lu