April 1, 2014, revisited April 2015. Revisited February 2017
Nini Hachi is the newest Asian Sushi Bar/Restaurant from Udi R., the Jonny Appleseed of Sushi restaurants. The kyoto restaurant chain, including all of its branches, Sekai (originally kosher), and now Nini Hachi together with partner Yoav, all owe their success to Udi. When he called eLuna to tell us of this new restaurant, we went running to see it the day they hung the teudat kashrut.
Nini Hachi is located on Ben Yehuda, just south of Nordau Street. If you forget the address, just think of the name. Nini Hachi is 228 in Japanese. Ni is 2, Ni Ni is 22 and Hachi is 8. The Japanese lesson is free.
This is one of Udi's more spacious restaurants. Seating on the entrance level is pleasant and spacious. There is seating around the sushi preparation bar and a good number of tables and chairs in a happy light wood and lime green color. The overall impression is light and relaxed. No frills, just good food.
Seating continues upstairs with many more tables and chairs and another sushi bar. This is a great area for a private meeting or a group. The space can accommodate about 20 guests comfortably.
About Nini Hachi Menu
Did we enjoy the food, or what?
We started with a big bowl of soup. There is a Ramen soup with noodles and then there is a soup based on coconut milk with chunks of fresh mushrooms, and tuna. Don't ask me names. I wrote them all down and I cannot read what I wrote.
I love the tofu dishes at Udi restaurants. Let me recommmend the Agadashi Tofu dish, which is cubed stir-fried tofu with a lovely mirin sauce.
Chicken Gyoza is a favorite. This appetizer consists of three pastry fans filled with chicken.
This is served with plain rice but it goes really nicely with fresh cut sweet and sour Asian salad.
Sushi is beautifully presented on a glass tray. Sticking to the veggie sushi, we enjoyed creative rolls with avocado and all the sushi vegetables.
The menu offers skewers of meat and fish, and plenty of choices. But our favorite I have to admit was the tapenyaki asparagus and mushroom dish. This is just a platter of fresh cooked mushrooms and asparagus cooked perfectly, leaving the vegetable crispy and yummy. The vegetables are served with an Asian sauce that just hits the spot.
Pregnancy Safe Sushi
No need to forgo sushi during your pregnancy. Nini Hatchi, together with the Israeli institute for food safety and quality, has developed a process for preparing pregnancy-safe sushi that does not come in contact with raw fish. The restaurant has dedicated a separated work surface, with separated utensils and rolling mat, just for pregnancy-safe sushi.
Enjoy pregnancy-safe roles and nigiri made of vegetables and baked or fried fish. You can create your own roll; trust that we have taken care of everything for you.
Pregnancy-safe sushi can also be ordered for delivery. You'll know it is the pregnancy-safe sushi, because it is marked with a pink label.
Nini Hatchi Revisited, April 2015
A year has gone by and we decided to follow up on the
restaurant. We were two couples with reservations made in advance for an early Thursday evening dinner. We were a little early so we had to wait a bit for our table. We finally got settled into the corner table in the back, which is the best table and worth requesting.
Two if us were big sushi fans, but the others ordered different dishes. Two of us started with vegetable tempura. This is offered with or without fish. The fish was a good addition to a delicious dish, when just vegetables sometimes becomes tedious. The sushi lovers among us enjoyed inside out rolls while the non sushi fans took a chicken dish, which was finger lickin' good.
A big group occupied the entire upstairs but the service was so good downstairs we hardly noticed them. Again, one year later,
5 stars from eLuna.com.