Over the weekend, Madison's newest Japanese Restaurant, Takumi, opened its' doors to the public:

Takumi is located on the east-side of Madison, right next to the Half-Price books, Noodles and Milios.

We arrived around 8pm, and walked right on in and were greeted by the waitressing staff, "irashaimase. ^_^" That really threw me back for a second... All the other Japanese restaurants I've been in Madison, have been very American in their service; however, none can really be compared to hearing "irashaimase" when you walk in the door.

Irashaimase is one of the most polite ways of saying, "welcome to our store" in Japanese. If you enter any retail store in Japan, you'll hear the closest clerk to you say it. (and) Then it has a domino effect throughout the rest of the employees of the store. It reminds me of the 6 story 100-en store in Hamanomachi in Nagasaki (which is now closed when i went there over spring break). If you perch yourself on the 3rd floor near the circling staircase and a new customer walks in, you'll hear, "Irashaimase" start on the 1st floor and trickled up by each of the clerks to the top floor. It's very surreal.

Anyways, The place itself was very quaint. The had a bar, a sushi bar, a couple tables, and Tea Rooms towards the back. We probably should've taken the Tea Room option, but went with the standard table. We sat down and took a look at the menu. Takumi primarily focuses on Sushi. 3 or 4 pages of their 8 page menu feature different entrees, combos, and single items. The also had some hibachi, donburi, and bento. We all ordered something different: Matt went with the hibachi, Leif and Steph went with a bento, I ordered sushi, and Zach also ordered sushi.

Takumi also had full Japanese sized beers in the favored Japan Brands: Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin.

First, they brought us a sampler of their Ginger Salmon dish... It was decent tasting, though the ginger was very overpowering. It tasted like a standard Chinese American dish. I suppose they were probably testing out their recipes, or something..

Next, they brought us our soups and salads and then came the main course.

I've never had better Sushi in my life. The California Rolls were somewhat standard, but the Sashimi.. my god. The salmon was full of flavor, full of meat, full of color.. so good. The tuna was also fantastic, as was miscellaneous fish on the end.

Leif and Steph's tempura bento was also quite tasty, as was Matt's salmon hibachi. Takumi can definitely do fish. I highly recommend checking this place out. Definitely better tasting than Ginza and Edo.

Though, with 2 beers, the tricolor entree, and a side of fried rice, my bill came out to $37.35.. The Tricolor Entree was about half the bill.. Beers were the other chunk.. Sushi is not without its cost.

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