ADVENTURE: Shufflin’ on over to Uptown Oakland to check out the latest Asian joint, Shinmai // CRAVE: Those raw fish dishes!
Uptown Oakland is happening—bursting with fresh new restaurants, watering holes with cult followings, and quirky dessert shops. Last week, Shinmai joined the party, serving a taste of Tokyo with savory izakaya fare and hearty bowls of ramen.
Owners Yingji Huang (also of Montclair’s Kakui) and Andy Liu (also Shinmai’s ramen chef) have teamed up with chef Jerrod Doss (Aziza, Chez TJ, and The French Laundry) to come up with a menu that mixes traditional ingredients with unexpected elements. Look for exciting twists on Japanese fare such as a fried potato salad with truffle mayonnaise and paddlefish caviar, or ribs with miso barbecue sauce and bonito flakes. Sushi lovers will be pleased with the stellar raw menu.
Shinmai’s interiors are a mix of rich, dark hues, wooden panels, and windows inspired by a traditional Japanese shōji style.
The interiors come from architect Denny Abrams and Síol Design team.
Enjoy a savory raw dish of the Ocean Trout, made with piquillo, aroma sansho, micro red shies, lime, and sumac.
The bar menu has been assembled by Adam Stemmler of Farm League Restaurant Group (East Bay Spice Company, Drake’s Dealership, Arthur Mac’s, and the forthcoming Gio’s Pizza & Bocce) and Shinmai bar manager Brian McMillan.
This restaurant isn’t afraid to mix it up when it comes to their raw menu. Sweet peaches play nicely off of savory pieces of hamachi and against the contrasting crunch of toasted rice.
Chef Doss whips up fresh, seasonal veggie izakaya options like this broccolini served over a smear of miso honey mustard, then topped with light, fluffy eggs and salty, plump salmon roe.
Choose from either a hearty bowl of tonkotsu ramen or vegetable ramen. The vegetable ramen (above) is served with a hard boiled egg, black trumpet mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.
Shinmai’s fried chicken leaves little if not nothing to be desired — perfectly crispy, drizzled with ginger Worcestershire sauce, and served with a heavenly side of miso tartar dipping sauce.
This article originally was written and photographed by me for 7×7 and can be viewed here.
Looking for another tasty Asian fusion spot? Check out the latest fast casual Koran-Mex spot, Saucy Asian in the Castro!