I had been on this anti-carb kick which I must confess, didn’t last long. Sadly just 3 weeks, with several cheat days in between. Today being one of them.
During an EPPPPPPICCCC school meeting, I managed to dodge the heavenly salted caramel brownies and chocolate chip cookies (catered by Sherine from FOUR FAT LADIES), but I couldn’t turn away the carrot cake. It was calling my name in all its moist gooeyness. After that, it was all over. There was no going back. And a Starbucks latte was not going to cut it. I needed MORE. In the middle of a typhoon carb crash, I went plunging straight across town into the abyss of my beloved RAKI.
RAKI sushi, that is. There are many great sushi restaurants in Qingdao, most typically traditional Japanese style restaurants. But RAKI is far from traditional. They took an impossible feat of making this random space in the middle of a mall feel like you’ve just walked onto the cobblestone streets of the West Village, New York. The subway-style tiled floors and industrial metal fixtures contrast the rustic decor of wood, marble and rock. Opening up their exterior walls and adding an organic garden across the way gives RAKI a surprisingly neighborhood feel. Paired with dimly lit retro style chandeliers and the softly piped in Euro-Asian music, the restaurant is simultaneously earthy, industrial, and unmistakably Asian. RAKI has elevated the standard of eating out in Qingdao – as an experience, not just a convenience.
And the sushi matches it’s setting, earning its reputation by being delicious and well priced. I, with a bigger appetite than most, suffice on 3 half-rolls, totaling @ 100 rmb. Portions are generous and filling. I stick with the rolls, but have stolen bites of other dining partners’ meals, which are equally as good. The Spicy Tuna Rolls, Burned Norwegian Salmon Maki drizzled with a sweet tangy mayo, and Soft Shell Crab Naki make my usual list.
However my absolute GO-TO is the Smoked Duck Breast with Foie Gras. I know, I know, where’s the raw fish in this one, right??? Who cares! It pushes the envelope on what is technically sushi in the most imaginative way. The juiciness of the duck and richness of the foie gras is met with the unpredictable citrus twist inside. Beyond amazing.
I’m not compensated for this review, it’s just my honest opinion. And it is my honest opinion that if you are looking for a refreshingly new restaurant for sushi in Qingdao, RAKI is really worth checking out.
RAKI 青岛市市南区香港中路8号青岛中心广场3楼萝喜创意料理 电话：0532-87710707
(3rd floor in the mall next door to the Westin Hotel)
3F, Qingdao Centre Plaza, 8 Xianggang Zhong Lu, Shinan District.