Empire is an Asian Fusion restaurant and lounge that opened recently in the seaport. I’d been a few times for drinks and tried the sashimi, which I enjoyed so much I had to go back for dinner and get full experience. There were so many things on the menu we wanted to try, my friend decided to order several appetizers and sushi dishes so we could taste as much as possible.
We started with the plum salad and tuna tartare. The salad was a mix of greens topped with plums, sesame seeds, and plum vinaigrette. The sesame and plum were a nice balance of sweet and savory, and I loved the flavor of the vinaigrette! The tuna was served in a mustard, miso, and champagne dressing and was so fresh and flavorful we ate it plain, not even needing the crispy wonton chips.
Next we tried two of the sushi specials, a torched gunkan style toro nigiri and the autumn roll, which included Japanese pumpkin tempura topped with smoked salmon, Asian pear, and a sweet molasses sauce. These were both delicious and I was especially impressed by the creativity in the autumn roll.
We finished with the surf and turf and salmon and tuna sashimi. The surf and turf came with three pieces each of tataki beef and sockeye salmon nigiri, and was topped with scallions, ginger, toasted garlic, and sweet miso vinegar on the side. Rare beef and toasted garlic is a combination I’ve discovered only recently, but I absolutely love it and Empire’s was no exception. The sashimi was possibly my favorite dish we tried – there is nothing better than pure, simple slices of raw fish when it’s fresh and high quality. It was served in a bowl of ice to stay chilled, and the salmon, some of the best I’ve had, just melted in my mouth.
Overall I had a great meal at Empire. The sashimi, which brought me back a second time, was just as good as I remember. I will definitely be back, and look forward to trying some of the hot entrees next time!