I’ve been hiding something from y’all, and now it’s time to come clean. Yes, you can get great sushi in far South Austin. Nanami Sushi Bar & Grill on Brodie Lane is proving that there’s more to the stretch of road between William Cannon and Slaughter than gas stations and grocery stores. (There’s also the best doughnuts & kolaches in S. ATX, but that’s a different post). Young gun Chef Jason Liao is determined to make a name for the restaurant in a town that has several wildly popular sushi restaurants. This part of Austin, however, is ripe for the pickings for delicious local restaurant fare, as there are far less dining establishments than the norm. Chef Jason is running wild with his creative offerings, and folks are starting to notice.
The menu at Nanami is in the process of being revamped, and I had the chance to try a few dishes currently in R&D. After my meal I decided that I’ll pretty much eat anything Chef Jason offers, without questioning. My sushi-newbie spouse was a bit more hesitant, but he bravely tasted everything and enjoyed the flavors, if not the texture. Next time we’ll compromise on cooked selections for him, sushi all the way for me. A stand out dish for both of us is the Chef’s spin on chips and dip. He lightly sears scallops, then serves them with tuna ceviche and red snapper chips. To transform fish into a chip, Chef Jason pounds red snapper down to the size of a thick potato chip, coats it in corn starch and flash fries it to crunchy perfection. The result is a delicate chip strong enough to convey the flavorful scallop and ceviche safely to your mouth. This dish is a winner, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
With an ambitious chef at the sushi bar, I believe that Nanami will continue to surprise and delight patrons with unexpected flavor combinations. Chef Jason puts out harmonious partnerships of ingredients designed for the diner to forgo the usual salty soy sauce. Without the often overpowering soy and wasabi, the Chef coaxes exquisite yet light flavors from rich cuts of fish paired with aromatics such as candied orange peels and mint, or garlic-infused oil. All in all, a decadent dining experience that leaves you satiated yet wondering, “what will he come up with next?.”
Nanami is open daily for lunch and dinner, and offers delivery within a three-mile radius. Happy hour from the full bar is Monday through Thursday, from 4-6pm.