Review: Takumi Sushi in Gardens

Takumi Sushi. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Takumi Sushi. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Takumi is not for sushi snobs. Here the clear broths and delicate slivers you might associate with authentic Japanese cuisine make way for crowd-pleasing spicy mayo, deep-fried titbits, sweet sauces and – happily – massive portions. And just as well, because there are crowds to be pleased.


You could start with some edamame, miso brinjal or seaweed salad, or just climb right into the star of the show – the sushi. The list of rolls (tuna, vegetable, prawn, salmon, tempura, inside out, maki) seems to go on and on; any variation or combination you can imagine, they’ll have it.

Unless you’ve been here before, you’ll really have your work cut out for you trying to decide. The best strategy is to go with a group, order the first couple of things to catch your eye (because there will be many) and share them when the plates arrive. Then come back and do it all over again.

The chilli-popper California roll is a fun take on the popular avo, cheese and chilli theme in Mexican food, somehow making perfect sense rolled up in seaweed and sushi rice. Togaroshi spice, lime yuzu mayo and special eel sauce keep things interesting, and quirky names like ‘fighting roll’, ‘kamikaze’ and ‘dynamite’ are apt allusions to the mouth explosions you can expect.

Sushi at Takumi

Sushi at Takumi. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

If you like things a little simpler, chirashizushi (scattered sushi) is a bowl of sleek chunks of fresh sashimi on a bed of sushi rice that will fill you right up. Another of the specialities, The Boat, arrives piled high with nigiri (salmon, line fish, tuna, prawn), sashimi and a dozen rolls. As with all of Takumi’s dishes, the servings are generous and cuts super chunky, so open wide.

End the meal with scoops of the ice cream of the day – earl grey and honey-rooibos, if you’re lucky.


They have all the usual tipple, but why not sip one of the dozen teas on offer, or warm sake.


The house rules at the beginning of the menu makes things clear from the outset: no wise guys; plates will arrive when they’re ready, so sharing is encouraged; and a 10% service fee will be added to your bill, so notify management if you feel service is not up to scratch. Expect a warm welcome at the door and no-fuss, professional service.

Takumi owner Papa San. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Takumi owner Papa San. Photo courtesy of the restaurant


Everything has a touch of good humour to it, and the atmosphere is electric despite the slightly dim lighting. It’s slick and smart, with face brick, pale wood panelling and simple black and red touches.


We don’t notice even a hint of the notorious take-no-prisoners attitude of Papa San, and are kind of disappointed at not being chased out for ordering too many rounds of food or holding our chopsticks wrong. Ah well, there’s always next time…

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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