You can tiptoe through the latticework dining rooms, cross the koi stream to reach the teppanyaki and sushi bars, or gawk at the traditional garb of the wait staff, but this Japanese restaurant is authentic only in its ambiance.
The assorted tempura platter (RMB 80) was pleasingly crispy and the rice in green tea soup with salmon and sour plums (RMB 30), despite being the simplest dish on the table, delivered homey warmth. Sadly, the deep-fried bean curd (RMB 30) lacked crunch and didn't absorb the flavor of its soup base. But the spicy tuna roll (RMB 100) was disappointing. Thinly sliced and overpriced, it failed to capture the sushi's textured balance of raw fish, rice and seaweed, and was drizzled with a sauce not unlike Tabasco.
Tack on a 15 percent service charge, and even the constantly refilled tea and complimentary fruit plate can't compensate for the loosely wrapped sushi.
Takatura Sushi Bar
Location: B110 Kunlun Hui, A2 Xinyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District
Open: Daily 11am-2pm, 5-10pm.