Otoro81 is among the best Japanese restaurants in Napoli and offers an upscale atmosphere with a cocktail lounge with DJ as well as a premium sushi menu to explore. During the week seats are available for walk-ins, on the weekend reservations are a must. As one of the few reference sushi restaurants in town, I returned once again for another amazing dinner.
With a group of colleagues we arrived at the restaurant for an early dinner. We were seated at a nice table with a good view over the sushi lounge and were served some nice sake tempura (fried salmon) as an amuse-bouche to kick of the dinner. We decided to sample the premium selection plates and ordered some individual premium items on top and were set for an amazing experience.
First, we had an amazing otoro (fatty tuna belly) tartare, which was absolutely breathtaking. It was followed by an sashimi plate with maguro (tuna back), hamachi (yellowtail), sake (salmon), suzuki (sea bass), hotategai (scallop) and ebi (shrimp) of which the scallop and shrimp were most amazing. We also sampled an hamachi (yellowtail) carpaccio with jalapeño dressing, which also excellent.
The next plate came with same hamachi (yellowtail), suzuki (sea bass), maguro (tuna back), sake (salmon) and ebi (shrimp) sashimi as well as hamachi (yellowtail), sake (salmon), maguro (tuna back), suzuki (sea bass), kuruma ebi (tiger prawn) and red ebi (shrimp) nigiri. The hamachi was excellent but surpassed by the outstanding texture and taste of the tiger prawn and red shrimp. Although this was a simple plate with standard items, it already was a remarkable dinner.
We then opted for some more toro (tuna belly) dishes. We tried the otoro (fatty tuna belly) tartare gunkan (battleship sushi), otoro (fatty tuna belly), otoro (fatty tuna belly) nigiri with maguro (tuna back) nigiri. All of these items were jaw dropping and rank among the best quality and taste of tuna in Napoli.
Subsequently we had two orders of the large signature mix plate that offers the most premium pieces the restaurant has to offer. It came with sake (salmon) maki, a amazing sake (salmon) uramaki (inside out roll) with seared sake (salmon) tartare topping, otoro (fatty tuna belly) nigiri with otoro (fatty tuna belly) tartare topping, sake (salmon), hamachi (yellowtail) with uni (sea urchin) topping, suzuki (sea bass) nigiri, ebi (shrimp) with ika (squid) and tobiko (flying fish roe) topping), kani (crab), kuruma ebi (tiger prawn) and ika (squid) nigiri with caviar topping.
To say the least, this plate was amazing. The combination of flavours created by the carefully picked toppings was outstanding and the quality and taste of the items was excellent. Most amazing were the yellowtail with the sea urchin, the squid with caviar and tiger prawn. It was only surpassed by the fatty tuna belly, that was as excellent as ever.
All in all, this was an absolutely excellent dinner that ranks among the best sushi experiences I ever had in Napoli. Just recently I resampled all the top choices in town and Otoro81 definitely outperformed the competition.
Sushi Guide Verdict
Otoro81 is an excellent Japanese restaurant with an amazing interior design and modern atmosphere. The lounge is very stylish but uses warm colours, so it feels comfy and cozy despite the cocktail bar and DJ setting. It invites for long stays that extend beyond the dinner. The menu options are extensive and offer both classic and highly exclusive items that are otherwise hard or even impossible to find in Napoli. The quality and taste of the food is outstanding. Although not on the same level as high end options globally, it certainly is one of its kind in Southern Italy. So far, it is the only restaurant that servers tuna at a high quality and also offers fatty tuna cuts that are excellent. The drink menu is extensive and offers anything you could hope for from cocktails to wine and spirits. The service team is excellent, friendly and forthcoming and creates a good vibe. For sure I will be back at Otoro81.
Review date: June 1, 2019