You would never guess one of Shanghai's finest sushi spots is on this sketchy street a few blocks north of People's Square, just around the corner from Jiajia Tang Bao. And you wouldn't find the shop on Dianping, because it's not listed there. Haiyu Sushi was on Dianping, but too many random walk-ins made it hard for the boss's regulars to get a table.
Regulars – like the chef at Mercato, who wrote about this place in Industry Nights – go here for good reason. Haiyu Sushi is an anomaly in Shanghai – spartan environment, high-end food. While clean, there is nothing fancy about this place. Just a counter, a few tables, a TV, and two friendly chefs who will gladly drop knowledge about fish and Shanghai if you ask. Basically the equation is this: if you remove the fancy decor, the dozens of staff, some frilly ornamental ingredients, and the prime location, your customers can enjoy high-grade sushi for mid-range prices. Indeed, on a recent Sunday night, a couple spent 390rmb and ate an extremely memorable meal of fresh fish and beer that would probably cost upwards of 1000rmb in many restaurants here.
If you're into sushi, this place has choice cuts for much less than you'd expect. Make a reservation though, and be sure to follow the boss's Moments for all the fish photos.
Summary: No frills, minimal sushi spot with excellent fish and friendly staff, a few blocks north of People's Square. Not fancy, very good, and memorable. Reservations essential.
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