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During world travels, I regularly check out high-end Japanese restaurants. I always thought Puerto Vallarta needed a decent, good Japanese restaurant and I was so pleased to hear of Hiroshi on the outskirts of town. Here is my review of Hiroshi restaurant situated within the AAA Five Diamond-rated resort, Hotel Mousai. As a hotel restaurant, it has apparently made quite the impression with vacationers and locals. Hotel Mousai is an adults-only resort in the south of Banderas Bay, and the restaurant is situated in their North Tower.
Delicious Fusion of Japanese and Mexican Cuisines
I was seeking a gastronomic experience and I had heard that resident chef, Carlos Leyva, and his team of sushi chefs use a Japanese/Mexican mix in their dishes, using ingredients like cilantro, jalapeño, and avocado in their creations and that they use really different presentations to serve their sashimi. I was intrigued to visit.
My other love apart from traditional Japanese food is trying new experiences, so I booked a table for two for myself and my husband. In the end, we had such a great time, and I felt it was a unique dining experience, which prompted me to write a review of Hiroshi. If you like to eat sushi you’ve found your place! Here is my review of Hiroshi, in wonderful Puerto Vallarta. They both stole my heart.
Super Creative Libations
We arrived early as one does for Japanese restaurants and we had dressed up for the occasion as the hotel website suggests. Being a traditional Japanese restaurant, we were invited to sit at the bar first and drink-test the resident mixologist to make our favorite cocktails.
We chose to go straight to our table, sat at the front, where you have a view of the ocean, and mountains, and it felt like a wonderful place just to be at. It also felt like a place we could feed all our senses.
Yet another love of mine is properly made classic cocktails. Although we were in an à la carte Japanese restaurant, we still wanted to try an authentic margarita in Mexico.
The barman did not disappoint. He created two classic lime margaritas for us, and they were life-affirming! Hiroshi also has an excellent wine list and imported beers.
The Atmosphere at Hiroshi
There was a relaxing playlist in the background and we appreciated that a lot. Then a strolling violinist came through the restaurant and the sound of the soulful solo violin background music made the atmosphere even more romantic.
The familiar clatter of utensils was drifting out from the open kitchen, and we felt we were in a whole new world. Suddenly we were extremely hungry and ready for an awesome experience at a Japanese restaurant in Mexico.
We enjoyed watching all the diners on vacation laughing and having a good time, doing some “chin-chin” with their glasses. And we felt very lucky to be staying in this very upscale hotel with the finest restaurants and gourmet cuisine. Choosing Hotel Mousai to stay at during our vacation in Puerto Vallarta was one of the best decisions we could have made, and having dinner at Hiroshi was the second best decision we ever made.
We both love sake to drink with our meal. We knew higher-quality sake should be served slightly chilled, so we ordered as such. The server told us about the variety of sake available and their list was impressive. The sake was lovely when it came and was served in beautiful glasses.
A Medley of Fantastic Flavors
We expected to wait between 15 and 20 minutes for food to start to arrive after we ordered, but the delights were served to us quickly. I prefer to eat sushi in a selection, and I love sashimi and nigiri on small plates. I always enjoy a variety of dishes.
My husband prefers hot, high-quality Japanese fare and he loves his wasabi, so we both ordered completely differently.
Hubby had Miso Soup, with Wakame seaweed, chives, and tofu to start. In a fish broth, it had the gourmet twist of a classic Asian soup. On the side, he tried a sake citrus roll stuffed with tempura shrimp and coriander, covered with fresh salmon on the outside and lemon slices. It was drizzled with an infusion of vegetable oil and curry ponzu sauce.
He is also a beef lover, so he opted for the Wasabi Rib Eye Steak. It was the perfect fusion of two countries placed together with vegetables and homemade demi-wasabi sauce. The Rib-Eye steak was done to perfection.
I ordered Hiroshi Salad. It was a mixed lettuce salad with vegetables in a ginger dressing. It was very refreshing and of Japanese fashion.
Then I went on to sashimi. I ordered Octopus Carpaccio. It came as thinly sliced octopus, guajillo pepper oil, ponzu sauce, chives, and toasted grasshopper. It was a unique sashimi dish, astonishing and tasty.
For my nigiri fix, I chose salmon, out of a choice of salmon, tuna, shrimp, catch of the day, or hamachi. The waiter’s description of them all was excellent. He told me I had a choice of delicate slices of seafood with a touch of wasabi on marinated rice with a small belt of nori on each.
He said nigiri sushi is the most popular and consumed variety of sushi in Japan, with its origin dating back to China where they preserved fish with mold from fermented rice. Apparently, years later Japan reinvented this dish as we know it today. All the servers were super knowledgeable.
The salmon choice came with marinated rice and wonderful wasabi.
As the last part of my main course, I had a cheeky Yuzu Special Maki roll with rice, avocado, cucumber, lime slices and fried shallots, Himalayan salt, and yuzu honey dressed and finished the plate elegantly. It was a very delicate mix of veggies – creamy and refreshing.
Lastly, my review of Hiroshi wouldn’t be complete without mentioning dessert! My husband chose the Green Tea Ice-cream and Vanilla Crumble. He said it had a classy, chic, traditional Asian flavor and it was sweet and creamy.
I chose a cake of coconut, vanilla, and coconut cream with berries. It was a sweet coconut dish that made me feel like I was eating a cloud.
We both ate our complete meals with our hands or chopsticks (except the desserts) and we felt very cultured and blessed, knowing our meal had been steeped in tradition, yet presented to us in a modern and innovative fashion. The staff seem passionate about everything they do, especially the food ingredients.
You will find Hiroshi and Hotel Mousai the perfect hosts, as we did. Hiroshi is open for dinner from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm every evening.
Gourmet restaurants don’t get much better than this. I hope my review of Hiroshi guides others to find some Japanese ambiance in Mexico.