Shiki, a Japanese restaurant in Coolidge Corner, gets polarizing reviews on the boards. On one hand, yumyum sums it up as “middling” and says that “for every highlight there seems to be an accompanying misstep.” But, then, gourmaniac says, “In the 3–4 times I’ve been there, there has always been something special and unexpected that I’ve only had in Japan.” Shiki offers an experience that’s quite distinct from run-of-the-mill sushi bars.

So how to get the latter experience instead of the former? First, unless you’re really craving sushi, go light on these orders and lean towards the specials menu: “It feels they just have stuff like sushi and tonkatsu on the menu out of a sense of duty and put their energy into the specials,” says skordalia. In fact, throw away your expectations of what a Japanese meal should be like, because Shiki, unlike other Japanese restaurants in Boston, specializes in the izakaya style of eating (small bites to have with drinks). The broiled fish, eel mille-feuille, chirashi sushi sampler, and sake tasting flight are all reliable orders.

Shiki [South Shore]
9 Babcock Street, Brookline

Discuss: Duozo, or Shiki, or …..?
A mixed bag at Shiki

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