Jimmy “Sushi Jimmi” Sinh, owner of the now defunct Sushi Jimmi Asian fusion restaurant at 2895 Poplar, will become chef/kitchen manager at Saltwater Crab beginning January 15th, says owner Gary Lin.
Saltwater Crab, which opened in July, serves a range of fare from seafood to steaks. It also served sushi. “I took sushi away and people complained,” Lin says. “They wanted more sushi. I needed somebody hard working in the kitchen to take it to a different level.”
Why Sinh? “A lot of people in the whole city know him,” Lin says. And, he added, “All my servers, bartenders, know him. They wanted me to bring him back.”
Sinh initially closed Sushi Jimmi on May 23rd, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. He said he put too much money ($250,000) into the restaurant, though he says it was successful. He planned to move to Florida, but his family didn’t want to let the restaurant go. He reopened Sushi Jimmi June 15th, but it closed for a second time at the end of July.
“I just shut my restaurant down,” Sinh says. “I didn’t want to be bothered for a while. I spent six months in someone else’s kitchen, just trying to get my mind straight for a little while. I wanted a little more time with my family. Gary approached me about two weeks ago and we talked about it.”
Sinh will bring back sushi favorites from Sushi Jimmi, but he says he also will be in charge of the entire Saltwater Crab menu. “I’ll be tweaking the menu. Redoing everything. Making it better.”
A Sushi Jimmi steak? “Mine is not just a salt-and-pepper steak. Mine is more well seasoned. A lot thicker. A thick cut of meat. I want the quality to be better.” Sinh added, “I want a very strong team. In about three weeks we want to come out strong and we want to give Memphis something to remember.”
That will include “great atmosphere, live music," he says. "We’re thinking about doing live music — more specials, more drinks. We’re going to give Memphis everything they want. It’s going to be a very stressful three weeks. I’m going to be sleepless. But it’s good for you. I’m a chef. We’re going to start 2020 off with Sushi Jimmi back in town.”
Saltwater Crab is located at 2059 Madison.