Jimmy "Sushi Jimmi" Sinh and Temoor Sarwar will open JT Fusion on Wednesday, October 7th.
Diners will be able to get everything from a sushi taco to a $250 sushi boat for a group of 10 at the restaurant, which is part of the Cordova location of La Hacienda Mexican restaurant owned by Sarwar and his family. JT Fusion will become its own restaurant when it moves to a brick-and-mortar building in 2021.
The "J" stands for "Jimmy" and the "T" stands for "Temoor." They're 50-50 partners in the new endeavor. "That's why it's fusion," Sinh says. "It's both of us."
And, he says, "La Hacienda has been in business since 1996. They're not going anywhere. JT Fusion is a totally separate concept."
- Temoor Sarwar and Jimmy "Sushi Jimmi" Sinh
JT Fusion "is a brand we want to introduce to Memphis. More of an upscale Asian restaurant. Everything we order is shipped overnight. We cannot get it in Memphis. Even our wasabi. If you eat the sushi boat, then you're going to get real wasabi."
Those boats will include bluefin tuna and "all your exclusive fish." They'll sell for between $150 and $250, depending on the type of fish and how many it will serve, Sinh says. "It's not a cheap boat. It's high-quality fish."
"We're just doing things we feel like are really good," Sarwar says. "Our Pork Belly Philly concept came from the Philly sandwich, but we're doing it with pork belly. It's kind of like a chunky bacon. It's really good.
"And that's the kind of stuff I'm excited about. A lot of times chefs or cooks get stuck in cooking one style of food because that's what's expected of them."
JT Fusion has "no rules" in the kitchen, Sarwar says. "We can pick up and do whatever we want with the food and menu. We don't have to be classical. We don't have to be regionally correct to any style or any kind of food."
- Don’t rock the sushi boat.
They will serve what they feel "tastes great," he says.
The menu, which also will include sushi, will feature Sinh's take on the sushi taco. "Mine is not fried at all," Sinh says. "It's more of a healthier choice. It's just wrapped in seaweed. It has that crunch because of the seaweed, and it has the rice that sticks it together. And the flavors, you get it in the spicy tuna, spicy crawfish, spicy crab. You can get it pretty much stuffed with anything. Also, it has a little bit of pico de gallo and tobiko — fish eggs."
Like their food, the drinks at JT Fusion also will be fusion. They'll mix spirits from different countries, Sarwar says. They fuse Italy with Japan in a cocktail made with limoncello and sake.
The drink list will be "definitely different from anywhere else," Sinh says. The Ninja, made with sake, peach Smirnoff vodka, apple Cîroc vodka, and cranberry juice, is served in a big fish bowl. You can drink it by yourself or share it with a second person. I put dry ice in it. That makes it cooler."
For now, JT Fusion will be a section of about six tables at La Hacienda, Sinh says. "We're just getting a small part of the restaurant to serve our food ... a small part of the kitchen. We're looking for a place of our own right now. I would say 2021 we're going to open it. It will be a brand-new year. Everything is going to be good again. And we want to introduce it to Memphis the right way. That way, we can come out with a new year, a new restaurant, and serve you guys better."
Since JT Fusion now has a limited number of tables, customers must make a reservation to eat there.
"I feel like restaurants have gone away from the experience," Sarwar says. "Everything is so uptight. We want people to have fun.
"We're trying to give people an experience. Trying to give people our energy. Jimmy and I are super excited about this."
JT Fusion is at La Hacienda, 1760 N. Germantown Pkwy. in Cordova; (901) 624-2020.