Taste Test: Tuna Two Ways at The Brahmin

Tuna Two Ways

Tuna Two Ways from The Brahmin. (Photo by Fiona Coxe)

Welcome to Taste Test, where Chowder contributor Fiona Coxe samples buzzy dishes around town — and finds out whether they are worth the hype.

The vibe at The Brahmin does not imply that food is the focus here: dance music pulses loudly through the room, while waitresses in short skirts weave between tables and leather banquettes. With a dimly lit space, exposed brick and beamed walls, it appears that the focus is more on being hip and edgy — and less on producing satisfying fare. When I sat down for dinner, I feared the worst. Luckily, I was proven wrong.

While the flatbreads seem to hold the most menu real estate, what caught my eye was the Tuna Two Ways ($10), a duo of tuna tartare and tuna paired with melon. In the tartare half of the equation, dense, fatty tuna is cut with just a little acid and then mixed with white and black sesame seeds. Served with barely crisp toast, it’s an addictive preparation.

The tuna-with-melon component, however, was what really piqued my interest. Thick slabs of seedless watermelon came layered with slices of seared tuna, perhaps not the most intuitive combination, but one that worked — the watermelon was sweet and refreshing; the tuna, slightly salty and rich.

A successful study in contrasts: sweet and salty, hot and cold, crunchy and smooth, it’s a dish I’ll be ordering again.

(The Brahmin, 33 Stanhope Street, Boston. Info: thebrahmin.com.)