Updates: Takeguchi san, former bar master of of Chinju No Mori Animism Bar, has opened his own sake bar, although now the establishment pairs sake as well as Japanese wine with lacto-ovo vegetarian food (there are no meat dishes). The name of the bar is called Polyphony and I am not clear on specifics regarding reservations or if they are only doing existing customers.
Aoshima Sosuke, who ran front of house / director for L'Effervescence for the last 8 years and likely was the one who spearheaded the sake pairing program as well as developing unique relationships to sake breweries, has left the restaurant to pursue his dream of working in sake (he will be relocating to Akita prefecture and work directly for Aramasa). I'm sure sake pairing will continue at L'Effervescence, but at what level is unknown. I can only hope they will resume and keep the sake pairing program (and strengthen it somehow). Aramasa already has created a special brew for L'Effervescence, so I see that continuing.
Kiyoi has delayed re-opening (it is a very small space), until coronavirus cases are under control and more people are vaccinated. I believe Firenze Sake Tokyo and Oyster are both open, as is Kirakutei in Ginza.
Yes, those stores just carry several bottles of Kamoshibito Kuheiji for the brewery year 2016-2018 and one of the owners told me they got it because it tasted better after being aged for a couple of years. Canadian importers do not normally get fresh new sake.
Just published my review of Hatsunezushi at https://thetokyogourmet.blogspot.com/2021/02/hatsunezushi.html. In short, while there might have been a drop in value over the years there hasn't been a drop in quality. I asked Nakaji-san what happened with Michelin and he said he didn't know.
We also were rejected to book a table in 2008 by fax with the exception that foreigners were not likely to understand the food and culture. We had some Japanese friends to call and explain that we were very well informed about the culture and it would be an honor to visit. We were then allowed and had a fantastic experience with Hachiro Mizutani first watching our reactions and then loosening up to us and ending with free drinks and photo with us.
Lisbet / Denmark
Love this article! The shari is definitely a very important part of experience. For those of us playing at making sushi at home with access to both akasu and komesu does anyone have any starting points for a shari recipe they'd be willing to share?
I think both sushi restaurants are worth going out of the way to visit.
Sushi Ikko's shari is different from Sushi Sakai, which mainly uses red vinegar, and offers proper and mild tastes. That's a part some people evaluate positively or negatively depending on the preference.
Personally, I would prefer Sushi Sakai.
@localtaste Oh interesting I didn't even consider that it was in Manhattan - though unfortunately it seems like there's been a mixup as I'm based in Atlanta and only have the opportunity to take occasional trips to NYC though when we do visit we tend to stay in the noho/lower east side/alphabet city area so will be quite convenient! If we get the opportunity to visit soon will definitely keep you posted but like so many others during this time we've been in lockdown to minimise the spread of covid.
Still truly appreciated though, when responsibility keeps us at home the correspondence here is a small solace from the outside world!
@guest wow I have to agree with the OP guest, unagi shun one of the most overrated unagi imo, it’s not bad but nothing special to travelled all that way from Tokyo can definitely find as good or better within Tokyo.
Thank you Saito-san. Your sense of humor and clever wit today is at its finest! I appreciate a good joke, haha. (facepalm on the Shinkansen tip) I will swim out to Suruga Bay if I have to. I was thinking of stopping in Fujinomiya on the way back.
So another recommendation of gyokuro. I guess I'll have to have some then. Will look forward to the post meal tea. And also took down your suggestion @localtaste. I thought Yame Gyokuro was the famous variety, but I guess Shizuoka must have something on par.
Hi, I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The concierge was lovely, even though they failed to get seats at Tenzushi - which we were told should be done more than 3 months in advance. Hotel was a bit old but decent for the price range.
Also just to provide a report on Chisou Nakamura. Lovely kaiseki meal with modern touches here and there. Nakamura-san was also a great host despite speaking very little English. Really appreciated how he tried to joke with us and use Google Translate to show us rare ingredients during the meal. Would definitely recommend