Saito-san, can i ask you regarding yasukichi in fukuoka?My hotel concierge says that they do not take reservations from hotels.Do you happen to know whether they speak english? So that i can try calling them.
@bootsy_gin Mind sharing why?I have seen some instagram users mentioning that you need to be accompanied by a japanese. Whereas, when i got jpnezy to book them, it was mentioned that they accept bookings directly from guests.
It seems they can only accept reservations through a companion who can speak Japanese. I just got off the phone with them inquiring about how to make a reservation, but they were very rude.
The owner chef was arrested (afterwards released without indictment) after committing a certain crime around two years ago, but right now they have made a comeback and are normally running their sushi restaurant with no plans to close shop.
Saito-san, that is what I was talking about. I deleted my original comments as I thought maybe I was mis-informed after reading your post saying the restaurant is still in business.But are you aware that earlier this month, there was a second trial?The judge overturned the first ruling of not guilty, and found the chef guilty. He has been sentenced to four years. That is why I said I believe the shop will close. You can read the article from earlier this month here.https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASN254SK4N25TIPE01H.html
@Saito-san thanks for the info. Sorry to inconvenience you to call them and having to go through the rudeness.Now i understand why some reviews mentioned for young ladies to be careful/not to go there. @bootsy_gin Thanks for this. Will probably avoid going then.
Hi Saito san,Is there any place you can recommend in Tokyo for Sababozushi? Sushiya or a specialty store?
@guest Saito san once recommended 468. 468Japan, 〒111-0035 Tokyo, Taito City, Nishiasakusa, 3 Chome−23−14 村作ビル 101+81 3-3843-6964https://goo.gl/maps/8MWHiaQBvQeTmz9D8
◆Sushihttps://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13184367/◆Kappo restauranthttps://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1309/A130903/13151542/◆Izakayahttps://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13054593/◆Specialty storehttps://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13035662/
@guest Sushi Suzuki which Saito San recommended got one of the most delicious sababozushi in Tokyo. Can’t go wrong with this advice.
I am a bit unclear on something guys. Is saba-bo-zushi different from sabazushi?Does it have to be grilled to be called sababozushi?I once went to Ginza Miyama to try their sabazushi, after being entranced by this CM.https://www.bilibili.com/video/av7988866/?p=39(1'20" to 2 minute mark, they torch it)Probably paid way more than I needed to, for my sabazushi fix. They also seem to run another more casual place called Saba Miyama.I've also been interested in this:http://www.ginza-asami.co.jp/omotase/omotase_top.htmlWhile we're at it, if someone could help clarify for me, this is a box you pre-order and pick up from the restaurant?And yes... I too found it through the same Suntory CM series.https://www.bilibili.com/video/av7988866/?p=34
@guest Saba sushi is nigiri with saba as neta. Sababozushi is found in Kansai. You should try the one recommended by Saito San, 230 years of practice. When you see the pic, the difference is quite obvious. You unwrap the seaweed before u eat it though. Many foreigners eat the whole thing and complained. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2018/04/07/food/izuu-230-years-practice-makes-perfect-mackerel-sushi/#.XleV7sAxUlQ
Ahaha! Thanks for the instruction manual advice localtaste. I've always wondered, "are you supposed to eat the konbu with it?" I'd be one of those who ate the whole thing by mistake. It always turned me off, because I thought you're supposed to eat the konbu too.
One thing to note is that sabazushi is Kansai in origin, bousushi is a variant of that. The bousushi you find in Tokyo style omakase restaurants is a bit of a fusion East meets West style. As I understand it sabazushi's rice is a bit sweeter, and depending on the Tokyo sushi omakase restaurant the shari is either akasu or akasau forward with komesu blended. The saba marination may likely be different, and of course with the Tokyo omakase places, eating it as a single piece with a crisp nori wrap (like onigiri). A really good place would find a way to add more complexity and find ways to balance out the sweet and sour profiles and in that mixture, find seriously nuanced umami in between. Especially delicious during winter when saba is super fatty but can be tempered with the right salt and vinegar curing.
Here are some more options. These are more izakaya places, some may be chains if that is of any importance to you. Note that they may not have the item due to seasonality/availability.https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1303/A130303/13179109/https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1302/A130202/13117221/https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13000770/https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1301/A130102/13117852/
This version, where you wrap it in nori, is catching steam recently hasn't it? Seems kinda red hot as of late. I'm not quite sure what the name is.May I share with you a photo I took of one I had recently? At Hayato (an apprentice of Ishikawa and Kohaku).https://imgur.com/a/dgXofBKQuite proud of this photo!It's even finding its way into kaiseki style restaurants, so must be something trendy.
hi saito san, i see that on Omakase website there are so many restaurants that are never actually open for reservation so I'm wondering why are they on the website? is it actually true that some of those places are on the website for restaurants to allow their regulars to book easily or send them invites on the website and will never actually be open to everyone to reserve?the way many restaurants in Japan treat customers when it comes to making reservations are just terrible and so unfair I'm surprised everyone are not complaining about it. this Omakase website just shows everything that is so wrong about it (bots, restaurant give special treatments for certain customers, some reservations only open for people living in Japan, etc etc.)
Some might be new entries to the omakase website that are not ready yet to accept reservations online. It could also be partly what you say, to hold slots for specific individuals to book. Or seats were already released and the next round isn't available and you just missed their timing. It is also possible that the number of seats available only on Omakase is limited, and serve only to fill cancellations.There are non regulars and semi regulars who are lucky enough to score reservations from the website without any connections. Or some restaurants have other means to book that are not just exclusive to Omakase.This is unfortunately the way it is, and no different than the laws of supply and demand, human nature, and competition.... look at how the system is also rigged with concert tickets.There are soooooo many restaurants in Tokyo and Japan that do not suffer from this problem, and with enough effort you could make reservations and enjoy them somehow, whether they are popular or only locals in the know go there, and they can be even more satisfying than these super popular places which are not always great. One does not have to follow others to go to famous restaurants that are near impossible to get into. But the people who are so selfish and double book restaurants, cancel reservations late and ruining it for others (including hotel concierge services) are also to blame...why not blame those people as well?
if all restaurants want to be fair when it comes to reservations for everyone, it can be done very easily, all restaurants worldwide aside from Japan can do it, so why can't they? I think its more that they don't want to.
I do hear occasionally, that a person who have never visited these sites (Omakase, Tableall, Pocket Concierge, etc..) just randomly go on, and get a seat, sometimes within a few weeks. So there's also the matter of good timing. @guest, is there a specific restaurant you have been keeping an eye on?You also have to consider, some people have worked very hard to work their way into a restaurant, like asking many favors of different people, and eating at many different places until they meet a 'connection', and so they're entitled though their effort and patience.We should feel lucky services like Omakase exist. It's a luxury, not a 'privilege'. And certainly many people are complaining. But you have to think about those who visit once in a lifetime, for like... only a week, and are already annoyed they can't get in from very little effort, vs. people who live in Japan, who have waited years to eat at a certain restaurant.And again, keep in mind a Tokyo restaurant might have 6 seats a night, maybe 12 if two seatings. Not like a huge place in New York with 250 covers a day. And ChuToroZuke makes a good point. There are many great restaurants not on Omakase, and easy to call, so why limit it to just those difficult ones? Just because it's coveted, doesn't make them the best restaurants in Tokyo. If you become frustrated because you can't get into a hyped place, it's because you want to belong to the 'elite' who were able to get into those places. If you really want to eat there, your effort and perseverance will pay off in time, though it might take you more than one try.
Special treatment for certain customers? Plenty of business have loyalty programs and similar stuff, giving special benefits and perks for loyal customers. It's not something that only happens in high end restaurants in Japan...
Nobody forces you to use Omakase, if you don't like it. It's nothing strange that restaurants everyone wants to visit are very difficult to book, or that restaurants favour regulars over one-time guests. A concierge should be able to get you some really good reservations.
Reason being that omakase is set up to help restaurants manage customers(last min cancellations, how much seats are filled etc). It was clarified in one of the comments on andrew's instagram. It was never meant to help customers make reservations at hard to book places. Allowing customers to book at hard to book places is a by-product of the system.As mentioned by others above my comments, there are so many places which are good but less publicized. And i would gladly dine there than wasting my time waiting and hoping to get a chance to go to places like amamoto on omakase.
Hello Saito San and everyone else living in Japan (or recently travelled there).I would like to ask regarding travel safety to Japan due to Coronavirus.My trip to Tokyo is currently confirmed for mid March and all restaurants have been booked so I really don’t want to cancel this trip if I don’t have to. Is it safe to visit Japan right now? What about use of public transportations? How concerned should I be for this trip?Thank you very much
That's really a question no one can give an answer to; we can only make assumptions. You could get Corona at the country you live in. You could certainly get it on the plane here. If you are worried, your best bet would be to avoid coming into contact with people as much as possible, which would be to cancel your trip.Is it safe? No one knows. Maybe it'll die down in mid-March. Maybe it'll become a full on outbreak.
To be honest it's not a question anyone can answer with confidence at this time. So it's down to yourself. If you are going to have sleepless nights worrying about this disease outbreak, it's best to cancel everything and stay put. You cannot put a price on a good night's sleep.
There is currently a limited number of infected people in Tokyo, but that number is expected to increase sharply into March and April (I feel like the government's containment policies are unreliable compared to other countries...).I'm not sure what country you're coming from, but it is predicted that more countries will implement policies denying entry to people returning from Tokyo, so as a safety precaution I would recommend postponing your trip to Japan.
I would advise you to postpone your trip. If the situation in japan worsens, who knows you might not even be allowed to arrive in tokyo.It is always best to postpone now than later. Am assuming free cancellations for your hotel and restaurant bookings. If your country bans you from visiting japan a couple of days before the trip, you will be suffering a big financial loss for all the restaurant and hotel bookings.
Most visitors should cancel their trip to 10 high risk countries (not just Japan). and u should let all restaurants know ASAP.Here are my reasons:-1. Not only Aerosol transmission but also shared sewage transmission is possible.https://youtu.be/pshp3uZzHTw2. N95 vfe surgical mask isn’t enough. You need N95 respirator with proper seal. Respirator is to be properly used to be effective. Using surgical mask could help in certain cases but the protocol isn’t followed by most people. https://youtu.be/Gdsy_sZnBZg3. Public transportation is high risk. You can hold the virus tainted handrail and use your mobile. Just touching your face after your hand is contaminated is more than enough to get one sick.4. Washing hand properly isn’t sufficient. Your cell phone has to be disinfected as well. 5. Even properly sealed respirator isn’t enough, you need medical glasses with proper seal to protect your mucus membrane in the eyes. Despite the hard work of infection control specialist, high number of infection among medical staff in China has been reported. Average tourist isn’t cut for it. https://youtu.be/Uladk3xbKEY6. Even flushing toilet is risky as some evidence showed virus transmission via shared sewage system. https://youtu.be/EG_PnRCLe9A7. Whether u live in or outside these 10 high risks countries, it’s not wise to risk the well being of your family, your colleagues, your neighbor or your city. Look at Italy case or Korea case. All it took was merely one super spreader.
@localtaste i believe that is a tad too drastic and some of them are just rumours.I agree that one should cancel their trip, but it is more of not travellimg at all and not only high-risk countries. Reason being that you would not want to be a super-spreader/virus carrier and cause a outbreak in your home country/ the country you are visiting.Some pointers:1. There's no evidence of aerosol transmission, only droplets transmission.2. Maintain social distancing(at least 1m) from someone who is coughing/sneezing.3. Wear a mask only if you have symptoms and see a doctor and rest at home.4. Keep proper hygiene and avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth.5. There is little evidence to prove it can spread by fecal material.Please refer to WHO website:https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
I would not trust the World Health Organization who have been rather inept, and were too slow to react and call out whatever happened in Wuhan during the outbreak to enact strict measures. Waiting and see knowing that something super bad was brewing is just lacking in common sense and survival. Given that this is going to be a pandemic in a short period of time across the globe, even I am postponing any trip plans. If the Olympics do not get cancelled, (let alone other major public events this year) more people will be infected and this would be even more tragic.One JR employee who has the coronavirus, vowed to return to work to "fight off the virus" and thinking it is nothing (in the name of masculinity and pride), is selfishly going to spread it all around exponentially. There are already a lot of cases in different parts of Japan, including Osaka and Hokkaido (despite it being spread out), and Tokyo may unfortunately be the next hotspot as some experts are saying. Hong Kong went through SARs so people kind of know what to expect, but this is so new for S.Korea, Italy, and Japan.... people are unprepared and don't know how to properly deal with it. I hope everyone stays safe and well. Not too much you can do, but try to boost your immune system as much as possible. Get enough rest, that's the most basic self care you can do (apart from washing your hands for 30 seconds...).
@guest I welcome to hear diverse opinions. Many times I learn something along the way. Readers can weigh all info and decide for themselves after hearing all sides.Could you let me know which are just rumours? I'd like to know if anything I mentioned were rumours.I'd also like to respond to your pointers:-1. Aerosol transmission was cited by Chinese health authorities and reported by XINHAU on Feb 19. 20. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/19/c_138798935.htmhttps://youtu.be/i0xEbNh8x8U2. Larger droplets can travel up to 2 meters and 8 meters for smaller ones. Source: Lydia Bourouiba's lab at MIT. https://lbourouiba.mit.edu/https://youtu.be/MKAHNoni0KIThe physics of the sneeze. https://youtu.be/bFxgVkslD-k3. Virus transmission via shared sewage sytstem. Source: Dr. John Campbell, the UK. Also, this is proper hypothesis by but if you like a back up by scientific paper, you check 'Molecular and serological investigationh of 2019-nCOV infected patients' by a group of researches in Wuhan. https://www.tandfonline.com/f7e72f44-dffc-42f9-8f4d-b0741246bfcaLet me quote a section from this paper. 'Rectal swabs can detect the pneumonia-causing virus in patients even when conventional oral tests are negative' Source: doctors at the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital in central China.4. Regarding my suggestions for Respirator & Protection glasses, that would be in case someone insists on travelling. But I never suggest them in casual setting. I'd read WHO Guideline before I posted my original respond. According to WHO, studies to date suggest that the virus is mainly transmitted through contact with droplets, rather than through the air. Therefore, even WHO didnt rule out the possibility of aerosol transmission. I also checked WHO guidelines but above simulation from MIT's lab showed that min 1 meters from someone who's coughing isn't enough to protect oneself. In additional to WHO which has been highly criticized recently, I have checked with medical journals, US CDC, Chinese authorities, and a number of reliable scientific based sources before my respond so I'd like to hear if anything I passed on were rumors. Look forward to hearing from u.
@localtaste I am afraid what you are quoting are possible events but not probable. It's like snowing in the summer, it happened in august 2018 in hokkaido. And when was the last time it happened so early? 1972. For virus transmission via sewage system for the currrent covid_19. There is so far only a single publication on it. Unless the same results has been shown to be replicated in various regions/countries, we should not be too concerned over it.With regards to "Larger droplets can travel up to 2 meters and 8 meters for smaller ones. Again, that is the maximum length not the norm. It's like saying man can grow to as tall as 2.72m. But that is not the norm, there is only 1 robert wadlow who can do that.Regarding aerosol transmission, again it's possible but not probable, unless the virus mutate. And i stand by my statement that so far there is no evidence of aerosol transmission, i am not saying that it won't happen. Just that it has not been proven to happen. It's like the un human rights declaration, one is considered innocent until proven guilty.I must declare that i am not an infectious disease expert, please take my views with a pinch of salt. And if there is a distinguished infectious disease expert on the site, please correct my flawed viewpoints.
@guest I would respect your opinion if you said my info was a rare event with low possibility. The reason I had to respond was that you said, in your first post, some of my info were just rumors so I hope to learn which ones were rumors. There’s different between rumor, possible events, and empirical evidence. The info I presented was empirical evidence and info based on scientific paper, not possible events which haven’t occurred. Aerosol transmission was added by Chinese health authority and reported by Xinhua, which is the official state run press agency of PRC. Virus transmission via shared sewage system was reported by Dr John Campbell, UK, Chinese researchers in Wuhan, and report in HK. So it wasn’t just one publication nor just one incidence in one country. It was clear from the simulation at MIT’s lab that min 1 meter from sick patient who’s coughing as per WHO’s guideline isn’t enough, in my opinion. If someone likes WHO’s guideline, its absolutely fine with me. I could only wish him or her well. I have no issue at all unless someone says my pieces of info are just rumor which I would feel insulted to be called as someone who spread rumors. I don’t think there’s a need to call any infection disease expert as there are enough info and all readers can decide how much they are willing to take their chance. Therefore, no further respond is needed.
Hi Saito-san,Do you have any recommendations for sushi breakfast in Tokyo? Ideally opens before 10am and not the tourist-type like sushi daiThanks in advance
I can only think of the sushi restaurants in Toyosu Market.https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1313/A131307/13227265/https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1313/A131307/13204803/
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