Tokyo Table Trip

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你是否曾好奇哪一家壽司餐廳為最佳?我在網際網路出現前就問過這問題,我為了尋找答案花費超過 30 年時間,也造訪壽司餐廳數百次—直到我數不清為止。

有人會認為要找出答案很簡單。也許只需參考美食紅皮書或關於用餐意見 (OAD) 網站,不就能得到答案了嗎?或是世界最佳餐廳 (World’s Best Restaurant) 如何?或是請問知名美食部落客呢?或者是否該仰賴當地人的最愛,Tabelog 呢?關於這一點,我應該提及最有趣的那幾家,是出現在齊藤柊斗所編纂名單中的那些,他的文章曾經出現在 Tokyotabletrip 網站中。
https://tokyotabletrip.com/cn/242
https://tokyotabletrip.com/cn/244
https://tokyotabletrip.com/cn/245
https://tokyotabletrip.com/cn/247
https://tokyotabletrip.com/cn/253

要建立我的壽司餐廳名單很簡單。我在過濾和造訪最終候選餐廳前,會先編纂出可能名單。但即使在努力過濾掉許多餐廳後,還是有一長串最終候選者名單。要編纂可能名單不難,我觀看所有能取得的來源—包括線上和離線兩方面,特別是來自主廚和我認為可靠友人的推薦—以便讓我將網撒得盡可能寬廣。在獲得可能名單後,我根據所擁有的資訊來過濾。對於我不確定的那些,需要有來自各種消息來源的重複提及,直到我認為值得去造訪他們。但如果是由我值得信賴的友人所推薦—只需提一次—我會立刻追尋那家壽司餐廳並盡可能提早去造訪,這有時會需要 2-3 年。同樣的,如果我不確定,也要根據多處來源,才會讓我排除可能餐廳。但是真的要感謝我值得信賴的日本友人。就在最近,他在我預約一家有強勁社群媒體存在度的知名壽司餐廳前,幫我省下了幾乎 50,000 日圓。沒有什麼事情會比令人不甚滿意的一餐,加上損失一次用餐檔期更糟。

我的評估標準很簡單:我會觀察五大特性。
1. 口味和均衡:到頭來口味還是居於首位。我想品嚐細心購入頂尖品質食材的新鮮度或是從原材料中提味的技巧。鮨料和醋飯的口味應該處於完美和諧。相較於音樂,我聆聽各種音樂,從巴哈到貝洛巴托克,只要和諧良好。壽司有許多流派:次郎流、鶴八流、金坂流、壽司匠流等。只要是好的,我通常會依其類別來評估。
2. 口感和醋飯捏製:米飯的口感很重要。沒有什麼比煮過頭的米飯更讓人倒胃口。米飯熟度要恰到好處。醋飯的捏製同樣重要。有些專家說到舞動的壽司,因為醋飯中的空隙使得米飯能下沉。好的醋飯不該在觸及你舌頭前散開,而是該在進入你口中才分解。太鬆是外行。太緊也是外行。刀工也扮演著重要角色,因為這會影響口感。切割大小和厚度必須正確。切得漂亮能加分。但光是美貌不能持久。更多的注重在於口味。
3. 鮨料和醋飯的溫度:即使是最好的食材,如果上菜時溫度不對也會失敗。我向來不喜歡當鮨料觸及我舌頭時,發現鮨料太冷的感覺。我贊同難波壽司的難波先生所言,各種鮨料有其本身的最佳溫度。
4. 服務和態度:只要菜餚夠好,可以忍受不良的服務和態度。然而在我的經驗中,通常不是這樣。沒有一家餐廳是不可取代的。外面有很多同樣良好的餐廳。如果沒有,也會有新餐廳開張。服務中有一部份是對細節的注重,例如廚師的健康、廚師的雙手、制服和用來上菜的餐盤清潔度、餐盤溫度等。令人驚訝的是,我每隔一陣子會見證到壽司廚師咳嗽或是品嚐菜餚而不知最佳作法。
5. 顧客群:他們是用餐體驗的一部份,所以這些餐廳的顧客群也會扮演角色。我比較樂於造訪坐滿美食愛好者而不是坐滿多話美食部落客的餐廳,因為他們在忙著拍攝完美照片和操作他們的社群媒體帳戶。

這裡有各個類別的最佳壽司餐廳:

1. 最佳發光體魚類(銀色表皮魚類)

日本橋蛎殻町すぎた(杉田)有最佳的銀色表皮魚類握壽司。他提供最美味的銀色表皮魚類。他的銀色表皮魚類品質獨佔鰲頭。有兩個因素使他的銀色表皮魚類成為其中佼佼者,就是最佳的原材料和主廚的技巧。他的沙丁魚捲好吃的要命。他的窩斑鰶在酸度和鹹度間完美均衡,高級的品質如最亮的星辰般閃耀。他的醋飯無比美味。有許多影片顯示杉田先生如何捏製他的握壽司。如此優雅的動作。他閉上雙眼只透過觸感來和醋飯溝通。社群媒體不會太加以注意之處,是他如何品嚐他的烹飪。他不會用手指去挑揀,而是小心將採樣放在他手背上,先轉身移開再將採樣放入口中,然後轉身面對顧客:我很懷疑是否有人注意到發生了什麼事。

2. 最佳小吃

最佳小吃是東麻布天本。他的海鮮貨源一流。他在你眼前用明火自行燒烤海鮮,等菜餚到了最佳溫度便立即上菜。他的握壽司令人尊敬,但是我感覺他的小吃目前比握壽司更耀眼。

3. 傑出的年輕明星壽司大師

3.1 鮨猪股
猪股先生擁有絕佳味覺而且非常努力尋求傑出的原材料。一再的造訪,讓我能確認其一致性。他的海膽新鮮而不帶任何明礬味,這使得海膽稍帶苦味。我注意到他的海膽經常保存在氮基水中以避免氧化。他的鮪魚和白身有最高品質而且與醋飯構成完美和諧。他妻子的好客就像是頂端的魚子醬。

3.2 菊鮨
菊鮨距離博多只有一小段火車路程,座落於住宅區中。原材料具有高品質。這是我首次在壽司餐廳中吃到石頭魚。石頭魚是底棲魚類,它的毒性能讓人頗為痛苦。小吃和握壽司均為頂級。

4. 最佳無多餘裝飾

最佳無多餘裝飾的是第三春美鮨和在白金的鮨いまむら(今村)。這兩處地方都能每月去造訪,如果不是每週去的話。兩家餐廳都提供紮實烹飪。有些人說第三春美的醋飯有點偏向平淡,但我發現醋飯與他的鮨料選擇搭配剛好。雖然他的壽司看起來不漂亮,但不知如何,一切能神奇的運作良好。

5. 最佳好客度

最佳好客度是在銀座的鮨竹。在受到竹內主廚歡迎後,我感覺非常輕鬆又自在。這是我頭一次感覺到,這裡是誠摯歡迎任何外國遊客而沒有任何歧視的地方。我曾經聽到過一些懷疑。不帶任何性別偏見,我認為她的握壽司高度值得尊敬。我不認為在相同價格級距中,還有更好的壽司餐廳。她的交由主廚決定握壽司晚餐,花費低於 15,000 日圓,所以我感覺拿它來和這些日子以來變成通常價格的 30,000 日圓以上或 40,000 日圓以上的壽司晚餐相比並不公平。她的價格非常合理,又能使壽司被不想花太多錢或歷經一大堆煩瑣預約座位的人們享用。

6. 總體最佳也是我最喜愛的壽司餐廳:

新橋しみづ(清水)。在我的用餐體驗中,沒有人能準備這麼美味的無脊椎動物。無庸置疑,他的鮑魚最美味也最細嫩。蛤蜊絕佳無比,配上美味深色醬汁、醬料又有正確稠度(不太稀也不太濃)。口味深度加強蛤蜊口感。他的水煮章魚是如此柔嫩。許多廚師犯下將章魚煮太久的錯誤,使得章魚外膜變得太軟爛;我發現當外膜失去口感時會太過稀軟。煮得好的章魚應該是通體軟嫩。對於清水握壽司的最佳描述,是老派而且最佳的前江戶口味,所以我會說清水並非適合每個人。嚴格不准攝影政策,也可能會令某些人卻步。我有一次在午餐時,有位常客帶著他的外國友人上門。他們其中一人決定站起來走到另一頭去和另一位朋友聊天。這就足以讓我脊椎發涼。
雖然清水先生沒說什麼,但我感覺到有一片烏雲在形成。我聽到年輕壽司廚師說他們非常害怕清水先生覺得很有趣。許多人覺得有他在場很嚇人,但是有許多廚師對他保有最深的敬意。對我來說,有他在場使我安心,因為能再享受到絕佳的一餐。預約清水對於常客或本地日本人並不難,但是對外國人而言,如果沒有日本人陪同並提供幫忙,這是不可能的事。沒有一位服務人員成功過,所以最好別費事去問他們。原因不在於懼外心理而在於語言障礙:這家餐廳希望能有效和他們的顧客溝通。

最佳新餐廳:

冨所
冨所是一家新的 6 座位壽司餐廳,已經開業五個月。他的檜木櫃台仍然新鮮而且處於全新狀態。主廚來自北海道並且曾經向西麻布的鮨真學藝。鮨心的主廚受到鶴八世系大師主廚影響。他的米飯有種酸勁,因為他只用紅醋,即赤酢,而不用其他種類的醋,像是白醋或稱米酢。他的醋飯是典型的「男」,亦即大而飽滿。當以醋飯大小來區分時,我們能看到漂亮的那些,像在一柳壽司、鮨くろ崎(黑崎)壽司之類的那些,這些很小,我們也能看到大的,像是杉田的那些,這些合乎真正前江戶壽司傳統。他的握壽司能回應想吃到正牌口味壽司迷訴求。我認為這適合硬派本地人,而非年輕國際用餐客。餐廳氣氛非常親密。當主廚對我惠予微笑時,這很能令人放鬆,而且氣氛非常自在。因為要維持成本和收益均衡的經濟考量,想在東京開一間六座位壽司餐廳需要大量膽識。基於他的價格點,他的鮨料很棒。銀色表皮的魚片,像是鱵魚和春子鯛,鹽份完美而均衡以及其他。他的小沙丁魚片無比美味。他的魷魚絕佳,有良好觸手。我通常看到的魷魚是小吃,而不是像這種握壽司。他的海貝片值得尊敬。他的醬料(配料)溫度也正確。我相信若是假以時日理順操作問題以及磨鍊他的醋飯捏製技巧,我們會看到在我們這一代中又有一位傑出壽司主廚。我不喜歡推薦一些困難或不可能的餐廳來開其他無法進門者的玩笑。可惜的是,因為員工缺乏流利外語能力,冨所似乎已經對外國顧客關上大門。沒有必要請旅館服務人員打電話。最好的簡單作法是請你的日本友人陪伴你。在目前透過日本朋友預約應該不會太困難。但是如果你找不到人幫忙,不用煩惱。沒有哪一家餐廳值得大費周章。有許多好壽司餐廳可供外國人預約,而且他們接受透過日本當地旅館預約。或是你能直接造訪鮨心。

大師的傳人:

如果你不能造訪大師,這也不是世界末日。大師們都有徒弟傳人。下列是一些值得造訪的年輕繼承者們:

1. 日本橋蛎殻町すぎ田(杉田)
杉田先生的學生不只一人。我有信心推薦給讀者的一位,是一途壽司年輕的戸田陸斗。雖然受到遠離豊洲市場的阻礙,這會影響與魚販的緊密關係,讓他較難取得最佳鮨料 (也受到進口稅金影響),但是他的握壽司很美味。此外,戸田陸斗是唯一年齡小於 30 歲的壽司主廚,不管是在日本境內或境外,我會很有信心推薦他。儘管我把網撒得很寬廣,但是在這篇文章中沒有一家日本境外的壽司餐廳入圍。在日本境外有不少好地方,但是沒有一家能被視為屬於最佳者之列。
2. 鮨さいとう(齋藤)
我推薦由橋場先生負責的鮨齋藤個室還有銀座石山壽司。
3. 新橋しみづ(清水)
造訪鮨竹容許人們能一瞥新橋清水並且體驗最佳的好客度。
4. あら木(荒木)
雖然我從未造訪過市川壽司,但我從可靠消息來源聽說市川先生非常棒。市川只接受經由預約經紀人網站預約;我不經由這種經紀人,所以我略過。
5. 數寄屋橋次郎
也許是青空。我必須承認次郎流不合我口味,所以我沒有追蹤他在東京和紐約的其他徒弟們。

有人可能會問我為何選新橋為我最喜愛的餐廳。這只是偏好問題。我相信新橋先生不追求最昂貴食材的哲學,可是他轉換基本食材成為美味菜餚的手感頗為神奇。這需要大量技巧。品項能輕易自我表述,像是海膽並非他強項,因為他不追求最昂貴的原材料,以便讓他的壽司能為一般人所享用。他的風格是簡約,合乎我的需要。

我曾經和15 East餐廳前主廚有過一場有趣對話。他說在論及頂尖壽司餐廳時;其中並沒有真正的第一名。這只是偏好問題。每個人都有他或她自己的名單。所以現在球回到你這一邊。哪家壽司餐廳是你的最佳壽司體驗呢?不需讓你自己受到知名美食部落客行銷威力侷限。有時候他們讚美某家壽司餐廳,是為了換取直接或間接小惠。你要做的是做一些研究並造訪最合乎你需求的一家。我也很想聽聽TTT 讀者們的最佳壽司餐廳在哪裡。

Writer:Localtaste

「Local taste 」早在社群媒體出現之前,就開啟了尋找美食的漫長旅程,從一個城市漫遊至另一個城市,從遠東地區到西方,走過四大洲 160 個以上的城市,在過去 37 年,跋涉超過 400,000 英里的距離。
他在數千個不同的餐廳用過餐,從亞洲的一處牆洞內,一直到巴黎所有獲得米其林3星榮譽的十家餐廳,還花了幾十年的時間在追尋完美的小籠包。
由於他並非從事餐飲相關行業,也不是美食作家,因此您在別處看不到他的文章,tokyotabletrip.com 是唯一獨家刊登 Leo Saito 文章的媒體,以藉此感謝他在幫助各國旅客發掘日本料理之美所做出的無私貢獻。

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ChuToroZuke

I was very late to seeing this article, but thank you so much for it LocalTaste san!

After maybe 3 to 4 visits to Tokyo, and while I do not have the breadth or depth of experiencing so many other sushi restaurants like others, I have concluded that Shinbashi Shimizu (even without trying the other schools like Take and Tsuruhachi with Igarashi san) and Kurosaki are my most favorites.

With Shimizu it is a totally different level altogether. You are looking at a chef with not just serious skills, but the talent to be able to apply what he knows and can do to completely elevate the experience to the next level and in fact maybe towards the pinnacle. The overall experience is still very old school, but is far better than other old school places like Kizushi, yet it is not upscale or snobby and still retains that neighborhood feel.

After having lots of room temperature to cold kurumaebi in Tokyo, I must say that Shimizu's rendition, even though not cooked to order, still retains a ridiculous amount of flavor, and has the right mouthfeel. His marinated shellfish is legendary, and the last time I went, his hamaguri was so damn good, especially the top center portion where it felt like a 63 degree egg yolk....or that perfect texture of Cantonese style braised abalone (the dead center portion where it should be like that). The interaction of the tsume with that center part of the hamaguri was probably one of the best bites and taste experiences of my life.

As a major sake lover, I have to say I'm a bit saddened with his random small selections, however he did stock two excellent choices last I went, one of which was a perfect match with his shellfish (and drank like a white burgundy Premiere Cru)...of which when that happens, you get the best of both worlds; maximize flavor of the sake and literally a 100% matching with the profile of the hamaguri/tsume/mouthfeel/shari (though this is all based on luck of what they have when you visit, and whether it works). The sad part is many other sushi restaurants don't put effort into their sake list, and they don't design their sushi profiles to match (let alone matching with champagne or a dry style white wine) and they also don't think about the pairing side for the customer.

Last but not least, Shimizu's sushi rice is just amazing....the perfect pitch of salt, sour, temperature, umami, and it's amazing how ridiculous aromatic it is and how it blends perfectly with all of his neta for that fantastic bite and eating experience. Great sushi should be one of those experiences where you close your eyes and clench your fists because it really hits you hard, or as the millenials say, being taken to "poundtown" in the sheets...but except at the sushi bar.... and without making O sounds (that's "Omakase" lol) but it's ok to make the O face because that's how great the sushi is.

Seriously though, about half way through my 2nd Shimizu visit, I was literally able to taste and feel/sense the craftsmanship put into each piece of sushi. Flavor, mouthfeel, temperature, texture, balance, the tsume, the natural flavor of the ingredient maximized and realized, the aromatics of the sushi rice/texture/stickiness, the balance, knifework etc. Kind of like the scene in Jiro Dreams Of Sushi where the female customer is eating a piece of uni sushi and she smiles big with her eyes closed....except with Shimizu you emote the same feelings, but the intensity and satisfaction is so strong....and it makes you feel blessed and fortunate to be able to taste such greatness, and at the same time wonder how Shimizu san accomplishes all of this. It just makes me appreciate this place and Shimizu san's craft so much more each time.

4 个月 ago

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localtaste

Wonderful and eloquently said. Thank you, ChuToroZuke. I just love your thought on Shimizu. What were those two sake choices he carries that match shellfish? Usually, in more of a water or tea drinker. But I would like to try your recommendation in my next visit.

4 个月 ago
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ChuToroZuke

@localtaste, to clarify and based on two separate visits to Shimizu, his selection of sake seems to change. First time he only had one sake and it was too light for me even though it was a Junmai (it was a modern style, Sawaya from Kyoto). The 2nd visit was when he had something a bit more interesting, and he actually had two different types that night. The second sake was the one that paired very nicely with his shellfish, Taka (Yamaguchi prefecture) which had good minerality thanks to the natural ground water used by the brewery to make the sake. I attribute that to pure luck and circumstance. A few years ago I believe he even carried the famous Hitakami (Miyagi prefecture) and even their baseline Junmai is very nice with sushi (Yasuke Junmai Ginjo is best and would be an ideal choice, but what Shimizu seems to carry each night just seems to be entirely at random if these two visits are any indication). So next time you go, it will be a roll of the dice. Start with a beer to set the mood (and to relax), then straight to sake. Interestingly Shimizu also seems to like (or like carrying) wine and offers that too. I am very wary of red wine pairings with sushi and see it as a clash in general, but some people like it together. If you look at tabelog listing pictures, there were bottles of white burgundy Chablis, although hard to say how well (or not so well) they would work. Sake on the other hand won't interfere, even if it does not match exactly.

Tea or water is more straight forward, you will get to taste the purity of everything that way. I'm still curious about the bar right across from there!

3 个月 ago
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guest

The bar is owned by Shimizu. The sushi shop used to be located there. His brother's restaurant Kyu is a few doors down as well.

3 个月 ago
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localtaste

@ChuToroZuke I will ask for Taka next time. I have been more fascinated by water and tea. I thought water got so much uniqueness with its Ph level, effervescence, and TDS. I also love tea with my meal. I would choose gyokuro over expensive wine any day. In general, pairing red wine and seafood is an odd combination.

3 个月 ago

thetrashmouth

Hi, thank you for the very insightful article. I heard Shimizu can only be visited if you are accompanied by a Japanese speaker - is this the case? Also I know Sugita is extremely difficult to book, what is the reservation system actually like? Is it regulars only similar to Saito and is it worth it to subscribe to premium concierges like Arry's? Thanks!

4 个月 ago

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guest

@thetrashmouth Am not localtaste. But just my personal feedback.
Shimizu- Yes, you need to be accompanied by Japanese speaker.
Sugita- Same as saito, its not regulars-only, but seats are always booked by regulars when they are leaving the restaurants. Leaving little to no seats available.
They release seats for their private counter 1 week in advance.
Is it worth to subscribe to arryjapan? I think the value proposition is up to individuals to decide whether it's worth. You will need to first pay an annual arry membership fee of 60000jpy and another 36000jpy for a seat at the private counter.
Be reminded the cost of a meal at sugita is around 23000jpy and it's possible to get a seat at the private counter without going through arry.

4 个月 ago
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thetrashmouth

Thanks for the detailed response. Would a good hotel concierge make life easier for a booking at Sugita? I will be revisiting Tokyo again in October and would really want to try a top sushi restaurant.

I have heard great things about Amamoto, but from all accounts, bookings seem to be only on omakase-jp and they are gone within seconds. Would there be other ways?

4 个月 ago

guest

Is the celebrated Sushu restaurant with a strong social media presence costing 50000yen hatsunezushi?

4 个月 ago

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localtaste

@guest please excuse my writing skill if this article led you to think of any particular restaurant. There are many restaurants in that price point these days and most of them got strong social media presence.

It wasn’t the focal point of my message I tried to convey.
What I meant by my friend saving me, it doesn’t imply that any of such restaurants or restaurants that aren’t on my list aren’t good. They are either just somewhere I wouldn’t enjoy as reasons indicated in my criteria or some notable restaurants that should have also mentioned but I didn’t make the complete list of all good sushi ya which will be too long for this article. There are also many other places I like or thought other readers might like which were mentioned in my previous writings on this site.

Just as mentioned during my conversation with the ex-chef of 15East, when it can to top sushi restaurants, no real number 1, so my best sushi restaurant list is just a matter of my personal preference.

4 个月 ago

Just_Ingest

IG: Sushisibz

Thanks Localtaste for this article!

Shimizu is also my favorite restaurant. If I may, I would like to note a few points as to why I feel this way. It goes beyond the food, which is flawless from start to end. There are a few points that elevate the Shimizu experience from mere foodgasm-fiesta to something truly special. Perhaps others can also see if they feel the same.

1. The price. To be honest, I don't know anything about the cost of raw ingredients and such, but if I were to take cost of labor into account and make an informed guess, I would say Shimizu-san doesn't make a lot of profit. The thing is, I believe he can charge double what he does and people will still come. But based on his personality and philosophy, I also feel like he would never do that. To always charge modest prices, even while the Hatsunes and trendy establishments of 2019 are charging gold mines - such is Shimizu. This is beyond respectable in my eyes.

2. Zero self-promotion. Despite his godlike skill level, Shimizu-san doesn't flaunt himself. No Michelin stars. No books. Few TV appearances if at all. This is the exact opposite of someone like Jiro who I feel is determined to show off his greatness and autographed pocketbooks. No luxury decor. No gimmicks. No maguro/uni displays - in fact, most of his neta is hidden in boxes. Shimizu-san lets his ingredients speak for themselves, and the legendary pieces like hamaguri, anago, and other fish indirectly demonstrate his techniques. He promotes basically nothing about himself, but I could feel the grit and thought that came into everything that was put in front of me. That is a very rare and special feeling. And that is more than enough.

3. Discipline. Some people say Shimizu-san is a pretty chill and funny guy. I wouldn't disagree, but I will also say I am extremely nervous before entering his shop, even on my third time. I have not felt this way anywhere else. Compared to other sushi masters, Shimizu-san has an absolutely commanding presence over his space. The single "irashai" that he utters when I enter makes me feel uneasy. Yes, the experience becomes comfortable as you settle in, but know that he is always watching you, and the sushi bar is HIS. So how is this any good? Because you know, and feel, that you are in the presence of a true master, the OG of all OGs, who disciplines you in his own way. This is another contributing factor that makes a visit here special - the nervous anticipation you get knowing that you are visiting the Mecca of sushi restaurants.

Some people might think that Shimizu-fans are giving him too much credit, but if you have not been there then I don't think it's fair to make this statement. In my opinion, he is really that good.

4 个月 ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Great insight! Thanks, Justin!

4 个月 ago
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localtaste

@Just_Ingest nicely said. Love your snippet. Thank u for your note.

4 个月 ago

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Although likely to stir up some controversy, localtaste has written a very interesting article about sushi restaurants for TTT readers. Please have a look at it.

4 个月 ago

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BeartoJapan

IG: beartoJapan

Thank you so much Saito san
May I ask for the tabelog link/ restaurant name of 戸田陸斗?

4 个月 ago