Tokyo Table Trip

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15 Easy-To-Book Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo (2023) by Andrew Gyokudari

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thetokyogourmet 4 个月 ago

I stopped reading Luxeat a while back as there wasn't enough on Japan but this post is actually quite good.

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thetokyogourmet 14 天 ago

Has anyone here been to Sushi Kizaki? Tabelog 3.88 but barely any English reviews

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tyeater 6 个月 ago

I am thinking about going bc it is easy to book and fairly reasonably priced. Does anyone have any reviews of it? Would you recommend it for the 20k range of sushi?

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guest 大约 2 个月 ago

Oct'23 Tokyo Sushi Reviews (Yamada, Ishiyama, Akira, Shimazu, Muto, Zai, Take, Shimizu)


Just_Ingest 7 个月 ago

More sushi reviews - hope people find this interesting once again!

Note(1): I know everyone is trying to get into Namba, Sugita, Arai etc. but how about trying one of these sushiya instead? Most are very easy to book and you will likely have a good time :) One thing I noted was that many of them had unfilled seats, and almost all of them had foreigners (besides myself) dining at the counter. Just to give a flavor, I've indicated the number of occupied seats and foreign visitors at each place.

Note(2): Disclaimer as always that reviews are personal/subjective, in case the food police or cult worshippers of a certain sushiya want to come after me.


1. Sushidokoro Yamada (2nd visit)
Nigiri: 7/10, CP: 5/10
Seats Occupied: 2/11 (me and my sister)

Sushidokoro Yamada has moved to a new building in Ginza and now has an upgraded, refined interior. Unfortunately, that was probably the only improvement. Compared to my first visit just a few months ago, I thought the sushi here devolved despite the 30-40% price increase. I’m not sure whether it was because my sister and I were the only 2 guests, or whether Yamada-san was trying new things, or whether the taste profile has now become more “Ginza-esque”, but there was not much of the umami/interesting flavor notes that I got on my first visit. The fish looked way too clean and not aged (lol) while the shari had almost no flavor. Pieces like hirame, sumi ika, and kuruma ebi which I thought were incredible on my first visit now tasted like run-of-the-mill Kanesaka-style stuff. It’s a huge shame because Yamada-san’s sushi has a lot of personality (his signature items like shiitake mushroom, “dehydrated kinmedai”, and mashed ebi still tasted very solid and clearly stood out as truly original items), but overall I left disappointed this time around. I much prefer the old Yamada, where the decor was akin to a craftsman’s workshop and the chef was more like a mad scientist than a Ginza chef. I can only pray that he reverts to his old style in the future because this is one of those restaurants that has no skill ceiling - or so I thought!


2. Ishiyama (2nd visit)
Nigiri: 8.2/10, CP: 8.5/10
Seats Occupied: 9/11 (5 foreigners)

This was my first return visit after 5 years and I don’t remember Ishiyama-san’s sushi being this solid! While it is true that the shari is on the lighter side and the pieces are on the smaller side, I think that Ishiyama-san makes sushi that’s very well-balanced both in terms of proportioning as well as flavoring. I opted for the ~20-sushi course and thought that at least 70% of the pieces were high-impact, oozing with strong and vivid flavors. Ishiyama-san is especially well-rounded too, preparing pretty much all categories of neta pretty well; kohada, chutoro, hamaguri, and the famous tamago were the standouts on my visit. Importantly, the flow of his course was very good and never left me nauseous/overwhelmed (this was an issue I had with some of the other places I visited; read on to find out).

While perhaps Sushi Ishiyama has a reputation for being a “foreigner counter” or “not trending” or whatever, I think it’s really good and my #1 safest recommendation to anyone looking for excellent, reasonably-priced sushi. I haven’t heard of a single person who has straight up disliked this place, and anyone from sushi beginners to hardcore diners would be able to enjoy it. (In fact, my sister thought it was a level above Saito, lol.) A huge plus point is that it’s easy to book, although you may wish to request sitting with Ishiyama-san as there is now a second chef who makes nigiri as well. Most importantly, I thought the sushi here has improved over time, which can’t be said for some places that I made return visits to.


3. Sushi Akira (1st visit)
Nigiri: 6.25/10, CP: 3/10
Seats Occupied: 8/8 (8 foreigners)

Ever since Sushi Akira moved towards two seatings for dinner, it has been much easier to reserve, so I decided to try it out. As most people already know, Maeiwa-san worked at Sazenka and Sushi Sho Masa before striking out on his own. For starters, the tsumami was pretty decent / acceptable, although nothing really stood out. Notably, I didn’t understand why he grilled the luscious-looking botan ebi, and the only thing I remember about it was that the room became shrouded in smoke after the prep - poor ventilation! The sushi course wasn’t much to write home about, either. The lineup of ingredients was fish-heavy and many of the items served were very fatty/buttery, to the point that many successive items had the same textural consistency, and left me craving for sweetness/acidity/refreshing items which were basically absent from the meal. (In fact, the course started with chutoro, ootoro, and akami, which knocked me out from the get-go, lol)

To be fair, most of the fish was high quality, but good fish alone does not make good sushi. The shari was forgettable (it had some kind of akazu flavor that wasn’t too strong and very quickly degraded to room temperature), the nigiri molding was not the best (the shari often disappeared way too quickly and sometimes didn’t stick well to the neta), and the heat lamps felt like a gimmick (why bother when you can't even control the temperature of shari properly?). Original items like a rice ball wrapped in steamed nodoguro and zuwaigani served atop hot shari were interesting but not too impactful. The ending was very weak: bafun uni was served with soggy seaweed that got stuck in my mouth, anago was among the most mediocre variant I’ve ever had, and tamago was almost a waste of calories. I also didn’t feel good at the end due to all the fatty stuff accumulating on my tongue and in my stomach (lol). On the one hand, Maeiwa-san was very friendly and spoke pretty good English to everyone, but on the other hand, he and his staff looked tired; plus his team was all coughing throughout the night. He is still young, to be sure, but given my experience and the very poor CP, I can't recommend this place to any serious sushi foodie right now.


4. Shimazu (1st visit)
Nigiri: 7.8/10, CP: 6.5/10
Seats Occupied: 8/8 (4 foreigners)

Shimazu is difficult to reserve; seats are pretty much gone within a few seconds of being released on Omakase. If you manage to grab some, though, you’ll be treated to a good meal spearheaded by boisterous young talent. The thing that stood out to me the most was the upbeat ambiance; the staff and diners were all joking around and having a good time. Shimazu-san speaks decent basic English and will entertain you throughout the night, so service is A+ here. To start off, the ~6 or so tsumami were extremely solid. Kue and botan ebi sashimi were generously sliced and fatty; katsuo in ginger soy sauce was amazing; ankimo narazuke is no longer an original thing but it was nonetheless well done. Deep fried shishamo was paired with rice and rolled into temaki; not bad! The sequence ended with a heartwarming chawanmushi with hamaguri dashi and plenty of kegani inside it. Overall, very good execution of quality ingredients.

Now the sushi: I can definitely see the appeal in the style. The pieces are large and chonky; they break apart beautifully in the mouth so you are eating “wholesome” pieces of nigiri here. The aka-shari was more strongly-vinegared than at many other places although still short of the most aggressive preps. The neta was, for the most part, high-quality and generously sliced, with a good range of textures and flavor dimensions (his nama sanma and kawahagi were particularly amazing). And despite his young age, I believe that Shimazu-san’s nigiri molding skill is as good as, or better than, many veterans’. It was all quite exciting, but why did I feel it was also a bit lacking?

Well, it might be a personal opinion but I am getting a little bored of “textbook” aka-shari places these days; they’re all starting to feel like more of the same. Yes, aka shari pairs very well with a range of ingredients, especially tuna. But then what? These days, I am craving something more; something distinctive; or perhaps just something that’s less mainstream. Here were the nitpicks I had with this meal: 1) The aka-shari didn’t taste particularly unique; 2) the tuna was WAY too oily and buttery; 3) as at Sushi Akira, the non-fish items were forgettable, and the nigiri course really went downhill after the tuna sequence; 4) the meal was very heavy and lacking in balance (although some people surely enjoy the generous portions served), 5) I get the sense that the diners who come here are of a certain “type” and may be more interested in taking pictures / having a good time with the taisho than concentrating on the sushi itself. Objectively the meal was very good, but if I may, I believe it is a bit overrated and also a bit unimaginative. It is undoubtedly easy for anyone to enjoy, but also lacking in the complexity and personality that characterize some of my favorite places. Shimazu-san is still 30 years old, though, and I really hope that he’ll tinker around with some unusual preparations / come up with a few signature items, not just slap a bunch of high-quality fish onto aka-shari. I hope his restaurant doesn’t turn into just another trendy place that’s hard to book.


5. Sushi Muto (1st visit)
Nigiri: 8.8/10, CP: 7.5/10
Seats Occupied: 5/8 (3 foreigners)

Sushi Muto is following in the footsteps of Sushi Ao, where I had one of the very best meals of my life earlier this year. It should come as no surprise, then, that Muto-san’s new place is the kind of sushiya I’m excited about nowadays. The focus is on a degustation of precisely-prepared ingredients, shiro-shari with a punchy yet addictive flavor profile, and an almost restrained minimalism that removes all the unessential elements of sushi. It’s just sophisticated sushi calibrated to a tee; sushi where justice is done to each and every ingredient; sushi where nothing is mind-blowingly good but the whole meal is greater than the sum of the parts.

As at Sushi Ao, nothing was remotely close to bad here, and most pieces were good or very good. The ~20-piece nigiri course is not cheap but I feel it is worth the money. To share some highlights: kijihata, sumi ika, shima aji, and hirame kobujime - the starting sequence of stuff - were all excellent. Shime saba was beautiful. Maguro from Fujita is used here, and it was absolutely of the “blood flavor” kind rather than the fatty and oily kind (which I already had enough of at this point). It paired so well with the shari, contributing to my appreciation for Muto-san’s refined sense of taste. Several clams were served (young chefs - take note!!); hokkigai and hamaguri were especially good. Aji, shima ebi, and katsuo were deliberately served on the colder side and tasted so luscious and clean. Where other places serve bland kuruma ebi, Muto-san’s - which were still warm and which he peeled and shaped into nigiri one after another throughout a 15-minute+ sequence - had plenty of lovely, concentrated prawn flavor. Anago was the star of the show, so soft and sweet (yet the anago flavor still shone through!) that I kind of yelped while eating it. His tamago I did not understand - it had a texture similar to frozen cheesecake and was topped with crushed kurumi or something - but my sister loved it and it was nice to see an older chef still trying to experiment with new things. Kanpyo had Sushi Ao vibes (I had the best kanpyo of my life there). The entire meal was bound together by a very beautifully-seasoned shari - not as sour as at other Jiro-style places and slightly less salty than at Sushi Ao - that retained good temperature and a consistent vinegar flavor throughout the whole ~150 minutes, which is an achievement by itself. (Young chefs, take double note??) Truly impressive; the kind of sushi course that makes me jump for joy nowadays. I felt like I could eat 10 more pieces at the end and still not be bored.

In my opinion Sushi Muto is not as good as Sushi Ao and there are obvious things that need improving (e.g. Muto-san did everything by himself and the course dragged on longer than I preferred) but for a place that has opened for only 6 months, I believe the future is bright. Muto-san and okami-san are soft-spoken, warm, and genuine, able to speak basic English and offer all guests a very comfortable time; I am a fan of his personality and his approach to sushi. Where komezu-style restaurants are concerned, I actually enjoyed Sushi Muto even more than Hashiguchi and definitely much more than the Jiro-style places I’ve tried (Honten, Harutaka, Mizukami, Tokiwazushi), except Sushi AO. I will return without hesitation.


6. Sushi Zai (1st visit)
Nigiri: 7.8/10, CP: 5/10
Seats Occupied: 7/8 (5 foreigners)

This is a sushiya that I certainly underestimated going in. Unable to get a reservation at Sushi Yuu, I diverted to sister shop Sushi Zai, run by the charming Okada-san (who looks like he’s mid-30’s but actually 47??). He and his team are used to dealing with foreign visitors and are quite well-versed at English, offering warm service without being pretentious. The course kicked off with ~7 tsumami, and I have to say that even though I’m not a tsumami person, all the courses were daring and frankly excellent, some of the best I've had at a sushiya. A dish of unagi paired with chestnuts in warm broth was sublime; sawara sashimi paired with edible flowers was very good; ankimo paste served with fried nori and wasabi was simple but really hit the nail on the head; awabi liver and risotto was wonderful and somehow not boring; deep fried amadai and matsutake mushrooms was awesome. The dishes may sound way too modern or heavy but the flavoring was actually very well-balanced and did not overload my palate. Ironically, I thought the weakest thing served in the tsumami course was the Sushiyuu-signature kegani/bafun uni with shari and nori; it was too predictable and nothing special. Everything else, though, was very good indeed!

Places that "wow" with the tsumami sometimes regress significantly in terms of nigiri, so I was bracing myself for a subpar sushi course, but it turned out to be well above expectations. The aka-shari was assertive but somehow not tiring to eat, unlike at Shimazu where I was getting bored towards the end. The neta was cut in generous slices, resulting in big and bulky sushi, yet the proportioning was very well-balanced, and there was a clear harmony between neta and shari. In fact, I thought the flavor profile of the sushi here was very beautiful and high-level overall. Although only 8 pieces of nigiri + tamago were served (which I thought was odd, but then again, everyone at the counter received the same course), most of the nigiri was very good, the highlights being kasugo, aji, and chutoro. It’s a shame because I thought the course was therefore overpriced and I thought Okada-san was genuinely skilled - I wanted to eat more of his stuff - but I was sufficiently full at the end and ordered just an extra kanpyo maki, which was very good.

You may call me crazy but I thought the level of sushi here was very similar to that of Shimazu, plus reservations are very easy to get. And despite what you may think of Sushi Yuu-style sushi, I did not find that Sushi Zai reeked of opulence / Instagram fad-chasing nonsense. The modern/original elements in the meal were surprisingly well-calibrated and not obnoxious at all. I think that Sushi Zai’s Tabelog rating of ~3.9 is actually very fair and legitimate, and I would not mind returning at all. (It also made me think that Shimazu should be closer to 4.0 than 4.4 where he currently is)


7. Sushi Take (3rd visit)
Nigiri: 7.7/10, CP: 8.5/10
Seats Occupied: 1/8 (me although I came early and 1 more guy came when I was leaving)

I think I’ve finally made up my mind about Sushi Take: it is what it is. I feel like Take-san’s sushi has stabilized over time, and has now reached a point where I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing much changes in the years to come. This is NOT a bad thing at all. I feel like the flavor profile of nigiri here has diverged significantly from her training location (Shimizu), with a paradoxically sour-yet-light aka-shari and traditional but clean preparations. I especially like Take-san’s somewhat subdued preparation of hikarimono (the kohada, iwashi, and sanma were all on point during my visit), which does not go heavy on salt and vinegar and instead accentuates the neta’s “pristine fishiness,” if that makes sense. I also like how stuff like awabi and tako are served as nigiri, each coming packed with a strong oceanic aroma. There doesn’t seem to be much innovation going on but the sushi now tastes distinctive and personal, as if Take-san has a very clear idea of the kind of sushi she wants to serve. To me, this is a very successful case of a disciple branching out from their master, infusing their own sensibilities into their own sushi rather than straight up carbon-copying their boss. It is not the "best," whatever the heck that means, but I really enjoy Sushi Take.


8. Shimizu (4th visit)
Nigiri: 9.25/10, CP: 8/10
Seats Occupied: 7/7 (one or two more foreigners besides our group?)

Return visit after ~4 years and I was stunned at how much has changed. For starters, there are new youngsters helping out (one of them looks like he’s in high school). Next, Shimizu-san’s personality seems to have taken a 180-degree turn as he is now smiling to everyone and speaking in gentle, tranquil tones - he is nowhere as intimidating as he was before, and maybe even speaking 3 words of English?? Finally, and most importantly, the shari is nowhere as strong/sour as it was before, so the most noteworthy element of his sushi is no longer there. Nevertheless, the shari is still on the relatively sour and savory side and paired wonderfully with all his neta. There were less mind-blowing pieces on this visit (hamaguri and kohada, which I used to think were among the best in the entire world, have mellowed out) although still plenty of standouts (sanma, his clams, and his classic anago were amazing). The size of Shimizu-san’s sushi, the marvelous way in which it is packed and breaks apart in your mouth, and the old-school flavor profiles have thankfully still been retained. The same cannot be said about the C/P of the meal: the price, while reasonable, has gone up quite a notch. The entire meal felt much more balanced than before, which is strange to say about a place like this. Yet after some reflection, I think Shimizu is still one of my top picks in Tokyo.

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mx 4 个月 ago

Please help refine Tokyo sushi list!

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az 大约一年 ago

Hello, let me start out by thanking the amazing folks! I am planning a food-focused trip to Japan in Sep'23 and came across this website while attempting to research places. I know that there are an endless number of options and I was hoping to get some advice from the community re. my picks. This will be my 2nd visit to Tokyo. The last time I was there was a long time ago and I was fortunate enough to dine at Sushi Iwa, Sushi Taichi & Daisan Harumi and liked them in that order.

I don't think I enjoy extremely sour (Keita?) or salty shari but I would like to try a few different styles if possible. I would like to concentrate on nigiri more than tsumami but since I would like to plan a few meals, I can mix it up. I'm looking at about 6 meals, maybe 2 in the ¥40k-50k range, 2 in the ¥30k-35k range & 2 in the ¥20k-25k range. Weekend lunches would work!

I was planning to stay at Four Seasons but I read that the concierge at Tokyo Station Hotel might be better. Should I look into switching to that? I do not speak Japanese but I can try to request friends who do to call on my behalf if that helps (the friends do not live in Japan though so they may not have a Japanese phone number in case that's needed). My only priority is deliciousness. Don't really care about prestige or cool pictures or stuff.

Based on my research, I've come up with a few names:

* Sugita: I wasn't planning on using Tableall. Taking that into consideration, should I even think about this or forget it and not even try?
* Hashiguchi: I'm not sure if they allow solo diners to make reservations?
* Kimura: Aged fish sounds interesting. Ichimura san in NYC used to do this and I loved his sushi! Don't know if a reservation is possible here though.
* Hatsunezushi: Do they also age fish?
* Tachigui Sushi Akira
* Harutaka: Jiro Style
* Inomata: Since this is also aged, I guess this could be a backup to Kimura?
* Tokiwazushi: I understand that this is Mizutani style but what is this style? I think this may be an option for a Saturday lunch

Of course a whole bunch of other places came up in my research - Saito (I wish! :), Sushisho Masa, Keita, Namba Hibiya, Ryujiro (heavy on the salt?), Sushi Ao, Hashimoto, Sushi Watanabe, Hakkoku, Suzuki, Ishiyama, Namba Hibiya, Sawada (strangely the reviews I saw were mixed), Amamoto, Arai, etc. to name a few.

I would appreciate any feedback on the above and suggestions to improve my list! Thank you all very much!

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guest 8 个月 ago


Sushi Obana

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Justeat 一年多 ago

I heard that seating at Obana is hard to get these days. Anyone have been to Obana recently?

I would like to know your thoughts about Obana.

Ps. If you have any knowledge about their sake selection, please share your thoughts as well. Thank you.

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Eric Yu 7 个月 ago

Review of Iwasawa (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 一年多 ago

Fudomae Sushi Iwasawa
不動前 すし 岩澤
Nigiri: 6.25/10 Tsumami: 7.5/10 CP: 6/10

Correct me if I’m wrong, but recently I’ve been getting the impression that Sho-style restaurants (except maybe the honten) have fallen out of favor. A few years ago there were new openings left and right - see the TTT article on “The Sushi Sho Mafia Sweeping Over Tokyo” - but nowadays it’s up-and-coming disciples from famous places that are absorbing all the attention. Also, when it comes to Sho-style restaurants, it seems increasingly difficult to evaluate what makes one different from another. They are all practicing the main elements of Keiji Nakazawa’s style (random flow of tsumami/nigiri; different types of rice for different types of neta etc.), but it may be hard to pinpoint what makes them stand out from each other, resulting in a lack of originality. This is mostly what I felt at Iwasawa.

The sushi-ya is a ~10 minute walk from Gotanda Station. It is located on the street level of a building near the road and is very easy to find. On the day of my meal, the 9-seat counter was occupied by at least 5 foreigners (including us) and a few Japanese men who were able to speak foreign languages. As you may know, Iwasawa-san hails from Sushi Sho Saito and is able to speak English and Chinese well. A tall and steady figure, he provides warm hospitality and introduces all the fish names in English, making this a charming experience for sushi newbies and foreigners. There is certainly a lack of “local ambiance” here as you do not hear tons of Japanese spoken at the counter. I do not mind this - I place foremost emphasis on the food, but unfortunately I was not very impressed :(

In total there were around 10 tsumami, 3 pickled vegetable “courses”, and 10 pieces of nigiri. Most of what was served was very small and bite-sized compared to other places I visited. For instance, the two aji rolls (tsumami) were so tiny that both of them would equal the size of one roll served at, say, Hashimoto! The tsumami could really be described as “tiny snacks” rather than “appetizers” (for comparison, the portions were much smaller than at Takumi Shingo). Overall, the tsumami was pretty good, with highlights being the ika somen and grilled mehikari. Flavor profiles were clean and not heavy at all, although nothing really stood out as being extraordinary.

Nigiri was interspersed throughout the course, and shiro or aka shari was used depending on the neta, as is the case at Sho-style restaurants. The nigiri here was like delicate glasswork, so beautiful and shiny that they almost looked too pretty to eat. While the nigiri was not bad, several issues I had were:

- Both kinds of shari, especially the shiro shari, were extremely mildly seasoned, to the point that I could taste almost no vinegar in the rice.

- The sushi was really quite small. In Singapore, we frequently have people coming into sushi restaurants requesting small rice or (god forbid) no rice at all. Iwasawa-san’s sushi reminded me of some of those Singapore style nigiri. The nigiri still spread apart nicely in the mouth, although I prefer bigger sushi, especially when I’m in Japan.

- Iwasawa-san barely brushed shoyu onto each piece - it was literally maybe one light tap of the brush on each fish. While this allowed the natural flavors of the neta to shine through, the bland shari did not help at all, making for a balance that seemed almost too clean, too pristine.

While there were some very good pieces (kohada, ankimo narazuke, kuromutsu skin), many of them also did not leave a lasting impression. Vocabulary I would use to describe the sushi would include “kirei,” “kawaii,” “chiisai,” “petite,” effeminate even (think Kanesaka/Ichiyanagi style sushi) and while I’m sure some people like this, I have a feeling hardcore sushi eaters would not enjoy it so much. And back to what I mentioned at the start: I felt that while Iwasawa-san was able to produce sushi that came straight out of a textbook - they would get straight A’s in terms of appearance and proportioning - his food also lacked personality. He did introduce a selection of items you could add on - including a dashi-marinated kuruma ebi, kuromutsu skin which would be grilled and made into nigiri, and plum (ume) nigiri - and these were more unique. I only wish they were included in the main course so that the meal would be more interesting. Instead, Iwasawa-san’s selection of nigiri neta was very “safe” (ika, kohada, tuna, etc.) and although I did get the infamous ankimo narazuke, I didn’t get any other Sho-style originals like kinmedai grilled with its skin or the “ohagi” toro taku nigiri. In general, the impact of his nigiri was restrained, muted, and extremely clean tasting. It comes down to preferences, but surely I prefer more old-school and more intense Edomae preparations.

The price came up to ¥25,500 per person including 2-3 add ons; I would not consider this to be great value. I would still rank the food above Sushi Sho Masa although definitely below Takumi Shingo. I do buy some foodies’ criticisms that it is difficult to focus on the nigiri here given there are so many tsumami thrown in between, although I was fully expecting this from the start. Overall, I’d say Iwasawa is a perfectly decent Sho-style restaurant, with a cozy ambiance and good hospitality. It’s just that if you asked me to recall, in a year’s time, some interesting/idiosyncratic properties about this place, I doubt I’ll be able to share that much. . .

1. I don’t drink, which may have contributed to my reduced enjoyment at this place (and Sho-style restaurants in general). I think I'm going to take an extended break from Sho places now . . .
2. Compared to other Sho-style places, Iwasawa-san seems to do a few things differently. First, there is a clearly-defined course that everyone gets - that is to say, although nigiri and tsumami are interspersed, all diners get the same stuff in the same order. This was not the case when I went to Shingo, where every group got a different flow of items, i.e. our 3rd nigiri might be their 10th. It was still immensely interesting to watch the well-coordinated nature of the chefs here. Second, Iwasawa-san served all the sushi with shiro shari before moving onto all the sushi with aka shari. This was not the case when I went to both Shingo and Sho Masa (they switched back and forth between the rice numerous times).

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guest 8 个月 ago


Opinions on Sugaya?

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JJ 一年多 ago

Has anyone been to Sugaya recently and gotten a sense of whether or not it's worth the visit? The price used to be insultingly high, but it seems like every other sushiya these days are raising their prices (Nanba Hibiya, Harutaka, Takamitsu, Kimura, etc. have crept within a ~10,000yen distance unless Sugaya has raised their price in tandem, and Sugaya seems easier to book) to the point where many other well-regarded places aren't too far off.

I'm interested mainly for the maguro, which I've heard good things about. Already have myself a reservation at Inomata, but wanted to try a place with a different style.

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guest 8 个月 ago

October Lunch at Sushi Arai

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Leo Saito 一年多 ago

Nigiri: Hirame(flounder), Shimaaji(striped jack), Sumiika(black squid), Aji(horse mackerel), Buri(yellowtail), Ara(saw-edged perch), Iwashi(sardine), Saba(mackerel), Akami, Chutoro, Otoro, Hokki(Sakhalin surf clam), Ikura, Ebi(shrimp), Uni(sea urchin), Anago(conger eel), Tamago
It was my first visit in half a year.
The neta was large, the shari was a little larger, and the acidity of the red vinegar was a little stronger.
Hmmm, not very tasty this time. I would rate the sushi at A- or even B+ level with this taste. And my impression is that the portion was too large for lunch.
Maybe my tastes have changed …
Recently I don't really like sushi with large pieces of fish …

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guest 8 个月 ago

Apr'23 Sushi Reviews Part 2 (Sushi Tokiwa, Ao, Ichiu, Takehara)


Just_Ingest 大约一年 ago

More reviews before they fade from memory!


4. Sushi Tokiwa (Shibata, Niigata)
鮨 登喜和
• Tsumami: 8.5/10, Nigiri: 7/10, CP: 8/10
• Price: ¥16,500 on Pocket Concierge (basically 15k +10% tax and no fees) + ¥500 for tea for the weekend lunch course (~6 tsumami and ~11 nigiri)
• Reservation: Very easy; plenty of slots are available on Pocket Concierge. You can also message them on Instagram (tokiwa_3daime) as they speak good English.

When deciding to visit either Kyoudaizushi or Sushi Tokiwa, I finally chose the latter because the pictures looked more interesting (lol). To get there, you’ll need to head to Niigata Station (~2 hour shinkansen ride from Tokyo), switch trains and head to Shibata Station (~30-60 minute ride depending on the train), and walk around 15 minutes to the store. It’s a family-run business so head chef Kobayashi-san and his family members (I think) work together at the counter, giving the restaurant a very “homey” vibe. Kobayashi-san is a very jolly and outgoing fellow who speaks a bit of English, and one staff member who he labeled his “English teacher” speaks very good English so they were able to translate all the dishes and fishes to me. The staff personally addressed each patron by name and tried to engage all of us in conversation, which I definitely appreciated :)

Here, the spotlight is on seafood from Niigata; almost all of the ingredients used were from the prefecture, with plenty coming from the waters near Sado Island in particular. (Apparently Kobayashi-san doesn’t even serve maguro if it doesn’t come form Niigata!) However, the cuisine is much more innovative than simply “applying Edomae techniques to local fish.” The otsumami (which was interspersed throughout the course) included dishes like an oyster chawanmushi with local seaweed, a torafugu shirako risotto with karasumi shavings, and “totomame” which I believe is the local term for boiled salmon roe. I thought they were more labor-intensive to prepare than what you’d find at the average sushiya, and all of them were truly excellent.

The nigiri here was even more innovative, using plenty of uncommon fish, ingredient/condiment combinations, and preparation methods. To give an idea, some of the pieces served were: a) nanban ebi which is the local term for Niigata ama-ebi, salted and dried overnight [one of the best pieces of the day]; b) me-dai topped with fermented cabbage which gave the nigiri sour flavor notes and a crunchy texture, c) sakura masu liberally marinated in soy sauce, d) baigai with plum and seaweed which took an excruciating 15 or so minutes to prepare, e) hata shabu-shabu which was cooked one-piece-at-a-time by one of the ladies and finished with a generous squeeze of orange. While conceptually similar, the execution unfortunately fell short of the stuff Amano-san does at Tenzushi, and some of the pairings did not work so well for me. Nonetheless, most of the flavor profiles were distinctive. The team wasn’t joking when they said on Instagram that they’d explain their “cooking methods” in some detail!

The shari was somewhat salty and sour but rapidly diminished in strength, perhaps because some of the toppings were powerful indeed. This was despite Kobayashi-san requesting a small new batch of rice before preparing every single nigiri. The rice (apparently a Koshihikari grown in Shibata) also had tinier grains which was not to my preference, and some of the nigiri had a rotund shape with very little shari, so I sadly thought I was eating tiny Singapore-style sushi sometimes. Nonetheless, it was interesting to watch Kobayashi-san use all three of the main motions (kotegaeshi, tategaeshi, and hontegaeshi) to form nigiri.

On the whole, I’m happy to have tried Sushi Tokiwa, and it was my first time in Niigata so I was able to taste and learn more about the local seafood that the chef was so proud of. However, the extensive travel time, the unusual pacing (there were some long gaps between courses), and the fact that the tsumami outperformed the nigiri by quite some margin means that I probably won’t be back for a while. I would still recommend it if you’re in the area, especially for those looking for bolder and more adventurous sushi preparations, and I thought the value was good for the amount of food served. The sushi is so different from what you can find in Tokyo, so if nothing else, the chef has succeeded in creating a one-of-a-kind experience.


5. Sushi AO (Omotesando)
鮨 あお / ▲⬤
• Nigiri: 9.75/10, CP: 7/10
• Price: ¥33,000 for the nigiri lunch course (~15 pieces + tekkamaki + tamago) + 2 add ons + kanpyo maki + plenty of tea
• Reservation: Hard; I booked ~60 days in advance on Omakase. You need fast fingers and flexible travel dates, but unlike places like Amamoto, bookings are still possible. Sushi Ao is Omakase-only and won’t accept hotel reservations.

[I was able to connect with KK1337 through TTT and visit Sushi Ao together. Thank you to both KK and Saito-san’s website :) ]

I don’t know what happened during this meal, but this must be what it feels like when Instagrammers combine the words “sooooooooooo” and “good” and leave it at that. Sometimes words are hard to find because there’s really nothing else to say.

This was as close to a perfect sushi meal as I have ever had. Usually, I make notes indicating which pieces are not good, average, good, excellent, or even legendary. As I looked through my notes again, there was nothing here that I found even remotely close to average. Everything was at least good, most of the sushi was excellent, and some of it put me into a sushi coma.

Okazaki-san practices Jiro-style preparations but his shari was much less sour than other Jiro restaurants, and rather, very well-balanced in acidity and salinity while retaining good presence in the background. The individual grains were large and the texture was a bit moist in a very good way. When combined with the very fragrant wasabi, the result was a consistently mind-boggling flavor profile where I think I finally get what Thanos says when he means “perfectly balanced.” Shari was consistently maintained at a good temperature throughout the meal, which sounds simple but is more than what many sushiya are actually able to do. (Nowadays room temperature shari bothers me a little and anything colder gives me shudders)

As a result of this incredible “base” of shari+wasabi, all of the neta, even those that I typically am not crazy about (katsuo, kobashira) were elevated to incredible levels. Shima aji, chutoro, akagai, kuruma ebi, and hamaguri sent me to sushi heaven; anago and tamago were excellent although fell short of Harutaka’s (which are legendary in my books). Nothing was really an umami bomb but I thought everything was just too good in its own way, at least for my personal palate ~_~ “Melt in your mouth” is an overrated statement but in this case, the soy sauce that was used for some of the pieces caused them to glisten and acquire a slightly sticky quality, and when combined with the slightly wet texture of the rice, the nigiri unraveled in my mouth like magic. The “worst” piece was uni which is ridiculous because a) it was still pretty good and b) it’s theoretically a very easy fix as the taisho can just buy a better box. As if all of this wasn’t enough, I was left reeling after eating the kanpyo maki because it was the best kanpyo I have ever had.

Perhaps because I am not one to make strong reactions even when I eat good stuff, I don’t think my dining partner KK realized it, but I was really in sushi heaven here.

Some people complain about the price and I get that; I’m usually cynical about what Jiro-style places charge but in this case, I thought the price was on par with the level. The service was flawless and attentive; my teacup was consistently refilled and never left even close to lukewarm. Okazaki-san is a soft and mild-mannered taisho who doesn’t invade your personal space but still diffuses the tension in the air and creates an elegant ambiance. His movements are graceful and he has an aura of wisdom about him, similar to the way Zhuge Liang is typically portrayed in movies. Like Jiro-san, he personally sees all the guests off after the meal. If I were a betting man I would put money on him becoming a legend within 2 decades.

Taste is a funny thing and it’s impossible to conclusively declare things after just one visit to a sushi restaurant, but I’ll be back and I want to discover why exactly I thought this place was so good; even now, I don’t fully understand it. Surely, personal taste buds play a huge part in determining taste, so maybe this is one of those sushiya where the shari and neta magically worked so well for me that it was pretty much nirvana (whereas plenty of other people seem to think Sushi Ao is overrated). One thing that I did realize after my trip – and as a cheerleader of the Shimizu school I never thought I’d say it – is this: although komezu-based shari is unforgiving and REALLY hard to pull off properly, when it is done well, I think the potential is limitless and exceeds that of aka-shari ~_~


6. Ichiu (Kagurazaka)
• “Tsumami”: 8/10, Nigiri: 7.25/10 [but very difficult to rate properly], CP: 7.5/10
• Price: ¥21,450 for the full course (base course + water + tea + service charge)
• Reservation: Still very easy; all availabilities are shown on Pocket Concierge, which I used to book ~1 month in advance.. Same-week seats are still available though. You can also book through Tableall but I don’t know why you’d do that.

This is a super interesting restaurant that I can’t call a sushiya but rather “sushi kappo.” The taisho, Hamano-san, hails from renowned institutions such as Kikunoi, Ginza Koju, and Sushi Senpachi in Kumamoto. He fuses his experience in kaiseki and sushi to create an original meal that is currently having an identity crisis, but I think that the restaurant can only get better from here, especially once the concept is more firmed up.

Hamano-san is a very friendly chef who speaks far-above-average English which he supposedly learns from YouTube every night. (He is able to explain all the courses and ingredients in English and provide good responses to questions that other people asked, such as “Why is the tea poured [a certain way]” or “Why is the hinoki counter so valuable”) He mentioned that a lot of tourists have been visiting recently, so Ichiu is getting on people’s radars. He also has an eccentric sense of taste, from naming his restaurant “One Universe” to designing it somewhat like an escape room.

Based on what I saw online, the course used to be structured into something like 8 tsumami + 12 nigiri, but that completely changed during my visit. Currently the composition is ~10 tsumami, 6 nigiri, a saba bozushi, gohan (i.e. kaiseki rice dish) and dessert. (Well, to be fair, the course actually started with a welcome drink; on my visit, it had plum and kumquat in it.) As many of you probably know, the “tsumami” here cannot be described as mere appetizers; rather, they are more complex kaiseki-esque dishes! My experience with kaiseki is very limited so I can’t compare it to other restaurants, but on absolute terms I thought that most of the dishes were delightful. Examples of such dishes were the takenoko dumpling/hamaguri/seaweed soup and a simple but heartwarming mejimaguro with onion sauce.

If I were to nitpick, though, some of the sauces/seasonings obscured the flavor of the ingredients, as was the case with a dish of tai doused with ankimo paste and a dish of akagai/hotaru ika with sesame sauce. I believe this is partly done to keep the cost of the course reasonable; at ~¥20,000 and serving just one round of 8 diners per night, you can’t go for extraordinary ingredients so you might have to flavor them with other methods. I also thought some dishes had a little too much going on (e.g. a dish of uni, anago, beancurd skin, Japanese watercress, some broth…), so this was certainly no Ogata where you might eat a single piece of daikon and marvel at its absolute perfection and simplicity. Kyo-kaiseki otakus might be offended by some of the dishes here!

Anyway, Hamano-san ended up serving 10 of these kaiseki-style dishes (which he unfortunately went into the kitchen to prepare so you couldn’t see him work), and it took 90 minutes before a single piece of sushi was served. By that point I was pretty much already full xD. As I mentioned, only 6 pieces of nigiri came out so I’ll just list them: ishigakidai, kanpachi marinated in onion soy sauce, shiro ebi, kuruma ebi, kohada finished with sudachi, and kasugo. All the neta was pre-sliced and taken from plates covered with plastic wraps; with all the kaiseki prep going on, Hamano-san wouldn’t have enough time to slice neta on the spot. The shari was at room temperature (argh) and was a mix of 2 akazu + kurozu (black vinegar); the acidity was moderate and anyone would be able to enjoy it. Thank god he didn’t use his master’s shari or vinegaring techniques because then I would have headed for the exit :D

I actually thought that the sushi was very respectable - clearly the chef had plenty of skill to draw out flavor from the less-than-premium toppings - but 6 pieces including 2 ebi was simply not enough variety and made it clear that the focus was not the sushi ;_; The nigiri was followed by an excellent sabazushi, then a sakura masu gohan which you could ask for refills. I almost expected Hamano-san to fully intersperse kaiseki and sushi in his grand finale by using vinegared rice for the gohan, but obviously I am dumb because that didn’t happen at all (maybe he didn’t want to offend the Kaiseki gods). There was no anago or tamago served, and instead dessert was an excellent coconut pudding and mikan orange.

Well, if this all sounds intriguing, that’s because it is! To be honest, I couldn’t help but feel that the meal was “neither here nor there”, and I’m not even sure if a half-kaiseki / half-sushi meal can ever work well at all. At the same time, I felt that Ichiu has tremendous potential, and I assume Hamano-san’s pedigree/skill would make him an ideal candidate for a Michelin star sometime in the future. It is still early days - clearly the service, shari, and course progression are still being tweaked. While the meal was definitely far from the best, I actually left with a sense of curiosity. People often say trite things like “it’s interesting to see how this restaurant will evolve” but I think that genuinely applies to Ichiu. I shall be back someday.


7. Sushidokoro Takehara (Ebisu)
• Nigiri: 5.5/10, CP: 6.75/10
• Price: ¥10,000 for lunch nigiri course + tea (note: I believe the course price has been increased to ¥12,000 now)
• Reservation: Very easy; you can get same-week or same-day seats. You can book through Instagram DM, which is what I did (they’re able to communicate in English)

This is a restaurant that is associated with a famous Instagrammer who hired a ~25 year old chef. In theory, it is one of those places that looks pretty damn good. From the pictures and reviews, the nigiri shape/formations look good, the shari looks solid, and for me, there is a certain appeal of sushiya where the chef places nigiri directly on the wooden counter. Unfortunately, my experience was pretty underwhelming :-(

The nigiri-only lunch, which was priced at ¥10,000, consisted of 12 sushi + tamago. 5 out of 6 seats were occupied when I went on a Monday and I believe one of the patrons may have been Karashima-san of “Sushi Karashima.” The first piece was hirame kobujime and I was immediately excited when I saw a large and chunky piece of nigiri in front of me, but when I tasted it, the flavor was almost completely flat. The shari was very low in acidity with rather soft grains, and while the first nigiri unraveled nicely in the mouth as you would expect from a place that serves Hashimoto/Tomidokoro-sized sushi, most of what came after was disappointing. Kasugo had no flavor and was completely overwhelmed by both sudachi AND yuzu flakes. By the third piece (sumi ika), the shari had virtually lost all flavor.

Tuna and kohada were objectively pretty good, but the shari was starting to peel away from the neta and the pieces became harder and harder to pick up. The chef slapped the torigai to ensure freshness immediately before consumption, but it broke away from the shari. I get why chefs need to slap the clam but could you at least press the topping onto the shari again after you’ve done that, or try to make sure it doesn’t perform a cartwheel and fly off the rice (P.S. there are plenty of videos of Sugita-san doing this properly)? Darn, I was a bit annoyed!

As the course progressed I found the balance became more and more off and it was like eating large pieces of sashimi rather than sushi, and what shari I managed to chew on tasted like plain rice. Aji was a bit fishy and both kuruma ebi/anago were very good, but once again, it’s hard to call this “sushi” rather than “sashimi.” Tamago was like a cheesecake pudding and distinctive enough. Reasonably high-quality ingredients were used so I thought the value wasn’t the worst, although I have to emphasize that ¥10k is much better spent elsewhere (Ishiyama, Tomidokoro, Kanesho, etc. etc - pick your poison)

Well, I guess the chef was nice, the sushi was picturesque, and there was some English spoken, but this is one of those sushiya that is all “Instagram hype” and lacking substance, so I ain’t coming back!

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guest 8 个月 ago

Apr'23 Sushi Reviews Part 1 (Tokiwazushi, Yamada, Kanesho)


Just_Ingest 大约一年 ago

Here are some reviews of places I visited for the first time recently. Hope some of you find this useful!


1. Tokiwazushi (Yokohama)
• Nigiri: 7.5/10, CP: 7/10
• Price: ¥20,000 exactly for ~20 pieces of nigiri. There are two standard menus: ¥11,000 for the nigiri lunch course and ¥22,000 for the full course, but prices have gone up by 20% and 10% respectively since April 1.
• Reservation: Very easy; I got mine ~3 weeks in advance from a hotel concierge. If you have an account with a Japanese number, you can book yourself through Omakase (there are plenty of open slots)
• Note: Be sure to read the TTT writeup on this restaurant as well!

Tokiwazushi is a ~5-minute walk from Kannai Station (Yokohama); getting there might take over an hour depending on where you’re staying in Tokyo. The taisho, Yuki Hayashinouchi, trained for several years at the legendary Mizutani and - as many gourmets describe - “inherits Hachiro Mizutani’s DNA,” although my friend told me the student and master aren’t exactly on the best of terms lol. Sushi Mizutani was one of my first high-end experiences; a sense of nostalgia, plus rave reviews from reputable sushi foodies, made me want to visit this restaurant. I went for lunch on a weekday and all 7 seats were occupied (I was the only foreigner there). The counter was a little cramped but no-frills and functional.

I had asked my hotel concierge to pre-order around 20 pieces of nigiri and Hayashinouchi-san was able to accommodate my request. After he sliced some neta at a furious pace, we were off to the races. The first 5 pieces came out in around 5 minutes, and the only thing I could think of was that the “Jiro factory of churning out sushi at light speed” was alive and well. The pace got a bit slower after that, but considering that I ate 20 pieces of nigiri in around 58 minutes with some lengthy odd gaps in the middle, I thought the tempo was irregular and unbalanced.

The shiro-shari here is seasoned with komezu, salt, and sugar. Note that sugar is added not so much to add an element of sweetness, but rather, to adjust the overall sourness as komezu can be a bit too tart by itself. The shari was indeed on the sour side, so fans of the Jiro school will no doubt enjoy it, but I thought it was packed too tightly and lacked air. I would say the shari is less strong than Jiro Honten but more so than Mizukami and Harutaka. Unfortunately, I found the sourness a bit one-dimensional (unlike the honten’s shari) and it became a little tiresome towards the end. Neta-wise, most of them were good; pieces that were processed with classical Edomae techniques, like sayori kobujime; kohada; and shime saba were excellent. The tuna, while not of top quality, balanced impressively with the acidity of the shari, and the fair number of clams served (akagai, hamaguri, and grilled hokkigai) were very good.

Nonetheless, there were also a fair number of forgettable pieces. The lighter-tasting shiromi were overwhelmed by the shari; the anago and tamago (which I consider trademarks of Jiro-style restaurants) were disappointing; and as I mentioned, the “flatness” of the shari left me wanting something else at the end of the meal. Notably, the tamago, which was my favorite piece at Mizutani, leaned more towards the “egg omelette” style rather than Mizutani-san’s “ultra-sweet-castella dessert” style. Finally, ice cream came out at the end which reminded me of sushiya in Singapore (lol). The pieces were on the larger side, although I don’t think the standard 11-piece nigiri course would make you full.

Overall, I’d say the sushi is not really superior to what you can find at Mizukami, but it does come at ~2/3 of the price (¥1,000/piece can be considered fair these days!). I thought the neta and preparations were better than Mizukami’s but the shari was not. Hayashinouchi-san was able to speak some extremely basic English but was otherwise particularly quiet and aloof, offering no greetings at all and refusing to make any sort of eye contact until the end, so the meal had a strange tension in the air. Taking into account both the style of service and the fact that only those with Japanese numbers can reserve via Omakase, I can only conclude that the chef prefers a local clientele.

As far as the Jiro style goes, I thought it was an average restaurant so I probably won’t be back. I wouldn’t recommend Tokiwazushi for non-Japanese speakers / sushi beginners (the tempo is a bit too fast, there is minimal English spoken, and not all the fish names are announced) but it’s worth a try if you’re really curious about it, and/or like traditional sushi with few surprises. Just take note it’s a bit far from Tokyo and prices are going up from April 2023 onwards!


2. Sushidokoro Yamada (Ginza)
• Nigiri: 8.6/10, CP: 8/10
• Price: ¥18,150 for the base 15-piece course (¥15,000 plus tax plus a 10% JPNEAZY fee) and ¥8,800 for 8 add-ons (add-ons are ¥1,000 per piece plus 10% tax)
• Reservation: Easy; I booked ~3 weeks in advance through JPNEAZY. I’m not sure if they accept reservations from other third parties.

Sushidokoro Yamada has been on my radar for a while, but it was impractical to visit as Yamada-san did not accept reservations from foreigners for a number of years. Thankfully, he’s changed his policy recently and anyone can now go :) The restaurant is on the right side of a narrow corridor in a multi-tenant building in Ginza. The interior is adorned with a lot of contraptions - think cranes and decorative figurines - that hang from the ceiling and across the tsukeba so it feels like more of a craftsman’s workshop than a sushi restaurant. The setup was a little strange but casual despite the Ginza location.

Yamada-san looks very scary but he is actually a quirky fellow who is low-key hilarious and a bit of a troll. He wears some sort of headphones (I think they’re called “bone conducting headphones”) from which he can answer customer calls wirelessly while making sushi. He has an iPad next to him and a piece of paper on which he’s continuously scribbling some stuff. Anyway, he does 2 seatings per night (6/6:30PM and 8:30PM++); I came for the latter and there were only 3 people - myself and 2 other foreigners - at the counter. I was a bit worried of communication issues but Yamada-san’s English was surprisingly good and he knew the English names of some of the fish! (Example of his hilarity: he perfectly stated “flounder, squid, tuna” for the first few pieces and then when he served torigai, he said “I don’t know shellfish”)

Only nigiri is served; there is not even gari here. As much as this Yamada has earned a reputation for being a “jukusei sushiya” I think that’s somewhat incomplete if not misleading, and rather, the sushi here is about creating unconventional flavors and a bunch of signature dishes. Specifically, I believe Yamada-san is trying to a) transform unusual, inexpensive ingredients into something special and b) to age some [but not all] of the fish with the goal of amplifying flavor and/or transforming texture. Point a) is particularly appealing to me as I have immense respect for chefs who work with less-than-stellar ingredients, as they have to use skill and finesse to draw out flavors rather than spamming you with tuna and uni. All this is useless without good shari, though, so let me start off by saying that the shari was very solid. I believe Yamada-san mixes several types of akazu and komezu to season his shari; the grains were large, firm, and distinctive, and the acidity was at a comfortable level.

The first piece Yamada-san served was hirame, and it was outstanding from the get-go. I mean, if a place can make you excited about hirame, it’s bound to be pretty good, I think! I won’t go through each and every piece but there were a lot of uncommon neta served, including ebodai (butterfish), masunosuke (king salmon), grilled shiitake mushroom (one of his specialties), bincho maguro (I almost laughed when he said bincho maguro with a completely straight face), and ama-ebi (which was ground into almost a paste as he thinks it tastes better that way). Everything had depth of flavor and was surprisingly very good. I don’t know what he did to the more common neta (aji, sawara etc.) but they were soft and full of clean umami, perhaps from the aging; if you have eaten many of these neta before you will definitely notice that they taste very different here.

Yamada-san also served several clams which were not aged and had mostly traditional flavors (akagai, torigai, hamaguri), all very good. A large scallop with some sort of sake flavor in it was amazing, and a classic kurumaebi was so flavorful and juicy that it would put many other Edomae shops to shame. The tamago was another one of his signature dishes. Nowadays every chef is trying to innovate on tamago but much of it unfortunately comes across as an afterthought to me, yet I thought Yamada-san’s tamago was exceedingly unique. Soft, spongy, and a little sweet, it’s tricky to describe and I have never tasted tamago like that before. When I asked what was in it, Yamada-san said that he mixed scallops and shellfish (rather than the usual shrimp) together.

Even though the shari was not large, I thought the neta/shari ratio was excellent and the flavor profiles were very compelling, so I ordered 8 additional pieces (one of the quirks about this place is that you can’t choose which neta you want; add-ons are still omakase). The add-ons included an incredible hokkigai with pepper, overwhelmingly good aged chutoro, and some of the best uni I’ve tasted. They were all priced at 1,000 yen each so I thought it was good value. I did have several complaints overall: first, because there were only 3 of us at the counter, the tempo was super fast and that was especially the case for the add-ons (8 pieces came out in less than 8 minutes, I think). Second, the temperature control here was not the best, with the rice losing flavor and temperature towards the end - I think only one batch of shari was prepared throughout the course. However, beyond these factors, this was definitely one of the most unique sushi experiences I’ve had, overflowing with creativity, skills, and personality while - importantly - remaining delicious. No kohada, anago, or coffee-flavored kajiki were served, but there was no need for them.

Conclusion: I thought this was a brilliant restaurant where I marked at least half of the pieces as “very good” or “excellent”. Yamada-san is a massive foodie (check out his Instagram) and seems to derive inspiration from other meals so this place pretty much has no limits when it comes to progress. If the smaller touches and pacing were improved, this would easily be a 9/10 or higher meal for me. It isn’t necessarily for beginners, and there are some idiosyncrasies, but I wholeheartedly recommend it to nigiri lovers who have eaten at a fair number of other sushi places. I have no doubt you’ll know exactly why this place is so damn different, and for all the right reasons.


3. Sushi Kanesho (Asakusa)
鮓 かね庄
• Nigiri: 7/10, CP: 9.5/10
• Price: ¥10,800 for 14 nigiri including tamago + rolls + kanpyo roll add-on
• Reservation: Very easy; plenty of slots are available on Ikyu. You can also message them on Instagram (sushi_kaneshou) as they speak English. I booked through Ikyu ~3 weeks in advance. For those looking to use Ikyu, just translate the web page into English and it should be pretty straightforward.

Sushi Kanesho is highly acclaimed by both Saito-san and the sushi writer Hikari Hayakawa. It is one of the restaurants featured in Hayakawa-san’s relatively new book “新時代の江戸前鮨がわかる本 訪れるべき本当の名店”. There is no excuse for sushi lovers not to read this informative book as you can now use Google Translate to point your camera to the text and “read” it in English. Sushi Kanesho’s taisho, Watanabe-san, comes from the long-standing “Sushidokoro Kanpachi” which closed its doors a few years ago. Since starting his own place, a few adjustments have been made: sugar is no longer used in the shari and the maguro has been upgraded, but some of the classics like Kanpachi’s kyuri maki remain to this very day.

Watanabe-san is one of those chefs who looks intimidating in YouTube videos but he is in fact the complete opposite. Boisterous and very friendly, he addresses each guest by name, is keen to joke around, and speaks enough English to get by. Beyond his hearty disposition is a steady persona that I would describe as “authentic.” He aims to keep prices reasonable in today’s sushi bubble, and he does only one seating a night with staggered starts as he wants to ensure that everyone can relax and enjoy sushi to their content. A few guests tried to walk in when I visited, and while he was clearly able to accommodate them if he rushed some of us to finish quickly, he told his disciple to say the counter was full and effectively “closed” for the rest of the evening.

There is an abridged nigiri course that starts at ¥5,800 during lunch, but I went for dinner and ordered the ¥10,000 nigiri course. (There is also a full course with tsumami that goes for ¥18,000+.) After a very refreshing wakame salad, the nigiri course kicked off with a very well-balanced kohada. I thought it was interesting that Watanabe-san didn’t start with white fish and instead something that showcased his skill, which was certainly at a high level. Most of the pieces that came next were good or very good, with the highlights being toro, vinegared kasugo, and aoyagi (I usually hate aoyagi as a bad one can smell like farts but Watanabe-san’s was very good). The nama kinmedai was also as glorious as it could get (some chefs overcomplicate kinmedai by grilling it or pairing it or mustard etc. yet the actual raw product tastes very good so I appreciated Kanesho-san leaving it “as is”). The nigiri was on the larger side and felt like proper Edomae; flavors were clean and on the traditional side. Himo-kyu maki was served at the end and while I am not crazy about cucumbers, I thought the rendition here was excellent and the bright/refreshing flavor profile made me genuinely satisfied.

To be sure, there were some weaker pieces - the uni was not the best (but I can’t ask for anything more at this price point), the kuruma ebi was a little dry, and the sayori had no flavor even with a piece of seaweed stuffed underneath it - but on the whole, I thought the neta was extremely solid when taking into account the price. The shari was very lightly seasoned and was consistently served at room temperature so it left much to be desired, but it was not devoid of flavor and both beginners and sushi maniacs would be able to appreciate it. In fact, the overall approach here - absolutely simple and straightforward, old-school neta topped on a somewhat neutral shari - reminded me of Hashiguchi, but at less than 1/3 of the price (lol). The course ended with classic kurakake tamago and I added on a pretty decent Kanpyo maki; the taisho also joked with everyone at the end, asking us if we wanted tekka don or ramen in case we weren’t full.

There is nothing fancy about Sushi Kanesho but the ease of reservations, extreme value in today’s day and age, very comfortable atmosphere, and classic old-school sushi are all right up my alley. The lack of annoying camera-bearing influencers and fad chasers is also appealing. You may call me crazy but I still think this is better than several places that I consider “the whatevers of the sushi world” like Tsubomi and Kiyota. The quality was about right for the price and while Sushi Kanesho is not on the top of my list to return, I wouldn’t mind coming back at all. In fact, if I lived in Tokyo I could see myself returning several times to satisfy my sushi cravings without blowing a dent in my wallet!

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guest 8 个月 ago


anyone have visited Takaoka or Sushiei recently?

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Justeat 一年多 ago

I plan to make a trek to either Takaoka or Sushiei in this upcoming Feb'22. Please share your thoughts on both places if you've visited them. Thank you!

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guest 8 个月 ago

Anyone been to Sushi Kizaki recently?

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Justeat 一年多 ago

The name has popped up multiple times so I'm interested to opt for their lunch course. Would love to know your guys thought! Thanks

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guest 8 个月 ago


Sushi Taira (すし 田いら)

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JJ 一年多 ago

Has anyone tried Sushi Taira? Since they discourage the posting of reviews online (and they don't even have a Google Maps pin, due to store policy), I don't really have much to go on, including details of the course, or style of the nigiri. That said, I was interested because the few reviews that do exist are pretty positive:

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guest 8 个月 ago


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Yee How 一年多 ago

Has anyone been to ishimaru in saitama? Any background on the style of sushi served?

Compared to matsunosushi in shiinamachi, which is more recommended?

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guest 8 个月 ago



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Wanderlusting 一年多 ago

Hello all, just been in Japan for 3 weeks for work. Snuck in a visit to Inomata, every piece was amazing. Highly recommend the short trip out there. Easy to book on everyone’s favourite booking website as well.

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guest 8 个月 ago

Review of Sushi Mizukami (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 一年多 ago

Sushi Mizukami
鮨 みずかみ
Nigiri: 7.9/10 CP: 5/10

Mizukami-san trained at Jiro Roppongi for 15 years before starting his own restaurant in 2018. The interior is warm, stylish, and mainly illuminated by white colors and tones of light wood. The counter seats merely eight, with Mizukami-san serving four diners and a sous chef serving another four (more on this later; suffice to say we breathed a sigh of relief when we were seated in front of Mizukami-san!). Mizukami-san began conversing in perfect English; “what would you like to drink?” “Please place your mask on the area underneath the counter; do you see it?” Well, surely because Jiro Roppongi entertained a lot of foreign visitors, Mizukami-san must have developed excellent customer service and linguistic skills besides just sushi techniques :)

For our dinner, we ordered the nigiri-only course, consisting of ~20 pieces of sushi. Perfect, I thought - a sushi fest with no appetizers, just the way I like it. The meal commenced with what I like to call the “mostly predictable set of 7 starting nigiri served at Jiro-school restaurants”: white fish, squid, another white fish, akami, chutoro, ootoro, and kohada. What immediately jumped out to me was the shari, which was seasoned with rice vinegar. Although it was assertive, with Mizukami-san commenting it was "more sour than at many other places," it was much less sour than the shari at Jiro Honten. (Also, when comparing to Harutaka, I’d say Harutaka-san’s shari is saltier but Mizukami-san’s is more sour). While the shari mostly overpowered the white fish, it turned out to be fantastic overall with all of the other neta - tart yet refreshing! The tuna was of high quality; the akami was not marinated but had sour and minerally flavors, as did the chutoro and ootoro. The sour/sour combo of tuna and his Jiro-influenced shari seems odd but I found it particularly divine, with wonderful balance. The kohada was decent although nothing to write home about. Overall, a pretty strong start!

Then came a lightly-grilled hokkigai; aji (served with no condiments and minimal sujime); kuruma ebi; ikura; sanma; uni; and saba. For some of the pieces, Mizukami-said, “please be careful with this, it is very delicate,” and I was thinking damn, this guy’s English is GOOD. But the more important thing was that his sushi was also GOOD. The kuruma ebi was the standout of the night - “this was just cooked, it’s still warm,” Mizukami-san said, as he sliced it into half, even for all the gents. The prawn was cooked just the right amount, retaining a soft crunch, and the miso sandwiched underneath the head made for a fantastically savory bite. Meanwhile, the hikarimono were all executed well, although not as perfectly as some of the more old-school places, and the nori he used for his gunkanmaki was immaculately crispy (I still don’t get why so many other places serve soggy nori). All throughout, the rice remained noticeable in the background, sour but never overpowering, maintaining its nice hard texture through the night. I think this rice is much less oppressive than Jiro Honten’s rice, reflecting a more modern, middle-of-the-road approach that should appeal to the younger generation of diners while still adhering to the spirit of Jiro-style flavors.

Hamaguri with tsume sauce signaled the near-conclusion of the course, and it was followed by smoked katsuo, toro taku rolls (I don’t know why he serves this as I thought some hardcore Jiro-school chefs like Mizutani-san would throw you out if you asked for negi toro rolls or something), and anago. The tsume was very well done as it had the distinct aroma of sake built into it, and it made the toppings more complex. I added on an akami, shako, and kanpyo maki; the former two were splendid, but sadly his kanpyo was completely overwhelmed by the shari. The meal finally ended with tamago. I love the sweet Jiro-style yam/shiba-ebi based tamago, and Mizukami-san's was pretty good although inferior to Harutaka's and the Honten's.

On the whole, if I were to nitpick, some of Mizukami-san’s fish was served a bit too cold, and there was nothing that really made me jump out of my seat except the kuruma ebi. On the other hand, every single piece of sushi I had was at least decent or good (there were no bad pieces), with the meal being very well-balanced from start to finish. The variety of ingredients served, including ones that required skill to prepare well, was also compelling. Finally, the size of the sushi was above average - definitely not as large as Jiro Honten or Harutaka. I found it about right and was comfortably full at the end.

Mizukami-san is not super in-your-face friendly but he does make the effort to ask where you’re from and how you heard about his restaurant. Otherwise, he was quite immersed in his work, and did not chat much even with the two other Japanese diners he served. ***At this point I’d like to mention again that there is a sous chef who serves four guests at the counter, and he shapes nigiri for them as well! More intriguing yet, this chef was talking heartily to the four customers, who in turn pretty much ignored Mizukami-san himself. I have no idea who this chef is and what his relationship to Mizukami-san is, but I know some chefs are sticklers about making ALL the nigiri for ALL of the customers at the counter, especially if the sushi restaurant bears their name. And by virtue of the sous chef being so boisterous, it did not really feel like Mizukami-san was in command. Hmm, this was a strange dynamic I haven’t seen at any other place. ***The much more important implication of this, of course, is that if you’re planning to visit here, you may wish to request Mizukami-san (although I don’t know if it’s possible). It is, after all, “Sushi Mizukami,” not “Sushi Mizukami where Mizukami-san only makes nigiri for half the counter" . . .

The bill came up to ¥29,500 per person. This was hardly ideal, and I non-jokingly joke that Jiro-style restaurants always find ways to overcharge people, although to be fair 1) I felt that Mizukami-san’s neta quality was pretty good and 2) The sushi was better than what I had at some other places at the same price level. I had an enjoyable time here, and I give high marks for the shari. For sure I’d recommend a visit!

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guest 一年多 ago

Some under-the-radar sushi shops in Tokyo


mirugai 一年多 ago

Hi all,

I've gotten curious about Jizouzushi or Sushi Imamura. Any recent experiences with them? I'd be attempting to book by calling myself, as a foreigner, with just enough Japanese to get by---worth a shot or no chance? In general I'm always happy to hear of any relatively welcoming under-the-radar shops that are fun, delicious, and not trendy at all. :)

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Yee How 大约一年 ago

Sushi Ao in Late March


Just_Ingest 一年多 ago

Hi TTT members,

I've got 1 extra seat at Sushi Ao on March 31st, lunch, at 12:30PM.

If you're in Tokyo at that time, might anyone with a registered TTT username + history of posting on TTT like to join me?

Thanks a bunch!


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Shi 大约一年 ago

Review of Kiyota (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 一年多 ago

Kiyota (not Hanare)
Sashimi: 8/10, Nigiri: 6.5/10, CP: 4/10

Alongside Jiro and Sawada, Kiyota is one of Ginza’s legendary sushi temples. Its decorated ~60 year history began with the first-generation chef Shigezo Fujimoto, who was said to be one of the most skilled chefs of his time. (He was also the master of the chef Kikuo Shimizu who authored the informative book “Edomae Sushi”, available in English.) The second generation chef, Niizu Takeaki, was also reportedly very skilled and particular about tuna; the third generation chef, Masashi Kimura, has been described on TTT by Saito-san as one of the leading sushi chefs in Japan, and he helms the notoriously expensive Kiyota Hanare. The fourth generation chef is Norihiko Yoshizawa, and it is he who stands behind the counter at the main shop today.

The space inside the restaurant is evidently luxurious. Like Namba Hibiya, the floors are carpeted and evoke a posh feel. The perfectly smooth hinoki counter is suave and maybe a bit too bright, thanks to a row of seven penetrating lightbulbs that dangle right above. A shelf towards the left of the counter holds numerous cups and glasses, some of which have the characters “きよ田” ingrained onto them, so I imagine they are custom-made. Behind the counter, a long and well-lit shoji screen, plus sinks with golden faucets, also add to the sense of opulence. The entire space is completely isolated from the outside world; I felt like I was in a secret underground bunker.

Kiyota used to be one of the most expensive sushi restaurants in Japan, but today this is no longer the case. I went for dinner and ordered a “nigiri-centered course” that was quoted at ¥~38,500. Granted, there is a ~¥55k menu, but then again top sushi-ya like Hatsune, Tenzushi, and maybe even Sugita are charging close to or more than that amount. While Kiyota used to be introduction-only and a favorite gathering spot of socialites, individuals with boundless corporate expense accounts, and perhaps sketchy characters (these categories are not mutually exclusive btw), today it seems to have fallen out of favor, with people gravitating towards trendier and more modern restaurants. As such, it’s very easy to get seats at here; there are plenty of empty slots on Omakase.

My meal actually started off on a high note, with several courses of sashimi. Tai and hirame kobujime were very good, with strong depth of flavor for white fish. Ikura was lightly marinated in soy sauce (every other place I went to served it raw as it’s in season) and was soft, custardy, and well-balanced. Awabi sashimi was soft and oceanic. A sashimi “trio” of shimofuri, akami, and kohada was then presented all at once. To go on a bit of a tangent here: “Harakami” is the belly part of the tuna near the head; it is further divided into categories like “harakami-ichiban” which is closest to the head, followed by harakami-niban and harakami-sanban which are further away from the head. Apparently the cut closest to the head (harakami-ichiban) is the most prized, and fetches ridiculous prices to the tune of ¥50,000-100,000+ per kg. Well, I’m sure you know Kiyota is known for sourcing some of the highest-quality tuna in the nation, and makes extensive use of “harakami-ichiban." The price of the meal reflects this.

The tuna here lived up to my expectations: the toro was the smoothest and most buttery that I have ever tasted, melting in the mouth and leaving plenty of fatty notes on the tongue. The akami was less compelling (I prefer versions that have more blood and iron flavor) but was still pretty good. Kohada sashimi was pure and well balanced. The final appetizer dish was a grilled slab of ootoro, charred to near perfection and dissolving in the mouth like butter once again. Overall, I thought the sashimi was a simple yet formidable degustation of the ingredient quality, and I was very pleased.

Unfortunately, nigiri is where the course started going downhill for me. There were three main reasons as to why. First, the shari was very purist, lacking salinity and virtually any acidity. While the neutrality of the shari made it synergize with all sorts of toppings, I can’t say I enjoyed the seasoning; it reminded me of the shari at Kanesaka / Saito-style sushiyas like Tsubomi that I considered a bit too plain.

Second, I found some of the pieces to be unbalanced in completion. Yoshizawa-san uses hontegaeshi to form nigiri, which is a cool technique that I see less and less in the modern day. I’m not sure if it’s because of that, but the resulting sushi takes on a long, submarine/torpedo-like shape where the fish wraps all around the rice, and the rice is more rectangular than circular. (This is similar to the shape of sushi at Sawada. The polar opposite of this would be the shape of sushi at, say, Tomidokoro, where the rice is more oval and bulbous.) Anyway, I don’t like the way this “long” nigiri breaks apart in the mouth, and also there were some pieces where the shari disappeared within like 0.5 seconds of chewing. If I were to guess, I don’t think Yoshizawa-san has had enough experience forming nigiri, as the proportioning was very inconsistent. It didn’t help that the size of the sushi here was probably the smallest that I’ve had at any sushi restaurant in Japan (petite-size sushi is not to my personal taste) :(

Third, besides the tuna, I thought the neta here was mostly pedestrian. Four ingredients from the sashimi course were repeated in the nigiri sequence as well, and I must say they worked better as sashimi (not a good sign, lol). Throughout the course, we were also served several small maki including uni maki, kobashira maki, and akami/toro maki; none of these stood out. The silver fish was very basic, and the other neta used were very conservatively prepped, again reminding me of Saito-style sushiya where the fish is minimally aged. I was incredibly excited to try the anago with kinome leaf, which is the piece of sushi that reportedly made Yuji Matsuo of “Sushidokoro Tsukuta” want to become a sushi chef (and he actually ended up training at Kiyota!!). Yet it was a letdown, with a fascinating crispy texture but flat flavor reminiscent of grilled codfish. Maybe the best items served during my dinner were tuna, kappa maki, and kanpyo maki, which was disappointing to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I perfectly enjoy ultra-simple and purist sushi e.g. at Hashiguchi and Chikamatsu, but I felt that while Kiyota tried to emulate a similar philosophy, the execution was just not great.

The service was polite and efficient, although there were some mix-ups during the meal. The main sous chef, who sliced some of the sashimi, erroneously seasoned some of the akami sashimi with soy sauce, which Yoshizawa-san pointed out (but strangely, he also did not replace those pieces). The sous chef also cut the kohada in some incorrect manner, which Yoshizawa-san also noticed; the result was a few pieces of kohada were wastefully thrown into the trash bin. And a few times Yoshizawa-san asked for some stuff from the kitchen but was met with no response, so he had to yell a few times or go in there himself to sort things out. The overall coordination between the team was not the best (if you want a real and proper show, go to Sakai in Fukuoka or a Sho-style restaurant). Thankfully, everyone was nice and there was some English spoken. I had expected the ambiance to be uptight, but it was actually quite pleasant.

Overall, I’m sorry if I’m offending millionaires, actors and actresses, tuna savants, corporate executives, the Japanese underworld, and lord knows who else; but I can’t seriously recommend Kiyota to any real sushi foodie. I found the sushi here to be more cosmetic and glitzy than anything, and I do not believe it would satisfy a diehard foodie, especially if you enjoy more traditional preparations and value items like kohada, kanpyo, hamaguri, anago, and tamago. I feel like while it might have been a very popular place in the 80's or 90's, Kiyota has had its day in the sun. For the same price, and for those looking for top-class tuna / premium ingredients, I’d recommend Inomata over Kiyota in a heartbeat.

Endnote: During my sushi trip I went to a number of konbini, purchasing and devouring a few pieces of salted tori karaage each time. I have to say all the chicken was really good. As I left Kiyota and walked into the Ginza night, I thought to myself, surely tori karaage is more filling and satisfying than what I just ate. . . ~_~


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thetokyogourmet 一年多 ago

What’s your favorite alcohol drink with sushi

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Justeat 一年多 ago

We’ve seen many ppl drink various alcohol wjth sushi ranging from sake to even highball

So what’s your favorite alcoholic drink with sushi? Mine is sake so what yours?

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DanielfromHK 一年多 ago

Review of Sushi Arai Dinner Dec’22

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Justeat 一年多 ago

I have a chance to visit Sushi Arai main counter so I would like to share my personal review to all the member of the community

First of all, I could not remember exactly of what’s served due to the fact that Arai-san does not allow picture to be taken anymore but allow me to share some of my favorite dishes

Chawanmushi - very nice to start a meal. Great texture.
Boiled Octopus - very flavorful and the juice inside is exploding while you chew it.
Kujiri (whale tail) - also very flavorful. Come with special Ponzu. No smell at all. Love it
Ankimo and narasuke : Sho-style a bit sweet but very smooth

Disappoint dish
Seiko-kani : source is too salty. The crab is not sweet at all


Let’s start from the shari. His shari is very balanced. It’s not a strong flavour like it used too but still impactful. The poor point is that the rice is designed to match best with his tuna while it make less impact with other neta (even though of course not bad at all)

Of course, his tuna is the best. No doubt at all. So at that night, we’ve been served with 4 pieces of tuna ( 1 akami, 2 chutoro, 1 otoro) All of them is super great especially the second piece of chutoro and otoro

Another memorable pieces would be
Sumi-ika - nice crisp sumi ika
Kohada - refresh taste and again it such a showcase what’s he inherit from his time at Sho
Hamaguri - come at very big size and super sweet. The tsume is very nice
Anago - it feel so fluffy

Overall, great meal and I could not complain but the price is fallen in high side (50k each). Would I go back again? Maybe in the next two years.

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Justeat 一年多 ago

Review of Shinbashi Tsuruhachi (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 一年多 ago

Shinbashi Tsuruhachi
Food: 7.5/10 CP: 7/10

I have wanted to visit this sushi-ya ever since I read Shuto Saito’s TTT article featuring it. Thanks to the help of my friend, I was finally able to go!

The restaurant is located on the 2F of an unglamorous building in Shinbashi. You have to navigate through alleys of massage parlors before you finally reach the entrance. To be frank, in terms of location this was my least favorite sushi place. Thankfully, once you pass through the noren you can forget about the exterior for a while (although there is no restroom inside the sushi-ya, so if you need to do your business, you need to go back into the mall and pass those massage parlors again, RIP)

The taisho is Igarashi-san, and his background has been covered in the TTT article I mentioned. After a quick welcome, we sat down at the compact counter and started off with three courses of sashimi: karei, shako, and mirugai. The 3 slices of karei were humongous (foreshadowing the size of the nigiri); the shako was very good; the mirugai was a bit whatever. Clean flavors shone throughout.

Then we had 14 pieces of large nigiri. My thoughts on the main features of the nigiri:

1) When I say they were large, I mean they were really large. The toppings were ginormously thick-cut, and the shari was seriously sizable. I found the size of the overall nigiri to be a mixed bag: some of the pieces were difficult to put in the mouth and chew (e.g. katsuo, anago were overwhelmingly large), but the slightly smaller/more balanced ones were comfortably wholesome.

2) For its reputation as an “old-school” place and naturally inviting comparisons to the “Shimizu/old school aka shari” style restaurants, the shari was weaker than I expected it to be. It was a combo of somewhat sour and salty but not overwhelming in any way (it was nowhere as strong as the shari at, say, Shimizu). It worked well with most of the neta, and it was not punishing on the palate, so I felt I could eat many pieces without getting fatigued. My only gripe was that it got stickier throughout the night, and it was not as warm as I would have liked, so the texture and temperature were less than perfect.

3) Most notable to me was that the nigiri was NOT brushed with nikiri shoyu. I’ve never encountered this at another high-end sushi place before! Instead, you have to dip the pieces in soy sauce yourself, and the shoyu provided was NOT nikiri shoyu (i.e. not sweetened with sake/mirin). Or you can go really old-school and eat the sushi with no shoyu at all. Certainly Igarashi-san did excellent work with less than top-of-the-line ingredients, so the "unseasoned" nigiri was good, but at the same time I feel that not using nikiri-shoyu prevented the sushi from reaching great heights. (I did not like the shoyu he gave, which reminded me of a generic supermarket product. Oops)

We ended with the infamous Tsuruhachi tuna futomaki and half a kanpyo maki. Usually I can eat a decent amount of kanpyo but I was too full here - be prepared to consume a serious amount of rice at Tsuruhachi, lol. Highlights of the meal were a monstrously fatty iwashi; hamaguri with enticing tsume sauce; and the maguro futomaki (some people may look at this and call it one-dimensional but I thought it was really delicious). However, if I’m being honest there were also a number of particularly average pieces, including akagai, ikura, and uni. And as I mentioned, it didn’t help that I did not enjoy the soy sauce here.

When it came to preparations, from slicing the toppings to shaping the sushi, Igarashi-san was a one-man show. He would also pop into his kitchen from time-to-time to do on-the-spot grilling of several neta. His movements were brisk and dexterous, and he operated quickly and efficiently without being flustered, maintaining a good tempo throughout the meal. He is obviously a very skilled sushi master and it was a pleasure to watch him work.

On the flipside, precisely because he’s a one man show, apparently he sometimes works so much that he ends up spending the night at his shop. I wonder why some sushi masters do not hire apprentices. Besides the obviously brutal nature of the work, could it be that many young trainees prefer to flock to more “sexy” places like Saito, Sugita, Namba, which are more than well-staffed? I also grimly wonder that, if that were the case, would truly old-school sushi restaurants like Tsuruhachi disappear eventually? Would they be replaced by a modernist sushi ecosystem where okonomi is unheard of; where ¥‎35,000+ meals are the norm; where chefs fight to the death for the most expensive ingredients; where classic items that require technical skill (e.g. hamaguri) fall out of favor; where reservation books are perennially filled by champagne-chugging socialites? Some of these things are happening already, and I shudder at the thought.

The bill came to ~¥‎18,000 per person. This was slightly less than what I paid at Sushi Take earlier in the day for a similarly generous quantity of food, so it was a good-value meal. My impression of Shinbashi Tsuruhachi is that if I lived near the area and could speak Japanese, I could see myself coming here with relative frequency to order 8-10 nigiri per meal. But as it turns out, I don’t live in Japan, the entry barrier for non-Japanese speakers is high, and the sushi did not blow my mind, so my sushi journey continues!

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Shi 一年多 ago

Tuna broker in Japan

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Justeat 一年多 ago

Yamayuki, Ishiji, fujita are among the top tuna broker that appearing in my mind.

I wonder what’s the key difference between each broker? I understand that’s this is related to the owner preferences as well which kind of tuna they like.

I also wanna know which broker your guys like.

I used to trap into Yamayuki but recently I’ve tried some from Ishiji as well and start to like it.

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Justeat 一年多 ago

Ebisu Endo or Sushi Mizukami?

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goochmonger 大约一年 ago

I have two options confirmed open for dinner one night in May. Ebisu Endo via Omakase amd Sushi Mizukami via Pocket Concierge (nigiri only for Mizukami). I am open to either style. Both would be new to me. Which would you suggest I book?

Sushiya no Masakatsu

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Shi 大约一年 ago

My friend Saitoさん recently opened his own shop - sadly I haven't had the opportunity to visit yet since he opened right after we left the country but wanted to let my friends on TTT know in case they were interested. He's still quite young but I'm cheering for him - will def be stopping by when we return early next year.

Sushi Advice

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Velarislocal 6 个月 ago

On my upcoming trip to Tokyo I am deciding between the following Sushi Omakase meals. I would like to do two while I am there and I have access to all of these reservations. Please let me know which to prioritize

Sushi Arai - i believe it is the second counter

Sushi Yuu

110NZ by LDH Kitchen - chef from Saito in an art gallery

Ebisu Endo

Sushisho Masa

Sushi Shunsuke

Please help me narrow down to the two best, and if there is something that is easy to book in the next 2 weeks I should add.

I also am looking to get a Tempura Res and a Yakiniku Res. Looking for reccs. All my research has been very Sushi focused. On a past trip to Japan I went to Sushi Masuda and Yasuda. Excited to venture out more!