Tokyo Table Trip

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Please help refine Tokyo sushi list!

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az about 1 month 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 12 days ago

Some under-the-radar sushi shops in Tokyo


mirugai 5 months 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 13 days ago


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Yee How 7 months 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 17 days ago

Help decide Kaiseki places in Tokyo

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az 19 days ago

Hello, I'll be visiting Tokyo for 2 weeks later this year. I'd like to have some Kaiseki while I'm there. Based on what I read, I came up with a few options and would appreciate any help in refining the list. A couple of important points:

1. I'll also be spending about a week each in Kyoto & Osaka so if there are places there that I should go to instead of Tokyo, I can do that.

2. I usually prefer relatively stronger flavors compared to very mild, delicate flavors. I read in a few places that even though Kyoto is known for Kaiseki, a lot of places there tend to have muted flavors.

3. I was thinking maybe 4-5 places total across Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto but I'm flexible on that. Maybe 1 meal in the ~50k range and the rest lower than that?

Kimoto: This seems very expensive
Goryukubo: This seems very expensive
Ginza Fujiyama

Other places that came up in my research include Kakiden, Kadowaki, Ichita, Kasumicho Yamagami, Saryo Miyasaka, etc.

Thank you!

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thetokyogourmet 18 days ago

Kaiseki Dinner Menu at Lunch in Tokyo

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Waffle about 1 month ago

Hi everyone! Was doing some last minute research on Kaiseki lunch in Tokyo and thought I'd see if anyone had any thoughts. For context, I am trying to book a Kaiseki lunch in Tokyo on a Wednesday. I am looking for something convenient to more central Tokyo and hoping for a restaurant that offers the dinner menu at lunch. It would be the final meal before leaving Japan and would like to end it on a good note trying the full experience which I generally consider to be dinner. On that note, also aiming for relatively good reviews while being not too hard to book. I think a budget under 40K JPY (hopefully closer to 30K) per person should cover most options I think.

I remembered a great article here: I noted a few restaurants on here no longer seem to offer lunch though: Ginza Koguma, Shirokanedai Kobayashi, and Sekihoutei.

I used the article last time to try Tagetsu and liked it. Was planning to revisit but they are renovating their restaurant during the time I'm planning to be there so now I'm trying to find an alternative.

Of the places open for lunch on a Wednesday and otherwise fitting what I'm looking for, Nogizaka Shin looks most promising, though online reservations only seem to open about 2.5 weeks in advance on Tablecheck unless I'm missing something.

Seika Kobayashi looked possible, though it seems like a call would be required to reserve the dinner menu at lunch as I could not find that option through online reservation services.

Another restaurant I saw was Tsu no Kamizaka Koshiba: I've never really heard anything about this restaurant before though and while lunch reservations appear possible they don't seem possible online and I see nothing about the menus available.

As a final back up, I heard of a restaurant named Genyadana Hamadaya but I prefer counter-style and this one didn't look like that. The 20% service charge also seemed quite high vs. everything else I've noticed before.

Would love to hear people's thoughts, especially if I'm missing a good place that does dinner at lunch or if a restaurant's lunch menu is close enough to their dinner menu that I shouldn't exclude it. Even if I can't include it in this trip, there's always next time! Thank you!

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Waffle about 1 month ago

Sushi Ao in Late March


Just_Ingest 4 months 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 about 2 months ago

Hyatt Group Hotel Review

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Leo Saito 7 months ago

〇Park Hyatt Niseko
Spacious rooms, plenty of ski lockers and ski rentals.
Wide variety of restaurants.

△Hyatt Regency Tokyo Bay
30-minute walk from the station … a hotel only for visiting Disneyland.

△Hyatt Centric Ginza
For people who just want a room to sleep.

〇Andaz Tokyo
Rooms are large and functional. Pool is comfortable. Good breakfast too.

〇Grand Hyatt Tokyo
Many strange couples, few children.
Selection of restaurants is good.

〇Park Hyatt Tokyo
Building is old but well maintained.
Fitness center, pool, and spa are attractive.

xHyatt Regency Tokyo
Building is old but basically well maintained.
Walls of the room are thin.
Accommodation rates are cheap and good value. However, rumors are that it will be closed soon.

〇Hyatt Regency Yokohama
Rooms are small but new and functional.
Location right next to Yamashita Park is also excellent.

×Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa
Slightly noisy as many guests have children.
While the spa is a key selling point, the hot springs are not good enough.
Rooms are poor value given the price.

〇Hyatt Centric Kanazawa
Good value. Conveniently located near the station. Breakfast is delicious.

◎Hyatt House Kanazawa
Strong value for money. Similar to the Hyatt Place.

〇Park Hyatt Kyoto
Good clientele. Service is perfect although very expensive.
Japanese breakfast is delicious.
Excellent location for sightseeing along Ninenzaka.

◎Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Price changes a lot depending on the season.
Old but well maintained.
Afternoon tea service is high quality.

◎Hyatt Place Kyoto
Best value for money. Conveniently located near the station.

×Hyatt Regency Osaka
Old but spacious rooms.
Located far from the city center so it’s not convenient.

〇Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Building is old but well maintained.
Walls are thin and noisy.
No children allowed in the pool.

〇Hyatt Regency Okinawa
Excellent value for money.
There are few guests with children, and it is rare for a luxury hotel in Naha City to offer such a relaxing stay.

×Hyatt Regency Seraga Island Okinawa
Quite noisy as many guests have children.

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guest about 2 months ago


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Yee How 7 months ago

Is there any recommended patisserie? Hopefully with little queue/waiting time.

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JJ 2 months ago


Img 3465

Wanderlusting 2 months ago

Kawdowaki has all the accolades, 3 michelin star, Tabelog Bronze, 4 of us in a private room, had the crab course. While the crab was nice, we thought it was overpriced at 20k+ yen extra pp. The tempura was average, the shabu hamaguri was good and the truffle rice definitely lives up to the hype. The dessert finale was amazing and I dont usually like dessert. I think overall the meal was delicious but a little overpriced, there was inconsistencies with the different course and I think Tabelog bronze or even silver is an accurate. Not sure about the 3 stars. I would definitely go again and maybe try the Uni caviar somen and sit on the counter. The ease of booking is a major plus.

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thetokyogourmet 2 months ago

Best Kaiseki in Tokyo in each price range

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Justeat 7 months ago

I feel like Kaiseki is an experience that one should try. However, I feel like not everybody will understand what Kaiseki cuisine want to communicate to us. So it would be better to start off from low price range and to upscale places.

So I would love to know best Kasiseki (can belike 3-5) in each price range from your guys

Under 30,000 Yen
30k-40k yen
40k-60k yen
60k yen++

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JJ 4 months ago

Review of Kiyota (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 7 months 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 5 months ago

10 Best Tonkatsu Restaurants in 2022

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Leo Saito 7 months ago

1. Narikura(成蔵)

2. Kippei(吉平)

3. Chawanbu(車力門ちゃわんぶ)

4. Tonkatsu Keita(とんかつけい太)

5. Katsu Puripo(Katsuプリポー)

6. Tonta(とん太)

7. Hasegawa(はせ川)


9. Tonkasu Iwai(とんかついわい)

10.Tonkatsu Daiki(とんかつ大希)

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guest 5 months ago

Review of Sushi Arai Dinner Dec’22

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Justeat 6 months 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 6 months ago

Anyone been to Sushi Kizaki recently?

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Justeat 7 months 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 6 months ago

Setsugekka vs Yoroniku Ebisu

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Justeat 7 months ago

What do you think ablut both places?

Deciding between Setsugekka and Yoroniku Ebisu premium course. If anyone has any other suggestion, please let me know

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JJ 6 months ago

Review of Iwasawa (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 7 months 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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Shi 7 months ago

Review of Sushi Mizukami (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 7 months 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 7 months ago

October Dinner at Azabu Muroi(麻布室井)

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Leo Saito 7 months ago

After training at "Ishikawa" in Kagurazaka, Mr. Muroi, who also worked as the second chef at "Kimoto" for a long time, opened what is now the trendiest restaurant.
I had heard for a long time about Muroi-san's good sense as a sushi chef, so I visited the restaurant with high expectations, but the food was not very good...
The only thing that tasted good was the rice cooked over a wood fire at the end of the meal.
His overly confident attitude was also a negative point. I felt he should polish his culinary skills more and more before he becomes unduly arrogant without reason.
It seems that reservations are already difficult, but personally, I will not be going back for a while.

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Leo Saito 7 months ago

Review of Shinbashi Tsuruhachi (Nov2022 Visit)


Just_Ingest 7 months 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 7 months ago

Coffee shops

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Yee How 7 months ago

Is there any recommendations for coffee shops in Tokyo?

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Wanderlusting 7 months ago

Italian in Tokyo

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Justeat 7 months ago

Plan to go to Dal Matto but it close on the day I want to go. So I neeed a recommendation for casual Italian places in Tokyo, preferably with great pasta


kanivour 7 months ago

October Lunch at Sushi Arai

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Leo Saito 7 months 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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Leo Saito 7 months ago


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Leo Saito 7 months ago

Ranjatai, the famous yakitori restaurant that regrettably closed in 2020, has reopened at the same location as before as Toriaroma! This is definitely a place I want to go!

Teuchi Sobakiri Takumi(Soba)

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Kengo Yamada 7 months ago

Not only is the soba delicious, but the tempura is on the level of a specialty restaurant. Highly recommended.

Late Night Dining in Tokyo?

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Henry 7 months ago

Hello Saito San and everyone, I would like to ask if there any good Late Night Dining recommendation in Tokyo? I'm planning to visit Tokyo in Jan for watching live shows and there will be 2-3 night I have to dine after 21:00.

Late Night Dining in Tokyo?

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Henry 7 months ago

I found that my previous post cannot be reached anymore. Hello Saito San and everyone, would there any recommendation for late night dining in Tokyo? I heard NISHIAZABU K+ is quite good and open till mid-night. Any other recommendation? 

No Pork and Beef in Ginza

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LTHeracles 7 months ago

I'm going to Tokyo with my parents that don't eat beef and pork. Can you recommend any restaurant for them to try? I basically want to eat ramen, tempura, unagi and yakitori. If we go to a tonkatsu and yakiniku restaurant, will they be able to eat anything like fish or chicken? We are currently planning to stay in Ginza. Thanks

Great Sweets

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jc99001 7 months ago

Hi all - just curious to know about any can't miss sweets. I'll be going in the winter and my accommodations are in Ningyocho. I enjoy all kinds of sweets - both western and eastern. Basically looking to try anything new and interesting/experimental. Primarily based in CA/SF, so have had pretty good exposure to the typical trendy Japanese desserts [fluffy pancakes, soufflé cheesecakes, mochidonuts, daifukus]

1. Looking for any parfait recommendations
2. Any pastry spots worth trying? [Curious about Ringo's apple tarts or anything similar!]
3. How is Patisseriee Mayo? Curious about other dessert tastings in Tokyo!
4. If possible, I'd love to do some kind of sweets/pastries crawl so happy to know if there are any battleground neighborhoods that have an awesome sweets presence.

Thank you!

Yakiniku in Tokyo

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Justeat 7 months ago

I’m considering between Sanjuku Toraji and Shimiru Tokujuen. If anyone have any recommendation, please kindly suggest. Thank you


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Shi 7 months ago

Considering trying to visit Narisawa on the recommendation of a friend and was wondering if any of the TTT community had any thoughts or experiences to share

Ebisu Endo or Sushi Mizukami?

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goochmonger 2 months 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?