The 5 Best Sushi Restaurants you should immediately visit in 2018
For the last couple of years, Tokyo has been in the midst of a "Sushi boom."
Battles are fought to earn the only few seats of popular sushi restaurants, and crazy situations such as "One year wait till visit" have become natural.
Famous reviewers of Tabelog and fanatic Sushi freaks rush to star candidates' restaurants just after new openings to be acknowledged as "Regular"- frequently repeating guests that are privileged with priority reservation.
"Higashiazabu Amamoto" is not the only monster restaurant that now cannot accept first-timers' reservations only 6 months after opening.
As one of those who wish to appeal Japanese culinary culture to the world, this kind of situation, where the range of people eating sushi is spreading and the sushi masters that hone their skills daily gather attention, enthuses me, but at the same time the increasing difficulty in getting a reservation for popular places gives me a rather complex feeling.
Today we will go through 5 of the best sushi restaurants that are gaining popularity but still hidden behind the birth of star sushi restaurants such as "Higashiazabu Amamoto" and "Sushi Arai".
The great point about these 5 places- you can still get reservations. Even if you fail at reserving a famous place, don't be depressed and try the places we will show you here. I'm sure you won't regret it.
#1 Sushi Inomata
This is the No.1 place of interest in 2017, located in a local area 30 minutes from Shinagasa by train, that you will never visit unless you are going to "Sushi Inomata".
The Chef creates sushi that is affected by "Hatsune zushi" a Michelin 2 star venue that the Chef is fond of and had used to visit frequently. However, the Chef has created his own sushi with distinct charm with the element of "aging."
His obsession towards quality of fish is perhaps No.1 among young sushi chefs.
He gives true passion towards bluefin tuna, thd king of sushi items, and buys the best of the Tsukiji market every time. The deep flavor of bluefin tuna, aged just perfectly by studious Chef Inomata is significant, and the after dinner satisfaction is as great as that of "Hatsune zushi".
Since "Hatsune Sushi" gained dormant popularity it is truly difficult to get the chance to visit, but “Sushi Inomata” has the power to make you think “But it’s okay, I can go to Inomata”.
The menu is “Omakase(Chef’s recommendation)” only, and consists of sushi only, no “Tsumami” dishes. Upon the arrival of summer, we look forward to “sea urchin” which also is always the best from the Tsukiji market.
Estimated price 25,000 ~ 30,000yen
#2 Fudomae Sushi Iwasawa
Newly opened in March 2016, the Chef served a long apprenticeship as Sous Chef at “Sushisho Saito” a popular sushi restaurant with high appraisal from sushi freaks around Tokyo.
The “Sushisho” styles of serving Nigiri and Tsumami alternatively, and the use of 2 types of shari(rice) with red and white vinegar to match the fish are inherited.
Chef Iwasawa’s tsumami and nigari are at the moment, just perfect copies of “Sushisho Saito.”
Copies may not be a very positive word, but it is great that you can enjoy the top-class level sushi of “Sushisho” group at a budget of approximately 20,000 yen without excessive difficulty in getting a reservation.
Chef has a background of studying in China, and can speak English and Chinese to meet traveling foreigners’ needs. Now is the chance to visit, since the popularity is increasing steadily among foodies with high-level sushi and Chef’s comforting service.
Estimated price 15,000 ~ 20,000yen
#3 Sushidokoro Yamada
This is a super uncompromising sushi restaurant by a Chef with a unique background as former carpenter.
The fish consists mainly of aged items, and serves nigari only, no tsumami. This sounds similar to “Sushi Inomata” introduced above, but the significant difference is that Chef Inomata values “Fish”, Chef Yamada is particular about Shari.
There are many restaurants is Tokyo, but “Yamada” is perhaps the only place that changes the “temperature” of shari to match the fish.
The Omakase is very inexpensive, in which 15 pieces of sushi are served for 10,000 yen only. He doesn’t use high quality fish but he has succeeded in elevating the taste of sushi by his imagination and technique. (Surprisingly, a nigari of a Shiitake mushroom in served in the menu!)
There are many sushi restaurants but “Yamada” is distinct. It is a fine restaurant I strongly suggest to those who have experienced many great sushi.
Estimated price 10,000 ~ 15,000yen
#4 Sushi Suzuki
Newly opened in 2015, it is suddenly increasing popularity after an year of quiet business, hidden behind “Sushi Arai” and “Sushi Ryusuke” that also opened at the same period.
Chef Suzuki is an experienced sushi master that served a long apprenticeship at “Sushi Aoki” a great sushi restaurant in Ginza, and he was already at the age of 40 when he opened his restaurant.
His age confirms his high skills, and he totally knows what he is doing. The sushi items that demand technique such as Gizzard shad, mackerel and shellfish are outstandingly delicious.(The mackerel bo-zushi served at wintertime is a true masterpiece, even better than the best of Kyoto’s famous restaurants.)
He is still willing to learn, starting by using red vinegar that he had never used before opening his place, and we are looking forward to how he will evolve with his challenging spirit.
The lunch menu starting from 8,000 yen has high cost performance. Chef Mizutani that retired from Michelin 3 star venue “Sushi Mizutani” is said to be visiting “Sushi Suzuki” now and then. It will sure become a famous restaurant difficult to reserve in the near future. I suggest you visit as soon as possible.
Estimated price ~10,000yen (lunch) 25,000~30,000yen (dinner)
#5 Hatano Yoshiki
Finally, we introduce “Hatano Yoshiki” that serves significantly unique sushi.
The Chef opened this place as the age of 28 after serving apprenticeship at “Ginza Sushiko”. After 5 years of trial and error, he has almost established a distinct sushi combined with the culinary arts of French and Italian cuisine.
“Creative Sushi” is a genre that has difficulty in earning appraisement from foodies, but at “Hatano Yoshiki” it is all on the extension of traditional Edomae sushi, and has succeeded to grab the hearts of the so-called conservative sushi fans.
Chef Hatano’s sushi is distinct, using Western ingredients such as olive oil, butter and cream cheese, the arts of Washoku(Japanese food) and Tempura combined with multicultural culinary techniques, and it is apparent that it will be a smash hit in 2017.
Another great advantage of this place was its reasonable pricing of 12,000 yen for Omakase menu, but he is planning to raise the price from April. Unfortunate, of course, but we are more interested in how the Chef’s sushi will evolve by using the best ingredients. Keep your eyes open for “Hatano Yoshiki” 2017!
Estimated price 20,000~25,000