Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sushi - Spring 2013


すし- Sushi


I wasn't going to post repeats of sushi shops I hit, but this is just so awesome. A few weeks after my last visit, and the menu is completely different. This is how Japanese cuisine is, following the seasons.

Spring is here.


They brought out all these live 伊勢海老 at one point. One flicked his giant tail and went flying, caught mid-air by the chef before landing in our laps.


I'll take better notes next time. This is ハタハタ漁.


This is becoming a go-to place when anyone visits Tokyo.

幸寿司 - Kozushi in Koenji


I went here a few years ago when, after meeting some old dude at a local bar, he decided to treat us to his local sushi spot. The online Japanese food sites list this as #1 in Koenji.


Decent spot, very friendly. About 4000 yen if you eat top stuff, maybe 3000 yen if you just get the normal set. Empty on a weekday night. More fun when crowded, as is life in Koenji.

すきやばし 次郎 六本木 - Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi


You've seen the movie. This is the younger son's shop.


Ono-san isn't just an amazing sushi chef, he is a really interesting guy. While I've heard that his father's shop is rushed and impersonal, the Roppongi Hills establishment is very laid back.


Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing that is really shocking. It is all top notch, though. In particular the pieces seasoned with vinegar. Saba and Kohada and Aji totally popped with flavor.


The lunch course here is about 15 deep.


I had a couple questions, and Ono-san didn't just answer them, he explained in heavy detail. Dude loves to talk about his trade.

You want a 5 minute explanation about the special wood they use for their chopsticks? Dozo!


Attention to detail is evident in everything. The second after I ate this 車海老 and put the little bit of tail back on the plate, it was cleaned.

The uni here was memorable.


Chilled until it is as firm as a block of tofu, then cut into chunks.


I've never had it so firm and dense. This was the highlight. More like uni-mousse.


Of course, the meal ends with the egg.


Lunch is about 17,000 yen a person. Reservations should be easy, the place wasn't full when we ate. Customer's were all from overseas, either China or America at the time I went.

I went here with a group that I helped out with reservations. Yeah, it is something I do. If you need high end gourmet reservations, let me know and I can take care of it for you. More info here.

The guys I was with on this day ate, in one week, at Jiro, Saito, Sawada, Mizutani, and Kanesaka. Daaaaaaaamn. And that isn't even including the non-sushi they crushed. That is another list that is daaaaaaaamn!

貴船 - Kifune in Shinjuku


There seems to be a couple price points with very good sushi in Tokyo. 5000 yen, 10000 yen, and 20000+ yen. Most of you local dive spots will be about 5000 yen a person for a decent sized sushi course. I use the word dive loosely. Your local spot is most likely quite amazing.


Every time I have had local, 5000 yen sushi, I think to myself, "I wish I would have gone to Kifune!"


This place has very high cost-performance. Kifune almost convinced a friend from Nagano to move to Tokyo.


Sure, they have an omakase nigiri set, but go for the omakase course. Six or seven seafood courses, cooked and steamed and fried, followed by the nigiri sushi.

Side note, my favorite 10,000 yen is obviously Sushi Ten.


喜楽鮨 - Kiraku Sushi in Hatagaya


Found this random one on a little shotengai near my place. The name of the street, fudodori, means lazy street. It kind of is, closing off to strollers on the weekends and catering to the locals at night.

The sushi was decent, the clientele local retired yakuza I guess from their choice of gaudy fashion.

In the end, 10000 yen for 2 people. As per this price point . . . I wish I would have gone to Kifune!


Spring is always too short in Japan. That ideal temperature range of 20-25 degrees Celsius is over before you know it, marked by the start of rainy season.

Hot, humid, and raining daily. Usually June and July follow this trend. A perfect time for sushi.