Most people probably know about Jiro by now, a documentary about the sushi master in Tokyo. From what we have read, the probability of overseas tourists booking this place (and in short notice) was buckleys none. So we snooped around and picked the next best place – Sushi Kanesaka.
Our hotel was helpful enough to book a Sunday lunch for us, way before our arrival via email. The place sits two compartments of about 8 people each, so you are best to book ahead. It is a small place and addresses in Tokyo for foreigners, sometimes even with GPS, can be a nightmare. You can go to the tourist counter in Ginza Metro station, grab a local map and ask for directions.
We picked the smaller lunch menu – 150,000 yen each and was sat on a L-shape bench. On the other side of the L-shape bench, a Japanese couple treated their adult daughter to a birthday. The atmosphere was relaxed and the chef was having the occasional banter with his Japanese patrons.
Every dish was perfect. The first dish was sea urchin rested on a bed of soft sliced baby shrimp. The urchin was more orange than the usual mustard ones that we have seen and consumed. The shrimp was extremely soft and silky to taste. So far so good already.
This was the first time we had tuna cheek, poached and sealed with the right shoyu flavour. It was almost steak like and simply stunning.
The clam broth was light and flavoursome. The meat was chewy, and we very much appreciated the natural sweetness of the clams.
Next was the yellow tail – wing area (shima kagi) on a bed of finely grated radish drizzled by soy sauce.
After the birthday party left, 2 overseas tourists came along. They were American and the dad was treating his daughter to a culinary indulgence as she begins college back home.
You can read about their experiences here:
Flounder sushi – didn’t wow us. A tough fish meat.
This is the sushi to have – O-toro sushi – chew, on the muscle, and can taste the fat melting into our mouth.
Mackerel sushi – not as fishy as a mackerel usually tastes. The chef must have post-processed the fish in some ways to take away the strong fishy taste mackerel has.
Salmon roe, sea urchin sushi. Buttery and divine.
chargrilled Unagi, unusually sweet, and soft.
Smoked seaweed Handroll with OTORO and spring onion.
A great delight if you feel like splurging and we were glad we did not have a booked dinner for the evening. (We did end up going back to Piss Alley for something quick.