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Trip Report

Tamawarai--First visit and we went for lunch. We arrived about an hour earlier before the door was open just to make sure we would get in as they would not accept reservation from foreign guest ( they do take reservation from local). For reason that beats me, the server told me that everything else on the menu is sold out ( the shop has just literally open and we were the 2nd persons being seated) except the plain soba and egg soup soba. They also have omakase menu which has to be order in advance which we foreign guest might never ever get to try since they would accept reservation. I ordered the seirusoba with bonito flake and daikon while my wife had the egg soup soba. The soba was thick slices, al dante and great texture. It was the best soba we had ever had in japan. It's beat naurotomi and matsukawa by a mile. The portion was however tiny which left me hungry. The soba cha was also excellent. I wasn't sure we were allowed to order any more as there was long line outside the shop and we decided to leave. We will probably returned when it is not busy and not everything is sold out. LOL. By the way, they seemed to limit how many patrons is seated at any given time as there are plenty of empty seats and yet made other wait for their turn. It was a strange experience.

On the corner No 8 espresso-- 2nd visit, we went straight there for coffee and snack as we were still left hungry at Tamawarai. It was only 5 min walk from one shop to the other. We had latte and cappuccino , it was the best coffee i had so far on this trip but if memory served me correct, I had better coffee the last time I was here.

Taian- We then flew to Osaka It's been 6 years ago l since we last visit the city. We were focusing on fine and high end dining on this trip. It's one of the michelin 3 star restaurant in kansai. The highlight of this restaurant is supposed to be their grill dish which in my opinion is only so so. I had better wage steak at Dons de la nature. My wife has the notogurou which again we had better grilled notogurou in sushi namba. Other dish was again mediocre except the yoba. The one dish that in my opinion failed miserably was the grated daikon soup cooked with shirako. There were far too much daikon which made it inedible and the daikon had bitter taste. The shirako was overcooked as well. After having dined at Matsukawa the day before, it was like falling off from heaven. ( Matsukawa had the same dish but it used his home made karasumi instead of shirako , and the soup, grated daikon and the karasumi are well balanced). The gohan was also pretty bland even though it sound fancy as it came with fugu roe and fugu soup. I agree with other poster that the fine dining restaurant in Osaka is just not at par with tokyo offering.

about 13 hours ago
silverlim in Japan

Trip Report

Prasantrin--This is a somewhat live trip report, as we haven't finish the trip yet. I am updating the trip report on a daily basis i.e. for meals that we had dined the day before when my memories of the food and experience is still fresh. If you and others feel irritated by my daily post than I would stop posting.
Here are the list of restaurant that we have booked for the remaining of the trip ( not fixed)
1. Taian Osaka
2. Fujiya 1935 Osaka
3. Hajime Osaka
4. Oitmatsu Kitagawa Osaka
5. Fukuji
6. Ajiman
7. Tamawarai
8. Mizutani
9. Daigo
10. Iwa.

about 22 hours ago
silverlim in Japan

Trip Report

Matsukawa--Fourth visit and the very first time we did lunch. It's as divine as before. It's the suwai kani season especially the female that are filled with yummy roes. Nothing to be fault about except i hope matsukawa san can be a little bit creative on their gohan which is always white rice with jako,ikura and nori. You basically have the same course at lunch as dinner with one less dessert course but cheaper by about 10k yen which is a steal. Other highlight of the day are the wild duck from niigata, home made karasumi, shirako and fugu. By the way, matsukawa is closed for 2 week for the new year starting on Dec 27. They also make osechi for regular customer too.
Matsuda--First visit at dinner. Located at the basement of a building in ometosando. Counter only seats six and has a small private room at the back. The decor is modern. The chef is very young and looks slightly nervous but the food is still very good and much more so than harutaka when come to reminiscent of Jiro style. I actually like his shari much better than harutaka. They serve interesting otsumami but not on par with Harutaka. Their nigiri is balance with the neta and neta is also top quality. Highlight being uni, kissu, buri and anago. I think they have great potential to become the next harutaka. He seems to have a lot of helper with such a small shop and I believe I met some of the helper in sukiyabashi jiro ginza before. Price wise is similar to any 2nd tier sushi ya in ginza would cost for dinner at 24k yen which I think is slightly overpriced..

1 day ago
silverlim in Japan

Trip Report

La baroque- First visit and ours first experience in Italian fine dining in Tokyo. It's an unique experience. The building itself is traditional sukiyabaki but the food is nothing but Italian. We have chef's menu. Overall good but not as good as what I experience a hole in the wall Italian restaurant in Sapporo. Their pasta dish and dessert is better than their main dish. At 7.5k yen, its a much better value than losier we had the night before.
Sushi miyaha--2nd visit and this time we sat in front of taisho--miyaba. He only served at dinner. We have the omakase. We preferred the nigiri over the otsumami but they have interesting choice like fugu Anago , zuwai gani and shirako for otsumami. Nigiri is better compared to the one his assistant made on our previous visit. The style is similar to jiro. They have the best variety of fish compared to all sushiya we have been. The chef even mention that he got the only box of ezibafun uni in whole Japan that day. The highlight are kaki , Akagai , buri , uni , aoyagi, and katsugo. Will surely return. We were so full when we left.

Dec 19, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Trip Report

Losier-2nd lunch visit. We again had the set course menu. We were wowed on the first visit but this time, the experience and food was only mediocre. The only redeeming part of the meal was the kimedai ( rock fish). The starter, main and dessert were nothing of special and the duck wasn't tender at all. Such an inconsistency.
Sushi Hashiguchi--2nd visit, wonderful experience and actually better than our first visit. The itamae remembered us from our last visit. The shari had improved and their neta remained excellent. Some of the highlight of their otsumami is the shoyuyaki hotate with nori, uni mixed with sumi ika, and chopped up sayori with shiso and negi. Their hikarimono is still one of the best out there. We really liked the sayori, kohada, hirame, sumi-ika, and their shellfish especially the hotate, aoyagi and mirugai. We were gifted a package of yakinori when we left. The service was attentive as usual despite it was full when we went on the first visit.

Dec 18, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Trip Report

Tempura Fukumachi---First visit, style are very similar to Kondo but it doesn't seem like there is A la carte menu to order for lunch. The batter is light and crispy but I think the ingredient is not as good as miyawa sezanko or Kondo especially the vegetables, which i think Kondo has the best, On the other hand, it has the best value at 7k yen for lunch or 2k more for ten-cha or ten-don. The most memorable piece is sumi-ika. Overall, I am still happy to come back as it is easier to reserve in short notice and they accept walk in as well.
Sushi Namba--2nd visit, still as good as the first visit. Their otsumami is still excellent. We have total of 27 course for only 11k yen which is an unbeatable value not to mention their neta and shari is one the best i have tried The shari is also very consistent like last time, which is piquant in vinegar and salt with the right temperature that balance with the fish. I have ever tried with the exception of tuna. I found Namba does better on white fish and shell fish better than red fish. Highlight of the meal is notoguro, shirako chawan mushi, engawa, iwashi, and uni. FYI, namba no longer accept credit card and only take cash plus the second seating is now move to 930pm and we finished the meal around 12pm and we were lucky to still catch the last train back to ginza.

Dec 17, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

Just to name a few for Kyoto---Kikunoi, Kitcho Arashiyama, Ogata, Hyotei, Nakamura, Miyamasou that you could get in without introduction and within two month notice unless you went in high season such as golden week

Dec 16, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Trip Report

This would be our fourth trip of this year to Japan. Just to share our dining experience so far
Sushi Kiyota--Already mentioned on my other thread, still the best nigiri experience I had so far in this trip.
Sushi Ichiyanagi--We went for lunch and I was not sure if the itamae is the taisho. Overall experience is underwhelmed. The otsumami is nothing special to talk about and I thought otsumami is the highlight of kanesaka sushi-ya style . They are very heavy on sauce. Shari is on the cold side and not balance with the neta. Neta quality is really so so. The chef is also rather sloppy in making the sushi, some pieces fall apart. I don't understand why it is so highly rated in tabelog?
Sushi Harutaka--2nd Visit and their price has increased compared to our last visit in October 2014. The Otsumami continues to stand out especially the amadai clear soup and sawara, but nigiri remains not as good as their ostumami Too bad we can't just order the otsumami alone. I found the kiyota nigiri is much more balance than harutaka. Buri is in season and is the most memorable nigiri piece I recall from this meal.
More to come....

Dec 16, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Is sushi kiyoda (ginza) recommended

I forgot to add Ikura and Uni were also served as part of the omakase course.

Dec 15, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Is sushi kiyoda (ginza) recommended

Just to report back our experience in Kiyota.
First of all, it's not introductory system, so anyone could book and not hard to reserve as Ninisix pointed out.
Second, it's surely the most expensive sushi meal I have spent but still cheaper than what current Araki in london is asking for.
Third, the neta here is top quality especially the maguro but the fish variety is not much to speak of as we only have 9 kind of fish served to us ( akagai, awabi, maguro, hirame, mirugai, anago, kuruma ebi, aori ika, kohada,), the shari here is balance and good but not as good as jiro style or namba, The highlight is chutoro, the aburitoro,kohada and anago. I don't know how good is Araki ( never tried), but their maguro is the best I ever have, and yes better than Sawada, Tokami and Jiro.
Fourth, this is a good star spotting ginza sushi ya as we sat next to Abe Hiroshi ( one of the japaneese actor), and according to the chef, he was a regular client there.
Overall, quality is high but indeed costly, I only recommend to those who are serious maguro fan and can afford it. You really come here for their tuna.

Dec 15, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Ishikawa vs Kanda vs Kadowaki

I have only been to Ishikawa and Kanda. Ishikawa style is similar to Matsukawa. Ishikawa Gohan beat Matxukawa and it's actually the highlight of the meal in Ishikawa. His approach to washoku is very similar to Matsukawa san i.e. bring out the true flavour of the ingredient. Dessert is Ishikawa weakest link.

On the other hand, Kanda have a more modern take on kaiseki. I can see a lot of french influence in the dish such as otoro sushi mixed with truffle. The main chef at Kanda, Koju and Ryugin all graduated from the same master in Kyoto. I would rate Kanda in between Koju (traditional) and Ryugin (Most modern). Kanda has great selection of sake so if alcohol is your thing, I would definitely recommend you check out Kanda. Their list is very impressive. The portion at Kanda is smaller as I still left hungry at the end of the meal.

Like you, Matsukawa is my favourite kaiseki in Tokyo

Nov 20, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Four Days in Tokyo

I would be very grateful if you could share the tips in securing a lunch reservation at Saito provided if you are not a regular customer or being accompanied by regular customer.

I recommend the following combination of the list provided
For high end option--Jiro Ginza for lunch, and then Yoshitake and Miyaha for dinner if you want to go high end
For cost/performance--Iwa for lunch, and then Sushi Shin and Miyako for dinner

Nov 14, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Is sushi kiyoda (ginza) recommended

Thanks Ninisix

Yes. I heard it's one of the most expensive sushi ya in ginza even more so than Sawada. I will probably give it a pass given the club atmosphere as most likely a newcomer like me will require introduction. I will aim for Araki San when I stop by in london. Have you tried Saito apprentice, sushi たかはしthat get rave review recently in tabelog.

Nov 10, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Four Days in Tokyo

Forget about Saito if you are not regular customer as he no longer accept non regular customer or first timer plus he is now booked up till April 2015. The rest on your list still has a chance to score including Jiro Ginza

Nov 10, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Is sushi kiyoda (ginza) recommended

The hiragana is きよ田. The legendary sushi chef is 新津武昭.

Nov 09, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Is sushi kiyoda (ginza) recommended

Thanks for the correction. I guess google translate is not reliable after all. Have you been there recently, if so, would you mind sharing your experience.

Nov 08, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Is sushi kiyoda (ginza) recommended

I understand sushiya kiyoda used to be the one of the best sushiya when the legendary chef xinjin takeaki still around which unfortunately he had since retired . I read that the current chef is actually from South Korea. I have no doubt the fish quality will be top notch as the sushiya is own by the fish supplier in Tokyo but how does the new kiyoda compare to the other sushi temple such as jiro ginza. I hope ninisix can chime in.

Nov 08, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo Sushi in December 2014

Jiro Ginza, Miyaha, Kyubey, Sushi Iwa, Sushi Tokami, Sushi Mizutani all open for lunch. All in Ginza except miyaha which is close to hamamatsucho JR station. Hatsune open for lunch on saturday.

Nov 06, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo and Kyoto -- Input Please!

I have dined at all 3. Here is my view on the 3 sushi ya and hopefully that would help you narrow down your choices
Yoshitake--Excellent otsumami but nigiri is average to good. They serve soup as part of their Omakase course which i think is one of the best miso soup i had maybe except the matsukae soup with hamo at Harutaka. Chef is english speaking. Yoshitake in my opinion is modern style high end sushi-ya. Popular among foreign tourist. His shari is made of red vinegar.
Hashiguchi-Otsumami is interesting but not as creative as Yoshitake. Nigiri is better than yoshitake in my opinion. His speciality is in zuke( marinated) fish. Traditional edomae style and very similar to Mizutani. Intimate experience as only the Chef and his wife is serving the customer. He only served 6 customer max at any one time despite he could seat 10 in the counter. Chef also speak english and take his time to explain his sushi. Fish selection might not be as abundant as like Miyaha or Jiro but still top quality.
Mizutani--Better value if go for lunch as they serve the same thing both at lunch and dinner. Chef can be view as too serious or intimidating by other as first but he "loosened up" toward the end of the course, so if you like to interact with the chef, do arrange your booking as last seating either in lunch or dinner. Otsumami is rather boring which is basically sashimi without much twist compare to yoshitake and probably a tad below par compared to haschiguchi. The nigiri can be inconsistent but the neta is truly top quality. The best sayori, katsuo, and akami i ever had was at mizutani. Their anago is also not to be missed. Although mizutani is a disciple from Jiro, his sushi is vastly different compare to Jiro. He doesn't speak much English though.

They are all great sushi ya and i suggest you try all 3 if you can. If you want different sushi experience, i suggest keep yoshitake as hashiguchi and mizutani style is very similar. For the latter two, I would go to mizutani for lunch and dinner for hashiguchi purely from value perspective. YMMV.

Nov 03, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

Thanks. I will certainly try and hopefully in December. Hope to meet you in person in some point. I propose we should have chowmeet in Tokyo. The Ontario board ( where I from) do meet once in a while where we strangers mingles and enjoy fine food together

Oct 25, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

Sushi Namba is located in the outskirt of tokyo in Asagaya, 40 min train ride from ginza, so location might not be ideal but you get to explore the residential area of tokyo. The JR chuo line do run very late till 120am. They only do dinner and only have two seating, one at 530pm and the other at 9pm. They can seat 12 pax in one seating, The interior decor is high end just like any ginza sushi-ya. It all counter seating. I don't think they have private room. had a young and rather handsome nisho ( sous chef) assist him mostly with the otsumami course but all nigiri are still made by the taisho himself. The taisho nor his staff speaks any english at all but I understand basic Japanese so still get by without major problem. They do sincerely try to make eye contact and checking on you time to time to see if you like the pieces served. We were lucky enough that the local japanese guy sitting to us was fluent in english and mandarin and so we chatted quite a bit and got to interact with the taisho. Namba is quite famous among taiwaneese and hong kong tourist so you might get to see a few when you were there but as Gargle had noted, caucasian is not commonly seen there. I also tend to think the Chef is interested in foreign guest but I could be wrong. Certainly , all the staff there including chef are friendly.

The style is edomae and serve omakase which consist of otsumami and nigiri. I like just about everything there. The otsumami is excellent and probably one of the best I had tried and in my opinion better than harutaka and yoshitake ( hadn't tried Saito yet ). I like the progression of the dishes and the taste is just umami. The chef make the shari fresh and in front of you. I am not sure if he uses the white or red vinegar as it looked on the dark side when he poured the vinegar. The rice didn't looked brown like yoshitake or tokami but just a tint of color and the shari is in my opinion the best I had in my life. It is so piquant in vinegar even more so than Jiro with right amount of salt. The rice is served warm i.e at perfect temperature and balance well with the fish. The size of the neta and nigiri is smaller compared to Jiro Ginza. The nigiri grip is not as firm as Jiro so the rice sort of melt in your mouth but I might be exaggerating. I certainly do like it though. The beta quality is certainly A grade but the focus is not on maguro ( for sure you will get it). The memorable pieces of nigiri including the uni mixed with ikura, kawahagi with the liver, sukigai, and notoguro. They serve what it is in season of both high end and low end fish. The latter like notoguro, kawahagi is rarely served in high end sushi ya in Ginza. Their tamago is the best I have had so far and better than Jiro with 2 distinct layer and certainly great flavour. It is made of real rbi ( shrimp ) broth. The top layer taste like custard and the bottom layer taste like sponge cake like the one in Jiro. All together close to 30 pieces of ostumami and nigiri served and the meal lasted for 3hrs which I wish to stay further but I had to catch the train back to tokyo. The tempo is certainly relaxed and the chef does take his time. If you like sake , then here is the place to go. They have vast collection of sake even some of the rarer edition one like 石田屋 which you have to ask for it. You can just say sake, and they will bring out different make of sake that pair with the dish and show you the bottle. I believe this style is called "ikki" as the japanese guy sat next to me.

Best of all, is the price. The omakase menu is usually 11k yen per person but as Gargle said, the max is still only 13k with fresh sea cucumber roe throw in so you can't beat the value. The total bill for two of us with sake and two supplement nigiri is ~29k and still cheaper than what I pay alone in Jiro without drink.

Case in point, it is hard to book and you need about 2 month advance in reservation and they do take reservation from hotel concierge.

If you looking for great sake, edomae style sushi and excellent otsumami for relatively low cost, than I highly recommend you to try.

However, if you want english speaking chef, western foreigner friendly, michelin star recognition or closer to tokyo , than I suggest you try Iwa or Tokami instead.

Oct 25, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

I have been to yoshiitake twice and his tsumami is excellence most notable is his Awabi (abalone) with kimo. Nigiri is also very good but I fell in love with jiro and namba style Shari where it is heavy on the vinegar with just the right temperature. I don't particular like sho style and I had only been to the original sushi sho at yotsuya hence can't comment on sho masa but I had heard good thing about him from my friend including the value. No matter what you choose , you will be blown away if you have never set foot in Tokyo sushi ya. Tabelog is only for reference and not always reliable

Oct 24, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

I never get intimidated by jiro or mizutani. I never notice any tension either and certainly enjoy the sushi. I do agree the atmosphere is "serious" though. To me the food is more important than atmosphere . I I would take best sushi anytime over friendly chef not that the latter doesn't improve the dinning experience. Everyone will have his favourite sushi ya and I think olioliol should keep his option open including jiro and mizutani. In fact I fell in love with sushi after my first high end sushi meal at mizutani. Although I later found out later there are better option and quality than mizutani, I still go back as their fish quality is no doubt one of the best out there although his Shari really is hit and miss therefore I only go back for lunch which is cheaper than dinner at less than 20kyen

Oct 24, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

I have tried both the tokami and Iwa but not yet Taichi. You can have the same thing either at lunch or dinner i.e omakase but the two offer lunch special which are cheaper. I always go for the omakase either at lunch or dinner at these two places. The omakase include tsumami and nigiri for both. They are similar in some way in terms of quality of the fish , but their speciality will be different as Tokami does really well on maguro and I found Iwa does better on shellfish ( torigai, uni) and squid ( ika). Tsumami is more creative in Iwa than in Tokami. The shari in Tokami is red vinegar based and Iwa use white vinegar. They are probably the better value and consider above average among the sushi yasan in ginza especially for lunch. The sushi chef both speak English. In my limited sushi experience -- they are ranked in the middle pack of all the sushi ya i have visited in tokyo and certainly not comparable to other master such as Jiro Ginza and Miyaha or my most favourite sushi ya--Namba.

Oct 24, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Four Great Noodles around Tokyo

For toripaitan, i think kagare soba in ginza is the best.
You should also tried the Itto Ramen at Shin-Koiwa currently ranked no1 in tabelog. Their noodles is also thick and chewy and they do a very different take on their Charsiu which is more like bacon to me than chars.

Oct 24, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

Thanks for the comment. We didn't have fugu for Otsumami therefore can't comment. We had hamo cooked with matsutake broth which was one of the best otsumami dish we had on this trip. Harutaka San was very serious at the beginning but open up toward the end of the meal. I agree their nigiri style is very Jiro and would be good alternative to Jiro Ginza if one couldn't get a reservation. I am interested in your comment as to who is better between Harutaka and Matsuda where both is Jiro disciple. I will try the latter when i return to tokyo on my next visit if it is better

Oct 21, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

Final update

Itto Ramen--Currently ranked at no 1 ramen at tokyo tabelog. We went before the shop was open and there was already line up. Luckily the shop is bigger and could seat 10 hence the wait wasn't too long. I had the niboshi tsukemen and my wife had the shio ramen. The pork was served on the medium rare side . The soup was flavourful but I found not as concentrated as other tsukemen shop like kagari, fuunji or gonokami. The portion was certainly huge. My wife shio ramen tasted better. It was good overall but I couldn't understand why it was rank no 1. The kagari ramen at Ginza came out much better in my opinion.
Narutomi Soba-Highly recommend on this board. I found it was only ok as I had better Soba at Matsukawa which is a kyoryori restaurant rather than dedicated soba restaurant. I didn't try their tempura as I was still full from the Itto Ramen.
No 8 Bear Pond Espresso at Shibuya-- The best espresso I had so far on this trip. It was rich in aroma and I really like their blend of coffee. It was better than Fuglen and Ometosando coffee that i had tried on my previous visit.
Sushi Harutaka-My last sushi crave before I leave Tokyo. The otsumami is the highlight of this sushi ya but below par compared to sushi namba which is my no 1 favourite sushi ya in tokyo at the moment. The nigiri is average and the shari is again not the same as Jiro Ginza despite he was a Jiro disciple. The neta quality is overall good quality with highlight being aji, kuruma ebi and katsuo but again not as good as Jiro Ginza. I would rank it over sushi Taku and Hatsune. I would came here for their otsumami rather than the nigiri. That pretty summed up my food trip to tokyo.

I wish I could stay forever but sadly I had to leave. I hope to come back soon.

Oct 17, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

Update

Losier-- The dining room and grand staircase is elegant and probably the nicest looking french restaurant in tokyo that i had been to. We went for the set lunch. I really liked it. The highlight was their canapé, amuse bouche, and desert which was the best mont blanc I had ever had. The meat and fish course was also excellent. The style and flavour is closer to the parisian michelin restaurant ( Ledoyen) that I had dine before. It was very different to Quintessence which had more Japanese influence and the latter is more simple yet eloquent. They are both great in my opinion but I prefer the atmosphere and service at Losier which are more soothing and attentive. As well, the champagne and wine selection is better at Losier than at Quintessence.
National Tsukemen Festival--We went to the tsukemen festival being held at Okubo park, Today was the 2nd last week of the festival with new shop on display. I had the tsukemen 節 from 長野 and my wife had the tsukemen from tokyo 千里眼。Both were great but the tokyo one was better and much better than what I had at the tokyo station ramen street.
Sushi Taku-- We weren't served by the daisho but rather his assistant in a separate dining room. The style was more like sushisho style i.e mix of otsumami and nigiri in a random sequence. They used both white and red vinegar rice depending on the fish. Some highlight was the shiroebi, sanma and shioyaki style sayouri even though the latter wasn't yet at season. They serve ice-cream at the end with different type of tea flavour such as genmai, hojitcha..etc which was quite good but can't beat the best ice-cream sea water meringue ice-cream i had at Quintessence. I found it was similar to sushi Iwa and Tokami in terms of quality and style but at a better value as their dinner with supplement pieces only came at 20k yen. I enjoyed it more compare to my last night meal at hatsune although I must said the fish quality at hatsune is better than taku. So far, Namba still stand as the best sushi-ya i had tried so far, with Haschiguchi, Jiro Ginza and Miyaha being the second best. The last three are so unique to each of their own and different. I would go back to visit all the four without any hesitation.

Oct 16, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High-End Sushi in Tokyo with easier reservations

I am still learning too. That is why i loved tokyo so much as every time i went, i kept swept away by the sushi here. I do hope you enjoy Iwa. My advice is keep trying new sushi ya to keep your "taste bud" open, at the same time, repeating the sushi-ya you like to become a regular customer and the chef will surely treat you well. I once saw the chef at Namba gave out an entire box of Uni to his regular customer to try free of charge, and my jaw was dropping.

Oct 15, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

Update

Sushi miyaha- We are hoping the original itamae was there when we went but he was no where to be found. They have 2 chef and I believe the younger one served us today and he was rather new as he had just joined miyaha 2 or 3 years ago. We had nigiri omakase course at lunch. It was really good and their shari is very similar to Jiro style but less in vinegar. Their neta is high quality like in Jiro and in big pieces. Their shari is bite size i.e smaller than Jiro style. Lots of selection, my favourite was their akami, katsuo, torigai( even not in season) , matsutake ( surprise it was kyoto tanpo as this year it was ridiculous expensive), kaki, and buri. At the end, they serve coffee and jelly which I thought was strange but the coffee was really nice and rich in aroma, a wonderful end to the meal. Interestingly, tamagoyaki is not standard but rather you have to order as supplement if you want it but their supplement came in cheaper than other sushi ya we had visited at about 1k per piece. Overall a great sushi ya which we are eager to come back and rank on par with Jiro in my opinion but not as great as Namba given the lack of otsumami.
Sushi Hatsune-- I didn't enjoy it to be honest. It was more like sushi lecture rather than sushi dining experience to me. I could sense that the chef was very passionate about his sushi but I didn't really enjoy his style. The non stop bragging about how much he paid for the fish , wasabi and nori really turned me off. The only thing I liked about their shari is they are at the right temperature but i prefer the shari in namba and jiro. The quality of fish is certainly good and the highlight of the meal was akagai, akami and sumi-ika.

Oct 15, 2014
silverlim in Japan