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Tsukiji sushi place request- yet again!

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MJS Dec 19, 2004 11:36 PM

I know there are a couple of Tsukiji regulars posting here and I'm looking for your advice...I've been in Japan for about 11 years now and am leaving at last, next month. Tuesday night 12/21 I'm taking out a very dear Japanese friend of mine for a sushi dinner. He actually suggested going to Tsukiji (just cause he knows I'm treating and doesn't want to send me into debt from going to Ginza). Now, I've been there about a dozen times and usually do well. (In fact, just ate at the little donburi place next to Lawson's that was featured on TV in Tokyo the other day. Very good "ho-ho" nikku don.) Anyway, I would like to go to a small and obviously fresh/good sushi place in the Tsukiji area. Doesn't have to be in the market itself or in those stalls right around it. The places that I do know there are either only open in the morning, chain-tens, or are sort of bigger "wait in line with the family" places. I'm looking for something a bit smaller and intimate and good to put away a few drinks while we eat. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be forever indebted. This is a really close friend and the last time I will dine with him in Japan...I can speak and read Japanese, so any place is accessible for me.....Hope someone has some ideas...MJS

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    Peter Cuce RE: MJS Dec 20, 2004 08:00 AM

    Are you by any chance referring to the Moshimo show that features a bunch of different people going around to different restaurants in a given neighborhood? I caught the Tsukiji show but neglected to write down the restaurants. Do you happen to have the list?

    A friend recommends 高はし (Takahashi). Here's his description: It is in a row where most of the other restaurants seem to be located. It took us a little time to find it. It looks kind of like a luncheonette, with a formica counter and florescent lights. The restaurant's name is on a blue noren with white characters. I'll see if I can get the address and some more information.

    He also recommends sweets from the famous shop 茂助 (Mosuke).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peter Cuce
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      MJS RE: Peter Cuce Dec 20, 2004 10:55 AM

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for the recommendation. Takahashi sounds like the kind of place I am looking for in size and all. Please post an address or some rough directions if you happen to get it. By the way, how was the sushi there?....Regarding the TV program, I can't even remember what day or channel. It was definitely one of those early evening ones, not during prime time. The place I went to was very luncheonette-counter style. There is a Lawson's on that main intersection down the street from Kachidoki bridge and the Uedo Line or just a short walk from the Hibiya Exit. The place is two doors to the right of the Lawson's. There is a specialty tuna store and next to that is the restaurant with a noren and a ticket machine that's only used at lunch. The place is famous for their ho-ho nikku and cheap chu-toro don. It's not a destination spot, but good for lunch or if you are in the area. I can't recall the other places from the program....the ho-ho nikku was excellent, but the chu-toro had only recently been defrosted. Good portion, decent price, but not melt in your mouth.

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      Eric Eto RE: MJS Dec 20, 2004 12:08 PM

      If you read Japanese, you should get a hold of the December issue of OTONANO SHUMATSU magazine, which is dedicated to sushi. They have a good rundown of their favorites from Tsukiji. There are three seasonal items that the editors recommend to look for: kuromatsu (don't know the English translation), saba, and hata (no translation again).

      The restaurants and shops around the market are divided by mini-blocks or areas as I will call them.

      Isozushi
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 10
      03-3542-1954
      Open 7am-9pm
      This place specializes in maguro/toro from the Indian Ocean (indo-maguro). Premium nigiri set costs around 3150 yen.

      Ryuuzushi
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 1
      03-3541-9517
      Open 6am-2pm
      This place specializes in seasonal and wild (non-farmed) fish. Omakase course for about 3150 yen.

      Sushi Bun
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 8
      03-3541-3860
      Open 6am-2pm
      This place has been in business for 150 years. Specializes in seasonal and wild (non-farmed) fish varieties. Omakase course for about 3650 yen.

      Sushi Maru
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 10
      03-3541-8414
      Open 6am-3pm
      The sushi rice here is reddish in hue because they use a red vinegar for the rice, which matches well with the lightly grilled/torched fatty fish. One of their specialties is a monkfish nigiri.

      Sushi Dokoro Okame
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 6
      03-3541-5450
      Open 5am-2pm
      This shop specializes in toro. Aburi toro is the specialty. The day the reviewers ate there, they had a superb toro from tuna caught near Ireland. Omakase course for around 3650 yen.

      Yamahara
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1 (Adjacent to Area 1 and 4)
      03-3541-8747
      Open 11am-2pm, 6pm-9pm
      The shime saba is one of the highlights from this shop. Sushi for one from 2500-3500 yen.

      Daiwazushi
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 6
      03-3547-6807
      Open 5am-1pm
      This toro specialist uses tuna primarily from Japan's Aomori area. Omakase course around 3150 yen.

      Umai Sushikan
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 4
      03-3541-2458
      Open 5am-3pm, 5pm-9pm
      This shop is known for the variety of fish they offer, as opposed to many who specialize in a few items. Their nigiri course for 3500 yen offers the most pieces and good value.

      Bentomi
      Chuo-ku Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 8
      03-3541-1503
      Open 5am-2pm
      This very traditional shop excels with their shime saba, kohada, and anago. Omakase course for around 2600 yen.

      Sushi Dai
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 6
      03-3547-6797
      Open 5am-2pm
      Very good premium fish at this shop. The saba and shirako (cod sperm sacs) were topnotch. Omakase set for about 3670 yen.

      Iwasazushi
      Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Area 1
      03-3544-1755
      Open 5am-2pm, Sat 5am-3pm
      This shop specializes in torafugu (blowfish) nigiri. While fugu sashimi are sliced thin, here the fugu piece is thick sliced (530 yen). Omakase set for about 3600 yen.

      Lastly, Aki from the NY boards has recommended to me a Tsukiji guidebook called Tsukiji Marukajiri, which probably contains a complete rundown for all the sushi shops at the market.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Eric Eto
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        Eric Eto RE: Eric Eto Dec 20, 2004 01:15 PM

        In case it's not obvious, I'm just paraphrasing from the articles. I haven't been to any of these places.

        1. re: Eric Eto
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          MJS RE: Eric Eto Dec 20, 2004 10:09 PM

          Hi Eric,

          Thanks so much for taking the time to translate and write up the Tskiji reviews. I couldn't get a hold of the December issue of OtonaNoShumatsu as January is already out. But Otona Walker January has an Edomae sushi feature that goes over many of the restaurants you listed...I saw that book you mentioned in the store, but it was more than I felt like paying for. One thing is some of these Japanese magazines/ books tend to "introduce" rather than "review" places. Anyway, that's just my experience....Tonight I'm going to just walk around a bit and check out some of the places listed and suggested. Tsukiji is actually kind of quiet at night. If I have a truly great meal, I'll post in a new thread...Thanks again for your help.

          Regards,
          MJS

          1. re: MJS
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            Yukari Pratt RE: MJS Dec 21, 2004 08:10 PM

            Hata is grouper.

            Kuromatsu I am unfamiliar with. At the New York Grill, sometimes the "Catch of the Day" was mutsu, is Japanese bluefish. During the winter it is rich with fat and in season now.

            Thanks for the info - where do you find the time? Am envious!

            Happy Eating!

            1. re: Yukari Pratt
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              Eric Eto RE: Yukari Pratt Dec 22, 2004 01:47 AM

              It should be kuromutsu. Typo on my part. So I guess that means black-bluefish. Can't wait to try some.

        2. re: Eric Eto
          m
          MJS RE: Eric Eto Dec 20, 2004 10:08 PM

          Hi Eric,

          Thanks so much for taking the time to translate and write up the Tskiji reviews. I couldn't get a hold of the December issue of OtonaNoShumatsu as January is already out. But Otona Walker January has an Edomae sushi feature that goes over many of the restaurants you listed...I saw that book you mentioned in the store, but it was more than I felt like paying for. One thing is some of these Japanese magazines/ books tend to "introduce" rather than "review" places. Anyway, that's just my experience....Tonight I'm going to just walk around a bit and check out some of the places listed and suggested. Tsukiji is actually kind of quiet at night. If I have a truly great meal, I'll post in a new thread...Thanks again for your help.

          Regards,
          MJS

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