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Jan 8, 2007 12:00 AM

Best of the Best Sushi Omakase Options

Am soon to embark on my second trip to Tokyo/Japan and am looking for people's thoughts on where to go for a top end sushi omakase experience. Came across the list in the attached link and have already had Kyubei and Jiro recommended to me but any other thoughts would be appreciated (along with an indicative price per person - I'm thinking up to Y30,000 per person should do it):

On my first visit in 2003 I did a few sushi options in and around Tsukiji which I liked a lot and will certainly be doing more of these as well as all the great non-sushi options as well.

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  1. Oh and if anyone knows any places in Kobe where we can have a top quality kobe beef experience, that would be much appreciated too. Is the beef likely to be cooked on a hot stone, served tartare/tataki style, cooked sukiyaki/shabu shabu style or is a range of preparations likely?


    3 Replies
    1. re: oonth

      The concensus among my business associates in Osaka and Tokyo is Japan's best kobe beef is served at a little place called Ishizawa in Nishi-ku, Osaka. I've eaten there a couple of times. I had never had such soft beef in my life--it melts in your mouth! I also had the best carrots and broccolli (organic) there (which may not be served to the general public. My former client knows the owner very well and we get special dishes).

      A few years ago the lunch combination was less than 1000yen and two years ago it was a little higher, but still very affordable.

      It's near Koseinenkinkaikan--the closest subway station is Nishi-ohashi (Nagahori Line), but you can also walk from Yotsubashi. It's really a little place and looks more like a coffee shop. It's not in any guidbook and they don't have a web site.
      Address: 1-33-14 Shinmachi, Nishi-ku 06-6538-6952

      1. re: oonth

        Usually it's grilled teppanyaki-style. Here's a whole list of places in Kobe and nearby Kansai for beef:

        Ohnishi (shown below) and Itoh Dining, both in Kobe, are good value for money.

        1. re: Robb S

          Ohnishi, Kobe - it's a neighborhood type of place. Itoh is a little fancier.

      2. Kyubei and Jiro are the most well regarded places in Tokyo. I'm not sure it's possible to do better, unless you're thinking of convenience and have a particular part of town you want to dine in. 30,000 YEN per person should do it. Besides price, you'll find a completely different atmosphere than Tsukiji and the quality is better too. Just an FYI, "omakase" in Tokyo is a bit different than NYC. Saying "omakase" in a restaurant in Japan often confers a level of familiarity between the chef and the patron. It's not a sort of tasting menu. This post does a good job on the term- .

        1 Reply
        1. re: Silverjay

          Thanks, this is all very helpful. I had a sense that the true meaning of the word "omakase" has been bastardised in NYC in as much as it is now a buzz culinary word that is applied in scattergun fashion to just about every tasting, degustation and chef's menu around.

          I'm looking forward to the contrast of places like Jiro/Kyubei with Tsukiji places - I'm 90% low maintenance (hence my enjoyment of understated Tsukiji joints, that plus the fact that you can enjoy fresh as you like 6am sushi after a late late night) and 10% high maintenance. I'm told that in Japan the quality of the kohada is a good yardstick of the quality of the sushi ya's fish overall so I'll be looking to put this to the test during my visit.

          BTW, thanks also for the input with the "No Shellfish" post. I had an anaphylactic reaction to shellfish 5 years ago and so have to stay away from all forms, more's the pity, but will now be better equipped to explain myself with the correct Japanese - last time I just reeled off the Japanese names of items I couldn't eat. Managed to make myself understood most of the time and couldn't believe how wonderfully accomodating the local people were in their efforts to understand me. I can't wait to be back in the country.

        2. In addition to Jiro and Kyubei, you might also want to try Harumi Sushi. It compares favorably with my experience at both Jiro and Kyubei and pricewise, it's also about the same.

          Harumi No. 3
          Shinbashi 1-17-7
          Resona Bank Shinbashi Branch

          1 Reply
          1. re: HKTraveler

            HKTraveler - thanks for the recommendation for Harumi. I stay in Shinbashi, so it will be convenient for my next trip. Is it near the train station? Is it open for lunch? Is it a chain (is that why it's called Harumi No. 3)?

          2. It is close to the train station and the dai-ichi hotel. They seem to have 3 shops. When i was there, the main chef was in No. 3. That was during lunch hours on a weekday.

            1 Reply
            1. re: HKTraveler

              Great. Thanks! I stay at the DaI-ichi, so this couldn't be any more perfect for my next trip.