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Anyone Been to Sushi Kanesaka Recently?

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Hi Tokyo Chowhounds...

Anybody been to Sushi Kanesak recently. I have a trip coming up to Tokyo in September and the concierge at the hotel made a reservation for me. However, they quoted me a price of 30000-50000JPY for a chef's omakase dinner.

Is that correct? Seems quite high!

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  1. That's funny, I have a reservation there for the end of July and the price they quoted me was no different than what they've charged in the past which was around Y20, 000 per person. Could the hotel have been giving you a quote for two people? If that's the case that sounds about right, but per person should again, be around the 20k mark.

    1. Was there for Sat lunch at end June and the omakase choices were 20, 30 and 50,000 Yen.

      3 Replies
      1. re: KLfoodie

        Thanks KLfoodie!

        50K JPY for dinner is just a bit too much for me... I'll settle for 30K JPY menu. :)

        1. re: JAL777

          I settled for the 30K as well. I was already terribly late for lunch, so, all i asked was whether it would it be diff fish between the various menus and the response was yes but no further info provided.
          Thought the 30K was amazing, uni was sweet, toro melted in the mouth (can't remember which toro) and a piece of the best grilled fish I've ever had in my life. But the one thing that i can't stop thinking about was the additional tuna cheek sushi that i had. One of the diners wanted to try something else, after finishing the omakase and we were offered aged tuna cheek, which in its raw state looked very much like kobe beef (pink and beautifully marbled). The tuna is served v lightly grilled, certainly sent me to sushi paradise. Think it was Y2k a piece. It would be really nice to have several of those. Is it possible to specify what you want incorporated into an omakase?
          Chef kanesaka is very hospitable and speaks english, even cracks jokes through the meal, making it a very enjoyable and memorable dining experience. Felt like i had lunch at a friend's place even though it was my first visit.

          1. re: KLfoodie

            Yes, I agree absolutely Kanesaka-san was very friendly, smile all the time and I enjoyed the lunch as well. I recall I paid around Yen18k per person. That was almost two years ago.

      2. 50k?!? I will most likely be getting the 30k Omakase but I'm also intrigued as to what could possibly be in the 50k Omakase to bump it up to that price? More quantity? That makes Kanesaka among the most expensive if not the most expensive sushi ya in the city.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

          Yeah, I also wonder what could be possibly be in Yen 50k omakase? The most expensive I ever paid was Yen 35k at Sawada.

        2. 50000 per person for just one meal? would be very interested to know the fish served as well. have a tough time seeing how it can be worth the money though. for the same price, i could spend a night at the gora kadan or many of the best ryokans with a fantastic dinner thrown in!

          1 Reply
          1. re: HKTraveler

            Not to mention the transportation to and from Hakone.

          2. I was there in December and loved it. The fish was spectacular and Chef Kanesaka was an incredibly affable host. I'm not sure if I misheard (I possess the Japanese comprehensive skills of a very polite toddler), but I believe he ages his tuna because he feels it delivers a superior flavor. Can anybody confirm or deny.

            Anyway, if you're interested in a detailed blow by blow with pics, you can check out my Kanesaka-related blog posts (I went twice):

            http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2...

            and

            http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2...

            2 Replies
            1. re: BaronDestructo

              Most high end sushi chefs would age their tuna.

              1. re: BaronDestructo

                Chatted with Chef Kanesaka in English and he definitely mentioned aging the tuna, by 10 days but i can't remember if it was the tuna cheek or chu toro.

              2. I was just there for lunch. They had a 5K, 15K, 20K, 30K, and 50K lunch sets. We ordered the 5K lunch set and afterwards we had a couple of signature pieces for a comparo with the formidable competition in town.

                Fellas (and gals), sorry to disappoint you all, but Kanesaka failed to deliver. The sushi was very good, dare I say excellent, relative to the usual lower price points in Japan (and lets not even mention the shlock that passes for "sushi" outside of Japan), but it really comes in behind its competitors mentioned in the same breath (at least the ones I've been to).

                The 5K lunch has 9 pieces plus a maki, starting from the simpleminded (karei, maguro) and moving on to the real order of business (shiroebi, which was really good, katsuo, anago, and aji). The maki was tekka and you get some soup at the end. After that I ordered chutoro and uni for a comparo. Each piece was 2K, which is just way too much, and although very good, not on the order of the sublimeness one would expect for 2K a pop.

                Compared to Mizutani-sensei, Mizutani-sensei's rice was very memorable and the fish just better. I've discussed this before, but in my comparo between Mizutani and Dai San Harumi, I called it a photo finish, which means Kanesaka would come a distant third.

                On the value for money side, Mizutani doesn't do lunch sets, so not a fair comparison, but Dai San Harumi has a 2.3K lunch set with 8 pieces of sushi, maki, and soup, where you get better fish for half the price, so you tell me who's in charge here.

                So, anyway, glad I tried it, but not meeting expectations. Maybe dinner (or a more expensive set) may be worth a try, but don't know if it I would try that. I should have suspected something was amiss when it didn't make the first 3 pages of tabelog when searching Ginza sushi by ranking.

                On a funny aside, we were having a pretty good conversation with The Man, and he mentioned about some foreigners that came in for a meal, and they asked Kanesaka-san to show them what he had for neta, and they kept nixing all of them until they got to the maguro, and they said, yes, we'll take that. And so he started cutting them some maguro, and they said, no, we want it in a roll. So he started making a roll, and they said, we want cheese on it, and then some sauce. And of course, the answer is "we don't have cheese". Nagayama-san at Dai San Harumi would just have kicked them out of the place, deservedly so. He also said that he gets a lot of Taiwanese and Chinese who think sushi is some kind of appetizer, so they'll sit down go through a maguro-chutoro-ootoro-awabi cycle a few times, drink a coca cola, and get the bill. He was good natured about that, he's probably seen that so often that he doesn't pass judgment any more.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                  Hi Uncle Yabai:

                  Let me try to defend Sushi Kanesaka:

                  1. At 5k lunch set, I don't think you get the best ingredient from Kanesaka. But according to you, the lunch set is inferior to Dai San Harumi's lunch set. But we know you are a long time customer of Harumi. Do you think that would have influence Nagayama-san to give you better quality despite the value? After all, you are his regular client.
                  2. In Tabelog, Sushi Kanesaka was ranked no.17 in Tokyo with an overall rating of 3.94, pretty decent level. http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130... Dai San Harumi was ranked no.76 with 3.70. http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130... Actually, on "taste" category, they are pretty even with SK at 4.01 and DSH at 4.02. But SK triumph in service and ambiance. DSH's low ranking seem to have more to do with his attitude and the poor ambiance.

                  I have personally not tried Dai San Harumi so not able to provide any comparison. In terms of just sushi, I agree Mizutani's 18k set has slight edge against Kanesaka's 18k set. But Mizutani is too serious and Kanesaka provides more friendly chatting with clients and speak English so that maybe an important factor for some CHers.

                  I believe your description in the last paragraph is the main reason why Sukiyabashi Jiro at Ginza refused to accept non-Japanese speaking guests.

                  1. re: FourSeasons

                    Let me provide some answers.

                    1. No, I don't think I get special treatment for lunch in terms of the quality relative to a non-regular. Sometimes what I do get is a couple of extra pieces, given for free with a wink and a nod and grateful acceptance. But the quality is the same. However, I would say that DSH's dinner menu quality is slightly better than lunch, and that may be what is happening at SK, that's why I left my review on an uncertain note as to my experience being biased because it was lunch. However, others have mentioned that SK doesn't have different quality standards for lunch or dinner, and pictures I've seen of the food during dinner "tell" me what I had for lunch would be the same as served for dinner. But mano a mano, value for money on the taste category, DSH takes the lead.
                    2. I would agree that Kanesaka-sensei is a less daunting and a more comfortable experience. Service, setting and atmosphere is very good too, although service at DSH is very good also (not so much the setting or atmosphere). Nagayama-sensei can be brutal with neophytes and people not with the program. However, I've built a relationship with him that "insulates" me and my dining companions I've taken (except Auntie Yabai, who's still afraid to eat anything but sashimi) for the experience. The rules are pretty clear, and rule #1 at DSH is that you follow the rules. We can call him the "Sushi Nazi" if you like, but once you're on the inside, it is all sweetness and light, peaches and cream. Of course, it didn't hurt that Nagayama-san is a big on making his own pottery (which he uses in the restaurant), his stuff is exhibited and auctioned, and I ended up buying a piece in an auction. A small investment worth the goodwill it won me.

                    As for Mizutani-sensei, also agree he's very serious, but a good person, it just takes a while for him to warm up to you, but he can. If you demonstrate knowledge and appreciation, he will reciprocate. Maybe not as effusively or openly as Kanesaka-sensei, but his need for adulation is there just as much.

                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                      Did you ever try this?

                      "土曜日、第三春美鮨は新たな挑戦を致します。たっぷりと・おまかせコース  10,000円(税込)握り14貫、巻物1本。"
                      http://harumi-sushi.sakura.ne.jp/syou...

                      1. re: Scharn

                        Tried it several times. Excellent value, excellent quality.

                        1. re: Asomaniac

                          Great!

                          From their website it seems like this "special offer" still is the real deal, that is watching the chef prepare it, eating slowly piece by piece (as opposed to getting a large plate with 10 nigiri on it...). Can you confirm this?

                          Second question: I would like to try more exotic fish too. Do you think I could let them know, or is this 10k special a set deal?

                          1. re: Scharn

                            Yes, piece by piece, like a bear in the woods. If you want other things aside from the set (which is usually a fine selection of what's good that dat) you can order by the piece (and pay accordingly).

                  2. re: Uncle Yabai

                    Wonder why i was only offered 20k, 30k and 50k for Sat lunch at Kanesaka? Could it be the weekend rate?
                    Have to admit, chose Kanesaka because i wasn't sure how a non-Japanese speaking solo diner would fare at Mizutani where as the jovial atmosphere at Kanesaka had everyone chatting and laughing over lunch. All were quite amused that i couldn't converse in Japanese but could rattle off many sushi/fish names which i'd memorised.

                  3. Thank you all for your responses... they have been most helpful.

                    I've settled on Sushi Kanesaka for one night and Mizutani the following week before I leave Japan.

                    Unfortunately, because of the cost, it looks like I'll be eating Ramen for the rest of the week. :)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: JAL777

                      Ramen for the rest of week? Not a bad idea! Udon, soba, tonkatsu, J-curry and gyudon are all other cheap meals.

                      1. re: lost squirrel

                        I was told Kanesaka has a 5000Y + 10000 lunch omakase. Is this true? Also, do they do a la carte or solely omakase?

                        1. re: Foodie Fiend

                          Has anyone been to Kanesaka for a Saturday lunch recently and know the lunch sets they have available? Thanks.

                    2. Had another lunch at Sushi Kanesaka just last week. I requested sashimi-sushi omakase which he quoted starting from Yen 20,000, which was what I selected.

                      But an interesting news for Singapore chowhounders is that Chef Sanpei told me that Kanesaka Group will open a sushi place at Raffles Hotel in Singapore in late July. A sushi chef who was previously trained at Kyubei and Kanesaka will be posted to Singapore for this new project.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: FourSeasons

                        Thanks for the data point. Just out of curiosity, was Kanesaka himself preparing the food?

                        1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                          In Sushi Kanesaka, there are 2 sushi chefs at two counters (each serving 6 guests). I believe chef Kanesaka was preparing at the other counter.

                      2. By the way, boys and girls, Mizutani has moved. New address is 東京都中央区銀座8-7-7 JUNOビル 9F.

                        Also, went to Kyubei at the Keio Plaza. Expensive as all hell but very very good. First memorable experience I've had at Kyubei ever. Ask for Kodaka-san. He's your man.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Uncle Yabai

                          thanks for the heads up. When I put that address into google it comes up with the same place as it was before - is the Juno building very close to the previous location?

                          1. re: davew666

                            Yes, very near, just a block or so behind from the original location.

                          2. re: Uncle Yabai

                            Hi Uncle Yabai,

                            Thanks for the info. :) Would you say I should go to your favorite Dai San Harumi first, or Kyubei, now that you've had this latest experience? Thanks!

                            1. re: exilekiss

                              There's no guarantee you'll get a consistently good experience at Kyubei. It is a huge place with many branches, and who knows if you'll get Kodaka-san. Also, it is a hell of a lot more expensive, so it fails on the value for money part.

                              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                I'll go ahead and second Kyubei at the Keio Plaza. Had two nice meals there on seperate occasions with very nice Nigiri. Pretty relaxed atmosphere in a relaxed space. It ran Y28,350 per person not including Sake and a couple supplements.

                                I've also gotten the Assorted Sushi Omakase which is Y10,500 and ordered a la carte til I was full. Came to around Y12,500 for 14 pieces (13 with the Omakase 1 a la carte) plus tamago, 8 makizushi, and a Hamaguri Shiru.

                                http://www.kyubey.jp/keio_e.html

                          3. We went in 2009. Sanpei-san was our Chef that night. We both had the omakase.

                            Bottom line: Absolutely fantastic. Hairy crab, steamed abalone, sublime chu-toro, anago, and Hokkaido uni on premium nori... Stil. dreaming about that meal.

                            Our bill (for the 2 of us, including sake & beer) was JPY66000.