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Dec 13, 2009 03:44 AM

Kyubei not included in the latest Michelin

I just wonder, what are u guys' opinions on this sushiya as we know that It's a famous destination for tourists. Cuz I know some people they prefer to seek for more niche sushi places and therefore treat Kyubei with disdain.

Honestly, I feel that it's a top restaurant with least pretentiousness, if u have met the owner, he's pretty welcoming and funny. I first met him during a raining evening, the old man stood in front of the shop taking away soaked umbrellas, speaking mediocre English. Who'd have thought that that old man is the owner of $30 million restaurant empire.

Kinda funny after we finished our meal, he came up to us and told everyone lets take a picture together. every time in tokyo, that place has already become my regular restaurant. How do you foodies compare this place to the other restaurants of the same peer, is the place that bad in terms of food. Jiro didn't look so welcoming to me though. Never been to Mizutani, but definitely will visit this summer.

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  1. I went to Kyubei Ginza about 2-3 years ago, and this was even before Michelin published its guide on Tokyo. I cannot remember too much details but I left the place unimpressed and the benchmark back then was Jiro Roppongi Hill branch. I was up on the 3rd or 4th floor of the Kyubei building, and unlike other high end sushiya where the place is small and intimate, there were 4-5 sushi chefs serving many clients. My friend later told me that the best sushi was served on the first floor, which I never get to try. And it maybe a different experience if the owner were the one serving me.

    1. I highly recommend Kyubey (I believe that is how they spell it). I have only been on the first floor and have always loved it.

      And, the local Japanese foodie community that I interact with take Michelin with a grain of salt (some say politics are at play?).

      Kyubey, if you read Japanese, is included on many top lists that pick the "best sushi" in Tokyo. Stick with the local knowledge. Also, some restaurants (in both Tokyo and Kyoto) have asked not to be included in Michelin (when they are contacted to have photographers come in to take photos). Not sure if that is the case with Kyubey or not - but good to know about if you see other restaurants not included.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Yukari

        Many restaurants are in the guide, even if there aren't any pictures. For example, Yoshihashi (which makes a killer sukiyaki) is on the guide but the picture is that of a nearby shrine. I am not sure restaurants have much option to decline being in the guide (rumors to the contrary). I am sure Yoshihashi would turn it down if it could: the meishi says (quoting from memory): no children, no cellphones, no pictures, no strong perfumes. And if you call to reserve and not speak Japanese, they will refuse to make a reservation.

        1. re: Yukari

          As FS knows I really like Kyubey. It's the one restaurant that I always visit whenever I'm in Tokyo. And I always sit on the first floor in Ginza. I missed the opportunity to sit in front of the owner on my last visit, but the chef who served me on my last two visits is always very friendly. And I think the food is superb.

          1. re: Peech

            Interesting. I was considering Kyubey on my last trip but had two people warn me off - one a foodie and transplanted Westerner living in Tokyo, the other a non-foodie native Tokyoite.

            1. re: BaronDestructo

              Nothing bad in particular, just a huge sushi house. Never went to the Ginza 5 floors sushi Kyubei, seemed too impersonal for a sushi, not sure the "presence" will be for everyone. In reference of Sushi Kyubei, I have had the sushi Kyubei at the Hotel Okura, the sushi Kanesaka who was different and would like to try Sushi Saito.

              1. re: Ninisix

                This week, a little hidden sushi I appreciate for their ‘’chirashi sushi’’, on a talk told me that Kyubei quality has been down. Even among sushi-ya !

                *Michelin, even if their rating is not reasonable, do you think TV food programs in Japan are reasonable ? The pleasure of food can it be pure ? As stars ? hum... Would like very much to buy a tape of this allocation commission between inspectors with their anecdotes, comments, more interesting than the criteria don`t they ?