Reports from Sushi Saito, Sushi Kanesaka, Esaki, L'osier...
First of all, I'd like to thanks for the excellent information provided by all of you guys!
Our first trip to Tokyo (2 friends and I) was much better than I expected, I could even say it was fantastic.
Only 2 of us went to the sushi restaurants as our other friend is not a big fan of raw fish.
We had lunch at Sushi Saito (only-sushi menu, around 15 k each) and the sequence we had was: hirame, kohada, akami, chutoro, otoro (the best I had ever!), ika, kuruma ebi (fantastic), saba, torigai, katsuo, shiro ebi, aji, ikura, 2 types of uni (loved them), akagai and 2 sushis of anago(one with sauce and the other with salt only) . It was outstanding, the best sushis I've had in my life! He was nice from the begining and when he realized we knew the japanese names of the fish and loved sushi, he seemed to be even more relaxed.
3 days after, my friend and I went to Sushi Kanesaka, at lunch again, and had the only-sushi sequence as well (around 15 k as well,but there were cheaper choices). We didn't seat at Kanesaka-san counter, so I can say it was rather disappointing, not that the other sushiman acted badly, it's just that I would rather seat ar Kanesaka-san counter. Maybe I should have asked for him when I made our reservation, as I already knew there were 2 counters. The sequence was: tai, a leaner kind and a fatter one of buri, akami, chutoro, otoro, ika, kuruma ebi , kohada, aji, katsuo, hamaguri, baby scallop, ikura, uni, anago, 3 pieces of maguro hossomaki. We liked a lot, but we preferred Sushi Saito.
We had lunch at Esaki. First there was a dish with squid and its ink, deep fried small fishes and sweet potato (exquisite!).Then came kampachi with raw carrot, which was very fresh and tasteful.Then we had grilled barracuda, which was very good. Then deep fried black cod with torigai, brocolis and yuzu, which was the best dish of the sequence to all the 3 of us.Finally, rice with mushrooms, which was very good. There was a dessert with a sort of green tea sorbet. It was excellent, the staff was very kind, good value, we would definitely check the night sequence.
We had dinner at L'Osier. An amazing (and expensive...) experience. As amuse-bouche with had tuna tartar and mascarpone cheese. The breads were excellent. The starters were foie gras terrine and fig chutney (terrific) and tupinambour cream with uni, also a delight. The mains were langoustine with beets and butter cream, then lamb, both were excellent. Then we had cheese and for desser each one asked a different kind: I had the tarte a vanille with white chocolat, one of them had baba au rhum and the other had chocolat souffle. The mignardises were excellent, although we didn;t have "room" for many of them. M. Lionel was very nice and charming, making the experience unforgettable. Was it worht it? I can say it was. When we decided going there, we didn't know if we would like Tokyo and whether we would want to come back, so we booked the restaurants we thought would be an amazing experience. Now I can say we loved and will come back.
The first weekend we were there, 2 other friends that go to Tokyo 2 or 3 times a year due to business took us to Gonpachi in Shibuya where we had sushi, sashimi, tempura, lots of sake and I can say it was good, the view also helps. The following night we went to Ifuu, and also had good food.
I ended up eating sushis in standing counters in Shibuya and Shinjuku station, which were good value (considering I could order hotate, chutoro, ikura and others ) while they preferred eating tonkatsu.
We also had food at Isetan, thai at Lumine and tempura udon in other places.
Unfort unately, it's gonna take at least 2 to 3 years to go back to Tokyo!
I made the reservation 5 weeks in advance of going there. We had the 25 k deal (diner du marche), you can check the options at the site: http://www.shiseido.co.jp/e/losier/
You'll find there's a cheaper offer and a more expensive one, should you go at lunch, the deal is even better, as others restaurants in general. We spent around 500 hundred dollars each, with a glass of champagne, 1 mid-range red wine, dessert wines and expressos.
Happy birthday and enjoy Tokyo!
Thanks everyone! I had the same experience as catsluvcofffee when I tried calling the other day - they asked me to reserve via the concierge at my hotel. Luckily, I have a friend who speaks Japanese and she called back and made lunch reservations for us for two weeks from now.