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Tokyo Restaurants - Jun 2012 -

Hatsunezushi

This sushi restaurant in Kamata is rarely discussed on the board, but it is one of the best dining experience I have ever had.

Diners can choose either the 5:30 or the 20:00 slot. I picked the 5:30 slot and had the chef all to myself. The chef is the 4th generation owner chef. He is passionate about sushi making and is the head of a Sushi Research Institute. He is extremely detailed-oriented and is even particular about how the diner picks up the sushi. (He does not provide chopsticks) He tried his best to explain every aspect of the dining experience.

The chef only serves sushi with no appetizers. Before the meal began, he explained that he only prepared the rice when the diner arrives and he emphasised he used only salt and vinegar (with no suger). He explained that the warmer rice is perfect for ika and the cooled rice is best for toro.
The meal consisted of
ika (excellent)
Flatfish
Bonito (excellent)
Ebi
Aji (excellent) (he insisted that ginger should not be served with aji, unlike most other chefs)
Hamo (excellent) (salted and steamed, served without sauce)
Maguro Akami (2 pieces)
Chu Toro (2 pieces)
Uni
Awabi (2 pieces) (steamed, one whole baby abalone was used)
Otoro (2 pieces)
Anago (excellent)
Mixed tuna roll (i was impressed by the fragrant seaweed, the chef explained that it was the champion seaweed)
Tamago (the only disappointment of the entire meal, taste rather blend)

White fish was conspicuously absent in the menu, the chef explained that he only uses the most seasonal ingredient and apparently white fish is not in season. Maguro featured prominently in the menu, All the akami, chutoro and otoro are from one piece of tuna. The chef explained that he let the maguro stand for 5 days before serving. Another feature is that all the maguro is served zuke.

The service, the meal, the omakase sake, the cost performance (yen 15000) are all top tier. Highly recommended.

Hirasaku

I went for lunch. I chose the 12000 menu. (I understand they serve cheaper sets and most people seem to settle for the cheaper sets) It was one of the best lunch i had.
suppon consomme jelly (divine)
tempura awabi, uni and eggplant, broadbean (wonderful, ingredients match perfectly)
anago served with rice (wonderful)
amadai soup (wonderful)
Sashimi isaki, ika, maguro
Unagi
Corn Tempura (divine)
Dumpling wrapped in a tomato (very creative)
Soba (chef''s specialty)

Highly recommended.

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  1. Thanks for the report, Hatsune sounds pretty good. I'd like to give it a try if I get the time.

    1. While difficult to find, when l went to Hirasaku we had a private room and of the 50 or so meals l had in Tokyo in my few months there, this one was in the top 5

      2 Replies
        1. re: quddous

          Pachon, Sawada, Ryugin, and damn near any sushi place.

      1. Hatsune sounds amazing, and exactly the type of meal I'm looking for on my next trip (a great sushi experience at a mid-price point). I've never been to Kamata and it looks like it's quite a haul from central Tokyo. Approximately how long would it take to get there from Shinjuku? Finally, do you have an address for the restaurant and some directions?

        Many thanks for the report.

        2 Replies
        1. re: od_sf

          From Shinjuku, take the JR line to Shinagawa (this takes quite a while), then take the JR Keihin-Tohoku line (Yokohama direction) to Kamata (just 3 stations). From the station, it is just 5 minutes walk, it is right opposite a University and 2 blocks from a dental clinic.

          Tel 03-3731-2403

          1. re: CWFOODIE

            No time even to try pronounce correctly the name (the 'H' will be swallowed). It is a 2 stars and I did not have time yet for the more 40mn train it would take me. But I am soon on holiday, so it is time to celebrate, right ?

        2. I've been intrigued by Hatsunezushi since I saw their rice, colored with red vinegar. Looks like a very unique place.

          As you mentioned your conversation with the chef... does he speak any english? My japanese is very basic, but I'd love to eat there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: babreu

            He speaks some broken English, 75% comprehensible. He really made efforts to convey his meaning. I can only manage the most basic pleasantries .

          2. Thanks for the review!

            1. Went to Hatsunezushi for lunch Omakase. Had an excellent lunch and such a pity that this restaurant is so unknown despite the fact that the quality is fantastic. It is a bit far out there in location, but the chef is truly passionate and the atmosphere is very friendly.