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Jan 2, 2013 07:48 AM

Tokyo sushi lunches for $100 or less


I'm planning for my trip to Tokyo, Japan in a few weeks and making last minute reservations.

I'm having a bit of trouble finding a fine dining sushi restaurant recommendations that serves lunch for around $100 or less.

I currently found Sushi Ichii but found no chowhound recommendations. Is this place any good? I only saw that it's Michelin rated, but that's all. Do you guys recommend any other places?

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    1. re: Robb S

      I agree. And it might be the most famous sushi restaurant in Japan, over the course of its life.

      1. re: andrew_eats

        I hope nobody will go there because it is famous over the course of its life. It's OK but totally uneventful in comparison to many, many others for the same amount of money.

    2. I don't know where you're looking, but except for a few rarefied places, pretty much every sushi restaurant in Tokyo will offer a set menu for lunch where one of the options will be $100 or less.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Yabai

        I guess I'm only asking here because my only food guide is the Michelin Guide, which I"m always cautious about their recommendations. There are a few places they have listed that offer $50-$100 USD omakase lunches. I just wanted a few more recommendations or if anyone can confirm that Sushi Ichii is actually good.

        1. re: justlaz

          Just FYI, the Michelin Guide, for some reason unknown to man, tends not to list the really cheap lunch specials in the guide, even though they're available. So the absence of such a lunch price point in the guide is not evidence that they don't exist.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            That's a good idea, lunches are good reference. The guide writes down only the price ranges(usually) as imhon restaurant have also different ethical management on lunches !
            Personally I prefer the classic nigiris than the modern Sushi Ichi. My preference is for sushi Iwa, the first set price is at around 4500yens, and the chef serves good nigiris in a orthodox style ! Sushi Ichi is good, salt is used(unfortunately), and in my opinion is a bit hard, but i do prefer my 'anago(conger eel)' simply salted ! This tune can be long, so if you here need more precisions do not hesitate !
            In Ginza, there is many many lunches that will answer your price..

      2. I don't think I've ever spent more than 3000 yen on a set sushi lunch (eg, bunch of nigiri's with miso soup and usually dessert/fruits). Usually less than <2000yen. Granted, I don't go to these so-called Michelin star places. But you should be able to find plenty of places in Tokyo with sushi better than just about anything you'll find in the States, for <2000yen at lunchtime.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowmouse

          Can you recommend some of these places?

          1. re: miltronix

            as your stay is short, you might want to do quick tour of Tokyo ... If you happen to go there, give a try at sushi BentenYama, in Asakusa, 2100yen for their 1st set lunch..

        2. You're in good hands with Ninisix, the resident sushi otaku. Follow his advice.

          Re: chowmouse's post, I guess it depends what you're after. You get some perfectly decent sushi from some of the cheap chains, and for 2000 yen you can indeed get better quality than you would find in most sushi places abroad.

          BUT there is generally a serious drop-off in quality between those sorts of places and higher end places offering decent lunch deals (e.g., for 5,000 - 7,000 yen). On Saturdays, one of my favourites, Daisan Harumi, offers a 7,000 yen lunch (and 7,000 yen dinner). That place is discussed a lot on chowhound.

          So it depends if you would like to try some really serious sushi but pay a bit more (though certainly less than USD 100), or really cheap sushi that is perfectly decent but not spectacular. Just noticed that you are asking about "fine dining sushi" - that's not 2000 or 3000 yen sushi.

          BTW, 100 dollars is around 9,000 yen. For that sort of money, you can even have lunch at Sushi Saito (3 Michelin stars).

          3 Replies
          1. re: Asomaniac

            Thank you Asomaniac, now this is a compliment! Yes, for sushi, I might be a big otaku! Sushi in Tokyo are just so so great ...

            1. re: Asomaniac

              When I say 2000yen lunch sushi set, I'm not talking about cheap sushi restaurants. Few months ago we went to maybe one of the pricier sushi joints in Ikebukuro (Horikawa), and I think the lunch set my wife got was in the 2000's. Most Japanese would not consider places like Fukusuke and Sushitsune to be cheap places, either, but you can eat very well for 2000yen at those places.

              To me, really cheap sushi places are where the lunch set is more like ~1000yen. Chances are, those places still taste pretty good. I think in Japan, cheaper places may not have the quality "neta", but the sushi still comes out tasting good because they make the rice right. But when you talk about places like Fukusuke, the neta is very high-quality and the result is better sushi than just about anything in the States.

              I grant you that I have never been to any sushi place where the lunch set is up in the 5000-7000 yen range. So I don't know that world of ultra-pricey sushi, and so maybe I don't know what I'm missing. I'm just saying that 2000-3000yen lunch nigiri set is not considered cheap in Japan and, for that price, you'll get some outstanding sushi's.

              1. re: chowmouse

                Yes, they're fine and much better than abroad, as you say. The drop-off in quality in comparison to the top places is still immense though. Then again, I have lived here for many years and eaten a lot of sushi, so I have had a chance to compare and learn about the same type of fish from different sushi places, and maybe the difference in quality would seem less pronounced if I were visiting for the first time from abroad.

                Having said that, my wife's sister has had decent sushi of the 2000 yen variety on previous visits to Japan and loved them, but when we took her to Daisan Harumi for the first time she had tears in her eyes and thought it was a completely different ball game.