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BIG Tokyo eating trip--SOS!

My husband and I have a trip to Tokyo planned for March--celebrating a big bday...we are planning on eating and drinking our way through the city again (we were there 4 years ago). So far we have dinners booked at Mizutani, Sawada, Kanasaka, Harutaka and Yoshitake. Saito was booked and apparantly Araki is closed :(((?? Has anyone heard more about that?
We are looking for an awesome Izakaya for Sunday night--as most sushi restaurants are closed on Sundays? I don't eat meat :) but I am a freak for fish. And we would love to hear any recommendations fellow food freaks might have.
Also any thoughts on Kondo vs Rakutei for tempura?
Also we LOVE soba--any thoughts on lunch recommendations?
I know we need to book all of these ASAP!

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  1. do you mean eating these 5 Sushis within a short period of time ? Happily, we do not live in antique Rome ...  such sushi feast sounds too much (and too expensive) for a short stay. I rather recommend you to try at most 2-3 in a week, to fully appreciate each... How long are you staying ? Sushi Araki is closed, and moved to London, as it is impossible to import raw fish, so that is quite a challenge.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ninisix

      A small precision on my recommendation to not go more than 2/3 times per week: I actually did eat at each these sushi yasan, they are more copious than your average sushi,  with their 8-10 nigiri...  Remember that the cancelation policy is full payment if canceled on the day, and half if the previous day... Why not reserve at 3 of them, and free your lunches for more "smaller" sushi (or alternative food) ?  And for other dinners, you can have an alternative like udon (dashi base soup), Izakaya, nabe(hot pot)... 

      1. re: Ninisix

        Thank you for your feedback! Yes we are gluttons :) especially since this is a big celebration. But we would love to try some different kinds of food--as I was saying we are going for tempura at least once (any preference--rakutei vs kondo?) and we are going for soba--any recommendations?
        But we really want to try out some of the great izakayas--it is so hard to figure out which ones to hit? We want very local style with great sake. Do you have any favorites?
        Thank you so very much for replying!

        1. re: kaijuqueen

          Waouh, that will be very interesting to have your opinion on these sushi after your tour, especially your preference. 
          For Soba, I prefer Hosokawa in Ryogoku, that is open on Sunday. I just heard that he found an assistant and will begin to serve Tempura, again, soon. Chef Hosokawa learned tempura from Kondo. I never went to Kondo or Rakutei, so I can't give you my opinion on these. Recently, I took interest in tempura Hayashi that was recommended to me by 2 different persons.
          If you want a popular Izakaya with good raw fish from the settonankai, roast head, aji fry, try Matsuwa in Kyobashi. If you want more upscale, I will say Shinsuke, but if they don't accept reservations on the first floor, don't insist and go to another one like Marunouchi Hibiki

          1. re: Ninisix

            Thank you so much! This is very very helpful. We have also heard many things about Nakamura? Is it very touristy?

            1. re: kaijuqueen

              The Izakaya Nakamura, yes, it has been recommended by the board, and other blogs. It is likely a good place to introduce to visitors, as you can expect menu help in English. Now I didn't try by myself. It sounds to me like a kind of "new" Izakaya, a bit far from the traditional colors salarymen thing..

              1. re: Ninisix

                I agree that Nakamura is a far cry from the colourful atmosphere of a traditional izakaya, but owner Teiji Nakamura is a well respected figure in the restaurant community here, for his commitment to promoting regional food and sake. It's definitely a good entry point for visitors... and a much more elevated experience than gimicky tourist traps like Gonpachi.

                1. re: wekabeka

                  Thank you both! Sounds like this is a good place to book for english speakers :) If you have any other suggestions for our trip---food and/or drink we would be so grateful!

    2. For Tempura, I would highly recommend Seiju (Tsukiji). It opens on Sunday and the chef studied with Rakutei. Also Yokota (Minato), who serves tempura with curry powder is excellent. I have been to some very famous ones Mikawa Zezankyo, Rakutei, Kondo and exorbitant one 7 chome Kyobashi (31500yen) throughout the years, and taking all things into consideration, Seiju is my top pick while Yokota closely follows.

      Also, I would highly recommend Daigo 03-3431-0811, which serves shojin (Japanese vegeterian). It was a very memorable meal and you would be stunned by what the Japanese can do with their vegetables.

      For Kaiseki, I prefer those with a modern twist, DEN (03-3222-3978), Kohaku 03-5225-0807 are as close as you could get to perfection. Do advise the restaurants that you dont eat meat. They certianly catered to my little eccentricities, I am sure they can accomodate your no meat preference.

      If my preference is anything to go by, I would urge you to try at least one of the many superb French restaurants in Tokyo. French cooking using local produce has never failed to surprise. I recently went to Esquisse and Edition Shimomura and was just blown away.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CWFOODIE

        Fantastic! Thank you so much! So we had booked rakutei and kondo-should we cancel both and book one of your suggestions? or is we keep one which would you suggest?
        thank you for the other suggestions as well--yes, the japanese are AMAZING with vegetables, another reason why I love the food so much.
        I think we are going to steer clear of french food this trip...we have made many trips to france, that is a whole other level of gluttony :)! This is strictly a trip for eating and drinking Japanese style :) although we may make exceptions for macarons or other french desserts!