What's the popularity with Sushi Dai? I felt it was very good but not extraordinary to be worth waiting 2.5-4 hours for. I had to experience it for myself since I had all the time in the world to wait, despite Daiwa Sushi nearby with only 15 minutes wait!:( It's in every tour book and tv show and travel channel so I didn't want to miss out. The night before I had sushi at some randowm place on 40th floor of Ebisu Garden Place which was just as good for the same price yet better ambience and zero wait. The night after, I had sushi at Midori Sushi in Shibuya which my family agreed was cheaper and better. Am I the only one not getting it?
No, you're not the only one. Welcome to the "famous because it's famous" concept of dining. Glad you've come to your senses.
perhaps it's one of the better places at the market... maybe people just need to brag that they have eaten "fresh" sushi from fish sold that day at the market itself...
i guess many visitors don't realise that good sushi is everywhere in tokyo.
yes, this is a review that smells like early days, like a sweet visit to a too famous traditional farm !! These sushi-yasan were at first rather quick sushi stop, a worker's bite, not that 'slow' sushi chain they became !
Still, I found sushi-yasan at Ginza even cheaper than Tsukiji inside market at lunch, and just a 10mn walk from there ! So, i recommend to step outside the market, and try sushi sei Honten, open from 9;00 or walk to Ginza and try the 2250.-yens lunch at sushi Taichi (lunch set on week days).
We just went last week to both Dai and Daiwa on our trip. Regarding the line and quality, if you get there at 5AM to 6AM, the line is more like 30 minutes. I would imagine you can get comparable sushi for the same price elsewhere in Tokyo, but there is an allure of getting it right at the market and shopping/sightseeing afterwards. I thought the quality was very good, service was tourist friendly and you get to try a lot of different fish off the a la carte menu. Definitively a step above Daiwa. I would wait in line at Dai instead.
We think it's the idea of knowing the sushi pieces you're eating are from the freshest fish as they would've received stock shortly after the fish auction. That and the fact that the Tsukiji Market is now a giant tourist attraction brings a lot of tourists in the area that wouldn't mind checking it out. As a result, the more people that line up for the place, the more people want to check it out. Kinda like the whole mentality of "oh if a lot of people are lining up, it must be good!" I'm sure there are a lot of places that serve the same quality sushi for about the same price but unfortunately they don't get as much exposure as Sushi Dai. Hopefully chowhounders can spread some light on other restaurants that can provide great quality food at a valuable price :)
-- Skinnychopsticks from skinnychopsticks.com