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Reservations to 3 Star Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo and Sunday dinner recommendation?

echo19 May 8, 2013 09:32 AM

My wife and I will be visiting in June for 3 nights,and our hotel concierge tried calling Jiro Ginza and Sushi Saito for reservations on May 1. Both restaurants booked out the entire month in 1 day. However, we were able to get reservations to Sushi Mizutani when the hotel called a couple days later. Is Sushi Mizutani still considered a "good" sushi restaurant to go to? Or is it fading in popularity?

So far, we scored reservations to:
Aoyama Esaki (L)
RyuGin (D)
Sushi Mizutani (L)

and will also be checking out:
511 Kobe Kaiseki (D)
Sangoan (L)

Still need a Dinner recommendation for Sunday night, but a lot of the "good" restaurants are closed. Any recommendations?

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    Uncle Yabai RE: echo19 May 8, 2013 09:38 AM

    I think "fading in popularity" increases the "goodness" of many restaurants, especially those that people go to because they're on some damn list or another.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Yabai
      echo19 RE: Uncle Yabai May 8, 2013 10:02 AM

      Uncle Yabai: Have you been to Mizutani, if so what were your thoughts? Also, I hear that you are the expert in the Tokyo forum. Any suggestions for a Sunday dinner?

      1. re: Uncle Yabai
        wekabeka RE: Uncle Yabai May 8, 2013 09:32 PM

        Amen to that!
        I'm surprised to hear that all the 'good' restaurants are closed on Sunday... Especially as that is the one night of the week that I always dine out here in Tokyo! Hmmm, can elaborate on what a 'good' restaurant in Tokyo is?

      2. e
        edozanmai RE: echo19 May 8, 2013 10:34 PM

        I had a great tenpura dinner this past Sunday at Yamanoue Hotel's Midtown restaurant (http://www.tempura-yamanoue.jp/englis...).

        1. e
          echo19 RE: echo19 May 9, 2013 02:42 PM

          We decided to eat dinner on Sunday at Joël Robuchon. Suprisingly, there are lots of time slots open at the restaurant. I wonder why?

          1. p
            pvgirl RE: echo19 May 10, 2013 03:51 PM

            Sunday - Robuchon for French - Mikawa Z. for Tempura - perhaps others?

            FWIW - I would recommend buying a copy of the Michelin Guide (English last published in 2012). Perhaps everyone doesn't agree on this restaurant versus that one when it comes to the Michelin Guide - but it does give you lists of restaurants sorted by certain variables - including all restaurants open on Sunday.

            Note - in case you don't know - that Sushi Mizutani is cash only. Robyn

            1. sparkerly RE: echo19 May 12, 2013 12:36 AM

              Mizutani. is. damn. delicious.

              Their tamago blew me away, and even though I was stuffed ..I just had to have another order of that tamago. While I did that, everyone else at the counter was like "Me too!" "Us as well!" and ordered another of that amazing tamago.....

              I can still taste it right now...lol. Okay I probably said tamago way too many times, but the things I would do to have it right now. :(

              Anyway, I hope you won't be disappointed. Just don't bother with Jiro in Roppongi...

              21 Replies
              1. re: sparkerly
                echo19 RE: sparkerly May 12, 2013 02:46 PM

                Thanks for the info sparkerly. Luckily for me, I get to eat the tamago quite often since Jiro's senior apprentice now works in a sushi restaurant in Seattle.

                1. re: echo19
                  Ninisix RE: echo19 May 12, 2013 09:01 PM

                  oh that 's Daisuke ! Last year, when I had spent my birthday at Jiroo's, I heard he went to the US but didn't know where ! Jiro is very nice, and, contrary to what some people seemed to experience, I had fun at Jiroo, and had several good laughs; he was part of it.. really looved him. Personaly, I don't understand that review based only on omelet. Well yes, it is a good souffle like... But in my one and only experience at Mizutani, I found the shari not as impressive as Jiro, and shari is a quiet key factor. If Daisuke have same personal season rice, you'd better go to Harutaka(more juicy, more vinegar).

                  1. re: Ninisix
                    sparkerly RE: Ninisix May 12, 2013 11:04 PM

                    Hahaha, well of course I'm not just basing the overall experience at Mizutani on just the omelet! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try Jiro in Ginza...only his son's restaurant in Roppongi and that was a major disappointment. The one in Ginza is a totally different experience that I wish I was able to get a reservation to try, but oh well. If only I had a taste of Jiro's shari in Ginza :(

                    1. re: sparkerly
                      echo19 RE: sparkerly May 13, 2013 07:01 PM

                      Thanks for the info sparkerly. You've eased my mind about going to Mizutani. I still wish I could have gotten reservations to Jiro, but oh well.

                      1. re: sparkerly
                        Ninisix RE: sparkerly May 14, 2013 04:48 AM

                        Well even I can't book Jiro Ginza, I won't go for comparaison ! I am not like that !! I don't know if you have the info, the rice and the vinegar used at Jiro Roppongi is the same, I went twice, I will say one thing that is my opinion : even the ingredient are good, the craft have been well trained, experience, management is an important factor in my opinion.. The Jiro Ginza is very hard craft man work, severe sometimes as every one is considered equal, Jiro Roppongi is in love of his craft but too passionate like an artist he has done some irregularities..

                        1. re: Ninisix
                          sparkerly RE: Ninisix May 14, 2013 11:33 AM

                          Ah, I figured it might have been the same shari.
                          I guess I only went once so I shouldn't bother to judge nor give my opinion anyway :)

                      2. re: Ninisix
                        echo19 RE: Ninisix May 13, 2013 06:45 PM

                        Ninisix: do you know of any other way to get a reservation to Jiro? My hotel concierge failed me :(

                        1. re: echo19
                          Ninisix RE: echo19 May 14, 2013 04:47 AM

                          Yes, reservation at Jiro Ginza is close to impossible. If they are full, there is nothing you can do about it.
                          Yes, Daisuke-San was at the counter with Jiro-San and with Yoshikazu-San.

                          1. re: echo19
                            themiguel RE: echo19 May 14, 2013 07:36 AM

                            This obsession with going to Jiro over the many other incredible high-end sushi restos boggles my mind. Jiro is clearly, clearly uncomfortable with serving non-japanese clientele. He doesn't like doing it, foreigners who have secured a dinner/lunch often leave disappointed due to perceived animosity and no one is happy in the end.

                            I know the documentary and the michelin stars and the "exclusivity" of it make it sound so appealing, but at this price point and level of cuisine - Mizutani/Saito etc. are all going to mind-blowingly good. Why obsess over a restaurant that doesn't want you there?

                            1. re: themiguel
                              edozanmai RE: themiguel May 14, 2013 07:56 AM

                              Thanks for bringing up the issue of people obsessing over Michelin starred restaurants, especially sushi shops. There are plenty of great sushi places in Tokyo, the vast majority without any Michelin recommendations. And in case anyone was wondering about how objective the Michelin reviews are, the editor of the first Tokyo edition appears (uncredited) in the Jiro movie. This is not to say that Jiro is not a bad place, but just that people should keep an open mind and not be too obsessed with guide books.

                              1. re: edozanmai
                                babreu RE: edozanmai May 14, 2013 10:25 AM

                                Masuhiro Yamamoto is not the editor of the Michelin Guide. I even remember him criticising the book when it came out.

                                It also boggles my mind to see how people enjoy creating false stories about the Michelin Guide, like the famous "the chef denied a listing in the guide, because he's too good".

                                1. re: babreu
                                  themiguel RE: babreu May 14, 2013 11:17 AM

                                  I have no problem with the Michelin Guide itself. It is what it is: a resource that can provide direction when looking for high end dining. It is absolutely not for me, I find it's methodology and aesthetic old-fashioned and fussy, but I understand it can provide very valuable guidance for those seeking high end experiences in their own city or abroad.

                                  What alarms me is the "collecting stars" mentality - especially in a city like Tokyo where the starred restaurants are only scratching the surface of the true potential and joy of dining in that city.

                                  1. re: babreu
                                    echo19 RE: babreu May 14, 2013 11:34 AM

                                    From what I gather, when the Michelin Guide was first introduced to Japan, there was a lot of criticism. However, as the years progressed, the Michelin Guide, made changes and is now a respectable guide. As a foreigner who will be visiting Tokyo for 3 nights, I want to dine at the restaurants that are "worth a special journey," and I strongly believe that the Michelin Guide is the best guide to go by.

                                2. re: themiguel
                                  sparkerly RE: themiguel May 14, 2013 11:34 AM

                                  I wish I was able to snag a reservation at Saito, but it was unfortunately booked :(

                              2. re: Ninisix
                                echo19 RE: Ninisix May 13, 2013 06:59 PM

                                Also, this would be for lunch on Monday at 11:30am. Unfortunately Harutaka is not open for lunch. :(

                              3. re: echo19
                                echo19 RE: echo19 May 13, 2013 06:42 PM

                                Yup Daisuke-San. He's super friendly and fun to talk to. I asked him if he could call Jiro for me but he promised that he wouldn't do that once he moved to the US. Anyhow, I'm going to stick with Mizutani, since I only want to eat at the 3 Michelin star restaurants (I'm trying to collect as many stars as I can). Hopefully it will be good!

                                1. re: echo19
                                  od_sf RE: echo19 May 13, 2013 08:16 PM

                                  You only want to eat at 3 Michelin star restaurants in order to collect stars? That's a bit sad frankly. This short-sighted approach will prevent you from having some really wonderful meals in restaurants not reviews by Michelin. But to each their own I guess.

                                  1. re: od_sf
                                    echo19 RE: od_sf May 13, 2013 08:31 PM

                                    Obviously I'm not just eating at these restaurants for the stars. I am going to EAT and enjoy. Also if I'm traveling to a foreign country, what guide should I be using? Clearly, the Michelin guide is the most reputable, especially if cost is not an issue.

                                    1. re: echo19
                                      Uncle Yabai RE: echo19 May 13, 2013 10:51 PM

                                      In Japan, the Michelin guide is, ahem, controversial. And not exactly reputable.

                                2. re: echo19
                                  justxpete RE: echo19 Dec 25, 2013 11:53 PM

                                  This is amazing to read. Thanks for this.

                                  1. re: justxpete
                                    prasantrin RE: justxpete Dec 26, 2013 03:33 PM

                                    If you're referring to the location of Daisuke Nakazawa, he's in NYC now.

                              4. c
                                Chowchowuser RE: echo19 May 21, 2013 07:43 AM

                                You can try the Manten Sushi at Tokyo station on Sunday then. No menus there but Omakase set only. One of the best. Won't let you down.

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