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Suishi Taichi & Manten Questions

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I've been living in Tokyo for about 6 months, and a friend is visiting from LA this summer. He's a sushi lover (as am I) and knows California sushi, but his idea of Tokyo sushi is Jiro (thanks to the film). In addition to the cost, I'm not sure Jiro is going to be the best choice given that he speaks almost no Japanese and mine is at the beginner level.

After some digging here and elsewhere, I thought Taichi sounded like the best choice for an accessible and friendly option that will still deliver immaculate quality with a personal omakase experience. I also thought Manten would be another option for excellent quality-price factor. My questions:

For Taichi, is the omakase experience going to be significantly better at dinner than lunch? Cost is a factor, but not a decisive one - he was willing to spring for Jiro after all. How difficult is it going to be to get a reservation at Taichi, both in general terms and as a beginner Japanese speaker? For Manten, is a reservation necessary?

Thanks in advance for your help. Any other recommendations would surely be appreciated.

Dan

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  1. I highly recommend you sushi Taichi at dinner, the omakase is from usually 15,000yens to 17,000yens, counter is small so you will have opportunity to have the chef attention.. The course is copious including a series of sashimi/otsumami of the season.. Many sushi-yasan serve the same fish as sashimi, not Taichi(first name), better to reserve one week in advance.
    Sushi Manten, the seating is very casual as it is located in a gallery, still if you want to have a second diner, booking last minute is possible the set is at 5250.-yens., hope you will enjoy both.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ninisix

      Thank you Nisinix - much appreciated. Is Taichi going to be able to handle a reservation with limited Japanese, or should I have a native make the call?

      Any other places you especially recommend that I might not be aware of?

      1. re: Deeg67

        In my opinion, if you can give your name, exact hour and leave your cell phone number it will be ok.

    2. Should also note - is the variety and quality of fish going to be significantly less in the summer than it would be during another season?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Deeg67

        Yes, some like the maguro, as it migrates to the south for reproduction. Still, I love sushi in summer, it is the season for 'aji', 'awabi', 'uni'(by jet from Hokkaido), .. not the full summer but June is the best 'torigai', 'hatsu katsuo',., in summer, I will recommend you to go to sushi Kimura if you are interested in white fish nigiri(no maguro)..
        After you will have sushi Iwa that is very good nigiris, and the menu at diner at around 16,000yens is 18nigiris+one maki..

        1. re: Ninisix

          Thanks again. If we're only going to splurge for one omakase in that price range (12000¥ and up) would you recommend Kimura, Iwa or Taichi? This will be in early August. I would say both of us have a pretty broad range of tastes in sushi - I love maguro but I don't need to have it to enjoy the meal. I'd also say that given that my friend will be here on his first trip, the experience itself is a major factor as well as the quality of the sushi.

          1. re: Deeg67

            In my opinion, you will enjoy more the friendly attention at Taichi. For nigiris lovers and connoisseur, I would say sushi Iwa. And for a summer like yours, I think sushi Kimura might be also a good one, and an opportunity for a nice walk if you don't already know Futago Tamagawa.
            More than everything, I insist that a sushi's quality is 30% due to its chef, the interactions that you will have with him, and in that sense, I think sushi Taichi is appropriate.. One point, important point, Taichi is difficult to find, so better print a map..

      2. If I might top this... I have a reservation for Taichi, looking forward to a fine evening of sushi. Can anyone offer any advice on dress - would something like business casual (chinos and a dress shirt, no tie) be considered acceptable?

        Also - does anyone have a link to a good map? I know it's a bit hard to find. Thanks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Deeg67

          Sushi Taichi address is Ginza 6-4-3 Asagi Bldg 2nd floor, and is located in a small alley parallel to the Sotobori av. Take the Sotobori Av. opposite side to Sony Bldg, the alley is after the Reiko shop between some ex. parking lots underconstruction and 2 buildings.
          Also, there is a police box on the Ginza crossing that provide free map of Ginza district in English.
          Classic casual will be alright(leather shoes, long pants, shirt, no need of a tie). Just avoid parfume.