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May 29, 2014 06:10 PM

High-end vegetarian sushi in Tokyo?

Hi all,

Does anyone know of a high-quality sushi restaurant in Tokyo that does a vegetarian omakase?

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  1. Sushi at high-end sushi restaurants is all about the fish, so there's no place that serves a prix-fixe vegetarian menu. There are a few places in town that have vegetable sushi though. (Sorry, I don't know if it's all vegetarian or not.)

    Nagamine in Ginza does a full-on vegetable kaiseki menu, including a nigiri course, and I think they can make it vegetarian if you request that in advance.

    Aoki in Ginza employs a vegetable sommelier, and they offer a five-piece vegetable nigiri plate as well as a good selection of vegetable small-plate dishes.

    Potager Marche in Naka-Meguro does a ten-piece vegetable sushi selection for around Y1300, in a convenient take-out tray, although I think you can also eat it in the shop. (They used to have a fancy restaurant in Roppongi Hills, and this is basically the same as the Y2000 lunch they used to serve in the restaurant.)

    Potager Marche:

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robb S

      Yeah, I'm assuming that it would be a fairly rare thing to see specific catering to vegetarians. :) Aoki in Ginza I hadn't heard about, will definitely investigate. Nagamine I'm excited about but I heard they use dashi -- I'll contact them and see if that can be avoided. I was devastated that Sushi Potager closed, so I'm overjoyed to hear that you can get the same sushi in their Nakameguro shop! Really excellent suggestions here, I deeply appreciate it.

      1. re: Televangelist

        Years ago in the Keio Dept. Store in Shinjuku there was a vegetable sushi place that had slices of (mostly cooked) vegetables used as "beta" over pieces of nigiri sushi. I was expecting the place to be popular, but it closed within about two years. Since sushi is so much about the fish, if you take that aspect away there is little for people to be interested in.

        1. re: Tripeler

          Sorry! I notice my "n-e-t-a" has been spell corrected to "beta". I meant to say that the vegetables were cut to replace slices of fish normally found on nigiri sushi.

          1. re: Tripeler

            I've eaten vegan salmon sashimi. I wouldn't recommend it.

            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              WOW, was the salmon made from vegetable matter? Curious as to what it was exactly. I have had "konnyaku sashimi" made from devil's tongue root, and it is pretty tasty, but no substitute for real fish.

      2. Potager for vegetable cakes or vegetable sushi, well, I pass! But, as I've done some search in the net, sushi Horikawa, 20mn from Shinjuku by Odakyu line, does have a vegan menu made with fresh vegetables, like grilled bamboo, wakanegi,.. this sushi seems to be very local, pap an ma'style, likely not very confortable! The chef serves also fish, and mixes fish engawa with for exemple tomato. I will have to try this new variation, it got me curious ! Ask your hotel if you're interested, ask specifally for vegan set omakase nigiri !

        9 Replies
        1. re: Ninisix

          That sounds really interesting. I had some nice tomato sushi last month at a place in Iruma (Saitama) - chopped-up baby tomatoes with basil and olive oil in a gunkan wrap. (They had other vegetable varieties as well, but probably not enough to make a full meal out of.)

          I noticed that there were a few other places serving vegetable sushi besides the ones I've been to myself - I will look forward to hearing about them!

          1. re: Robb S

            Olive oil, hum... but fresh tomato, yes, it might work well. Actually, tomato juice might be used as a spice ! Recently I ate some flavored sushi. Even in Tokyo, there are some adaptations like daikon lemon kamasu nigiri, or yuzu kosho kohada, sakura ebi nigiri. But that was still in fish grounded sushi yasan, to work with drinking sake - genshu sake in fact.

          2. re: Ninisix

            The reality is much better than "20 minutes from Shinjuku"... it's a 10 minute walk from Shimokita station!!! That's where I stay every time I'm in town, so I'll definitely be checking out Horikawa. :) Thank you so much.

            1. re: Televangelist

              If you go there before me, please report, this sushi is in fact close to Shimokitazawa,

              1. re: Ninisix

                I'll be there in August and I'll let you know. :) Please tell me... it sounds like you had a bad experience at Potager? Is their stuff not so high quality?

                1. re: Televangelist

                  I once went to her sushi in Roppongi, but all I can now remember is some vegetable ara soup as being good. Well, it was surely fun as an experience to see carrot mousse with the image of uni, but it was more confectionery than sushi !
                  I had some very very good 'fuki no to' maki at sushi Iwa for exemple, or 'tsukemono' nigiri on a summer menu in some mid range sushi yasan. But in these 2 exemples, nigiri was not shaped cold, and the core of sushi, ingredient well pronounced combined with personality of the neta, was well respected.

                  1. re: Televangelist

                    I thought the food at Potager in Roppongi was very creative and inventive, and lots of fun. Also quite tasty, all prepared with top-quality vegetables.

                    There was a big chunk of gobo that had been infused with ume flavor after soaking overnight, some carrot mousse that was wrapped up to look like uni, a big chunk of very flavorful leek, and a small tomato stuffed with rice salad. I think the ingredients changed seasonally.

                    Of course it would be silly to judge the food as sushi (just as you wouldn't judge a tofu burger according to the standards of a beef burger) And the new location in Naka-Meguro certainly isn't a fine-dining destination - just a little table in the corner of a retail shop. But as far as fun, novelty foods go, I think it's worth a try.

                    1. re: Robb S

                      Would you say the versions of the Potager food they're now making at the Nakameguro location use roughly the same quality ingredients/care? I don't need find-dining, really, so long as it's tasty. :)

                      1. re: Televangelist

                        I didn't notice any difference in terms of flavor or quality of ingredients, just presentation (prepared in advance and sold in a take-out tray vs. assembled in front of you). Also, the service in the Potager restaurant was very polite, while that in the shop wasn't.