I’d like to provide some explanation as to why sushi restaurants in Tokyo are adopting this practice. A note about the “tourist counter” concept: this is a concept that other sushiya have adopted as well (Iwa, for example, frequently groups foreigners together at their second counter). I've been doing my research on tabelog but I keep reading that most of these places do not take reservations for new or foreign customers. A pretty steep increase in price, since last year my lunch (which, to be fair, was nigiri-only) at the first counter with Arai-san was only ¥10,000! ... Sushi / Tokyo GOLD. Chef Arai is completely unwavering in his belief that the sushi master should visit the market every day to select the best ingredients. Sea urchin and bluefin tuna are the two delectable icons of the Sushi Takamitsu menu. We also have great sake that goes well with the food, and we will serve you with all our heart. This time shaped his more classic perspective on sushi. Tokyo Restaurants, Ginza The Sushi Geek January 09, 2018 Tokyo Restaurant, Ginza 6 … We strive to create a comfortable space for you to enjoy and relax. Newcomers and regulars alike love it, especially having a say in the line-up in their sushi course – a rarity in this age of omakase. Could anyone recommend a sushi restaurant that will accept my reservation? Newcomers and regulars alike love it, especially having a say in the line-up in their sushi course – a rarity in this age of omakase. CHIUnE Innovative/Fusion / Tokyo GOLD. Newcomers and regulars alike love it, especially having a say in the line-up in their sushi course – a rarity in this age of omakase. The lunchtime menu is all nigiri sushi chosen from the market-fresh fish selection displayed on wooden menu plates on the wall behind the chef. Sushi Arai is massively popular these days - not only with Tokyo residents but also with foreign visitors. ï¿¥4,000. Because the most important thing is that the customer goes home happy. There are 8 seats at the counter and 1 private room in the restaurant. Sugita is said to be one of the hardest sushi restaurants to make a reservation at. Fujioka Soba / Nagano SILVER. He opened his restaurant at the age of 32, and while that may sound young, he trained under other sushi masters for 15 years. Sushi Arai (鮨あらい) Sushi Arai is currently one of the hottest sushiya in Tokyo. Sushi Arai (along with Amamoto) is the new darling of Edomae Sushi in Tokyo. The article has been quite popular since then. Kyubey Ginza Honten, Ginza: See 874 unbiased reviews of Kyubey Ginza Honten, rated 4.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #7 of 3,661 restaurants in Ginza. If you plan way ahead of time and with the help of a hotel concierge, you might be able to book a reservation. Sushi Arai is in the basement of an office building called Ruan in the Ginza, accessible via a lift from street level. Here are the award winning stores for Gold of “The Tabelog Award 2020”. The award started in 2017 with a catch phrase “Let’s praise the great taste!”. I don't know what is doing ? © It was gifted to him to commemorate his restaurant opening, by the serious, classic Edomae sushi Chef Shimizu at Shimbashi Shimizu, whom Arai has long respected. twitter. Stepping into Sushi Arai, it feels brand new with the clean, crisp smell of Kiso Valley hinoki. The chef stands behind the beautiful unvarnished seven-seat hinoki counter under soft lighting, pleased with the authentic atmosphere he has achieved. I greatly enjoyed my lunch with Watanabe-san and would return for another lunch at the second counter without hesitation. Despite being one of the youngest sushi chefs in town, Chef Arai has already forged his own style. Sushi - Ginza, Tokyo. The small round plates with a sea bream design and different seasonal motifs of sakura, bamboo and pine are especially lovely. This is the annual restaurant award on the basis of evaluation by ordinary customers, not by industry experts. Actually the only sushi yasan in style close to Shimizu san that is accepting non Japanese speaking is sushi Arai, but now you need to be a regular to go there ! Cost: JPY 25,000, before drinks Size: <12 seats Reserved: About 5 weeks in advance Miyaha came recommended by a sushi chef whom I hold in high regard. Diverging from the more typical pattern of omakase where the sushi master determines all your sushi bites, Arai asks what and how you would like to eat. The talk of the town to start the year has been the opening of Sushi Namba's second location at the brand new Hibiya Midtown which opened in March of 2018. It should also be noted that foreign customers very frequently misbehave in sushi shops in Japan. It should be noted that the first counter with Arai-san is now almost exclusively reserved for regulars. How to reserve. Tucked away is an entirely private room that also seats seven people offering the perfect place to relax and deepen personal friendships or business relationships. 1. Sushi Namba has been a well-known sushi-ya in the Asagaya area for quite some time. The chain sushi restaurants (called kaiten sushi) in Tokyo such as Sushiro, Kurazushi, Hamazushi, Kappa Sushi, etc. facebook. While preparing my trip to Tokyo this spring, I couldn’t resist compiling the 50 best list once again. Therefore, if they have a capable chef on staff who is more fluent in English, and the space for a second counter, the idea to open a second counter starts to make a lot of sense. Arai Sushi / Tokyo GOLD. Sushi Ryusuke is already difficult to reserve.., so even I want to go back this is not easy. I wouldn’t say that the meal, priced at Y20,000, is a great deal, but I do feel that the pricing is fair considering the amount and quality of the food that is served. I’m happy to report that overall, the quality of the food at Arai's 2nd counter is very good. Sushiya Ichiyanagi, Ginza: See 31 unbiased reviews of Sushiya Ichiyanagi, rated 4 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #550 of 3,658 restaurants in Ginza. He built his skills over eight years at the Kyubey locations in the Hotel Okura and Keio Plaza Hotel. Here are the award winning stores for each award of “The Tabelog Award 2020”. Having gained his cooking license during high school, Arai began training at Kyubey immediately after graduating. All rights reserved. The chef-owner Arai-san has a strong background of working at the famous sushiya Kyube in Ginza as well as Sushi Sho in Yotsuya, no wonder it becomes a topic in town since it opened in late 2015. Also, only one option is offered to foreign tourists at lunch, a ¥20,000 lunch that includes both otsumami and nigiri. Tabelog has become the leading directory of restaurants in Japan, even launching its own awards in recent years. During my visit, I lunched along with two chefs from Australia, and the three of us had Chef Watanabe’s undivided attention for the duration of the meal. The recipe is as follows… Fry onion with Wagyu fat, add 35 g of sugar, 500 ml sake, 15 ml mirin and Shiitake mushroom. Other than these few issues, the food is outstanding. Aside from my usual Tokyo sushi spots like Harutaka, this time I was after sushi shops I’ve never been before. The colors and textures of the nigiri sushi, however, are best highlighted by the soft hinoki hues of the counter where Arai places them directly, one-by-one, just before you partake in them. If you dine in the evenings, you will be served a delicious array of sushi, and you can also enjoy tsumami of abalone, simmered fish or a luscious piece of monkfish liver topped with a traditional Japanese pickle called narazuke. are about $1.00 per plate — plus tax. It's a perennial Tabelog Tokyo top 20 (currently ranked as the 16th best sushi shop in Tokyo with a very respectable 4.25 score) and it is helmed by a legendary, 3rd generation sushi chef, Nazuo Nagayama, who is highly respected for his encyclopedic knowledge of sushi. I returned to Sushi Arai for a second visit on a recent trip to Tokyo, after having had a great lunch there last year. The fishmongers simply won’t sell the best products to individuals they don’t have a relationship with. I’ve received at least a dozen messages in the past few months from readers regarding Arai - … I’ve personally witnessed this many times. And yet there are touches that are throwbacks to sushi restaurants of old: a majestic ice box built into the rear wall and a row of handwritten wooden plates displaying the freshest fish each day. The shari really stands out, it is sharp and sour, and works really well with the neta. I was a little apprehensive about it, but it turned out to be an enjoyable (albeit expensive) lunch. (justonecookbook.com) In late-2016, Mizutani-san closed his shop. facebook. The second counter, which is manned by a young chef by the name of Watanabe-san, is very tiny and intimate, seating only five. The sushi-yasan there is 9th generation at his craft and rumored to be hanging up his knives in the near future. JP EN. And yet there are touches that are throwbacks to sushi restaurants of old: a majestic ice box built into the rear wall and a row of handwritten wooden plates displaying the freshest fish each day. 2020 Today, we’ll share the list of genuinely popular (and the most exclusive, I should say) Sushi restaurants in Tokyo among local Japanese people. Foreign customers are then able to fully enjoy the sushiya experience, chatting with a chef who can understand them. Octagonal dishes in beige with a brown rim or a burnt red-brown hue that highlights the creamy color and decorative knife cuts of the abalone. As your eyes browse the row of sea urchins, you can see how each variety is unique in color, size and texture. One of the important aspect of the sushi dining experience is the interaction between chef and customers. According to Tabelog, there are over 350 kaiten sushi restaurants around Tokyo. Now, it is time to present “The Tabelog Award 2020” Some notable changes since last September – Hatsunezushi climbed from 40th to 2nd place, while Miyakozushi’s Sugita Taka-aki has reopened in the new location and is 22nd best in Tokyo at the… BEST NEW ENTRY. Sushi Arai. Its chef is relatively young but is a rising star of the Tokyo sushi scene, and reservations are already nightmarish. Yuichi Arai is just 33 years old and originally from western Tokyo. A most enjoyable sushi experience right in the heart of Ginza, the atmosphere at Sushi Arai is friendly and comfortable, even if you are dining solo. Watanabe-san, who speaks English quite well, quickly warmed up to us and was funny and entertaining. So, how’s the experience? Sushi Arai 8-10-2 Ginza, Ruan Building B1F, Tokyo, https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13188186/. We hope you will fully enjoy our food without worrying about time. INGREDIENTS Yes, Yamane Ryusuke san & Arai san were at sushi Kyubei at the same period. JP EN. Sushi Take is a timeless sushi yasan, for this reason the concept is good : old size nigiri, good kohada, choice very limited to some of the classics, good knife work. Sushi - Ginza, Tokyo. Looking for something $300 and under. He was truly one of the most legendary sushi chefs in Japan, and his departure leaves a distinct void in this universe. As does the fact that this chef likes flexibility and welcomes customer input in a style called okonomi, or ‘as you like’. TABLEALL. ... Aji Arai Japanese Cuisine / Oita BRONZE. Note: No photos were taken during my meal at Sushi Mizutani, as they were prohibited at the time. The focus here is on nigiri sushi in which tasty fish and shellfish slices are gently pressed on to a bed of delicately-flavored rice made with akazu red vinegar. This person is intended to be a father figure, guiding the way for his apprentice. Sushi Sugita is a 1-Star Michelin restaurant in Tokyo run by Takaaki Sugita-san. Sushi Arai. It’s those kinds of details that make you feel really looked after. In Arai-san's case, it was more than 15 years of working in some of the most prestigious sushiya in Tokyo - Kyubey and later, Sushi Sho under Keiji Nakazawa (in fact, during my visits to Sushi Sho a few years ago, Arai-san was there at the counter). Aji Fukushima ... Sushi / Tokyo BRONZE. I’ve seen shocking behavior from foreign customers at counters of well-known shops (women doing their makeup at the counter, men playing games on cell phones and picking the rice off their nigiri... ) - no wonder then that a separate counter for foreigners becomes even more appealing under these circumstances. It has two small counters, the chef preparing the sushi in front of you as is traditional. His sushi is in the classic Edo Mae style, and is very well executed with great flavour. And the tough times there instilled in him the idea that young people should go through hard training to gain experience and maturity. Note: Since my visit to Hatsunezushi in mid-2015, the shop has exploded in popularity (you can blame some hyperbolic instagrammers for that) and is now quite difficult to book - supposedly, as of end-2016, all of 2017 is already booked for non-regulars! And a rich brown bowl just deep enough to hold the simmered fish, with a smooth edge perfect for sipping every last drop of the delicious dashi. This places stress on the chef, who not only feels that the foreign customer is being neglected, but also feels that it affects the experience for their regulars as well. Just like at the main counter, I found the nigiri to be delicious - bold shari that is strongly seasoned with a blend of komesu and akasu, and uniformly high quality neta. twitter. He is especially proud of the pot that has prize of place on the counter behind him. Despite being one of the youngest sushi chefs in town, Chef Arai has already forged his own style. Tokyo Restaurants, Ginza, Tabelog Tokyo Top 20 The Sushi Geek August 09, 2018 Tokyo Restaurants, Ginza, tabelog Tokyo top 20 4 Comments. You can check out my review of that experience here. I’ve posted already about the exellent Sushi-ya, which quality and chef’s skills wise reminded me greatly of the great Sushi Saito. Arai san, opened his sushi yasan at Ginza in following Shimizu san nigiri style, but now after his star is serving a lot of maguro. Sushi Matsumoto is located in Akasaka, Tokyo. Watanabe-san's nigiri molding technique is maybe not quite as refined as a top echelon chef like Arai-san (see images of nigiri below) - but this had a fairly negligible effect on the flavor of the sushi. Sushi Ichijo (sometimes also spelled Ichijou) is located near the Higashi Nihonbashi station, in the location that used to house Sugita-san's famous Miyakozushi restaurant. Also, I assume that the super-rare cuts of maguro (like senaka akami, a cut from the back of the tuna just under the dorsal fin) that Arai has recently become famous for are only served to Arai’s regulars at the main counter. The maguro I was served, from Aomori prefecture, was very good but not particularly memorable -  and it certainly was not a particularly rare or prized cut. So you will find Arai at Tsukiji Market early every morning building those relationships and ensuring the best products are served to his customers each day: golden yellow sea urchin roe (uni), glistening silver gizzard shad (kohada), saltwater eel (anago) two ways, and not forgetting the many parts of the tuna like maguro and chutaro, among many others. Nothing flashy, just genuinely delicious sushi. A sushi apprentice refers to the master as oyakata, which includes the characters for ‘parent’ and ‘the way’. Unlike my previous visit though, this time, I only managed to book a seat at the second counter - which I’ve dubbed “the tourist counter”. Chef ichjijo Satoshi-san took over the building after Sugita-san moved out, and opened his … Please enjoy Edomae sushi. And more importantly, how's the food? The tableware here has all been collected from Fukui Prefecture, each perfect for its role. All images and text copyright © 2015-2020 The Sushi Geek - All rights reserved. Wagyu sukiyaki rice by the chef-owner ofHannahDaisuke Shimoyama. interior. Last year, we shared an article on the highly-rated Yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo among local Japanese. If a chef doesn’t speak much English, it it very difficult for him or her to engage foreign customers in conversation in a meaningful way. The vibe definitely changes if half of the customers at the counter don’t speak Japanese. Indeed, this shop, owned and operated by Yuichi Arai-san, has only been around since October 2015, but in that short time it has earned a Michelin star and is now ranked as the #7 best sushiya in Tokyo on Tabelog, earning an impressive 4.45 ranking. Cost: JPY 31,000, before Saito, Sugita, Mitani, Sukiyabashi Jiro, Arai, Sushi Sho, Sawada, Kimura, Tokami etc. Create Account in OMAKASE (High-end Restaurant Reservation System) OMAKASE →Input of mail-address and password, then you can create new account. Stepping into Sushi Arai, it feels brand new with the clean, crisp smell of Kiso Valley hinoki. And for this reason the pieces are slightly larger than most – another indication of the chef’s leaning to a more classic style. Despite being one of the youngest sushi chefs in town, Chef Arai has already forged his own style. Foreigners, by all accounts, are only able to book the second counter. To these restaurants, the second counter exists not only to keep their regular Japanese customers happy, but also to improve the experience of foreign customers. One of the sushi restaurants that I had the pleasure of dining at is run by a relatively young chef, Yuichi Arai, who is a mere 33 years old and already has his first restaurant in Ginza, which was awarded One Michelin star and highly ranked on the Tabelog (Score: 4.41/5.0). In peak summer season, sea urchins appear as many as six times throughout the elaborate omakase meal, made up of 25 small dishes and nigiri. Omakase lunch course served by Sous chef at Sub counter, The price includes our booking fee of Below you’ll find a gallery of photos taken during my lunch at Arai’s second counter, with items shown in the order they were served. $(function(){ $(".info .more").on("click", function() { $(".info .gallery.hidden").fadeIn(); $(".info .more").hide(); }); }); As the chef at a sushi restaurant, Chef Arai wants you to feel like you really ate your fill of sushi. 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