Can you imagine waking up at 5 am and stumbling into what just happens to be one of the two most famous sushi restaurants at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo? Yeah, I’d be speechless too.
The first time we were in Tokyo, we happened to stumble into the other famous one (purely by luck, we followed a well dressed couple that was walking purposefully within the fish market). This second time, our dumb luck led us to this one too. We had no idea where we were going, so we just sort of wandered til we found the alley that had the first sushi restaurant, and went into the one next door. No line! We went in, and the chef said omakase, so we just nodded and said ok.
This is a very tiny restaurant. Small bar that probably housed 15 max, minimal walking room, minimal seating. You’re basically rubbing shoulders with the folks next to you. Which is, in fact, how we found out this restaurant was so famous; as luck would have it, we were sitting next to two girls from SoCal, who mentioned this was one of two famous restaurants, with the other one being the one next door that we had previously eaten at. Wow. How random is that!
The food here wasn’t as stellar as the other famous one (have we gotten spoiled?). We had a lot of ‘filler’ pieces so to speak.
The octopus was meh. Chewy, not flavorful, I don’t know why they considered this an appropriate starter. The toro was good. I don’t like eating rice with my sushi (I prefer sashimi) so I didn’t bother eating the rice. The six piece rolls are actually 3 different types of rolls (roe, and spicy tuna, and other things). I didn’t eat the one with roe, but I tried the others (decent). I didn’t eat the uni, I traded for Kyung’s tamago. hah! The tamago was good =) I’ve seen a lot of tamago shops around the fish market, must be a regional speciality.
This is what I mean by filler pieces – ebi and unagi. They were delicious, don’t get me wrong, but not exactly high end.
Overall the place was solidly good, but the other place was a lot better I think. It probably also explains why the long was like 3 rows deep while we walked out of this one with only a handful of people in line.
Take the Oedo line (if you’re coming from Shinjuku) on the Tokyo Metro, and pop out at the Tsukiji exit *the name is slightly longer than Tsukiji, but if you ask anyone they can tell you. As soon as you pop out, go left, then turn left at the light into the warehouse area of the fish market. Walk until you see the small rows of shops, it’s about the third one from the warehouse area to the left.