Having since dined at the Mecca of sushi, well at least as close as I can get with Sushi Jiro at Roppongi, I wonder if I had actually peaked too soon. I’m sure there must be life after Sushi Jiro (Read my review). With that in mind, I ventured into Ginza for one of Sukiyabashi Jiro’s disciples’ sushi-ya, which is well respected by chefs and local favourite according to Luxeat and Tabelog (Read Here), Sushi Harutaka. This place also has two Michelin stars.
This is probably one of my favourite places in the world.
It’s not just because of the incredible sushi, with the seafood personally picked by the chef in the morning at Tsukiji market. But it’s also the vibe of the place, which makes you feel welcomed. You’re able to strike up a conversation with the other diners, make new friends, and have a bloody good time whilst eating one of the best sushis in Tokyo, and arguably, in the world. This is quite a contrast against Sushi Jiro, which felt like a religious experience equivalent to entering the holiest of temples whilst requiring to observe a strict decorum.
But yes, let’s talk about the food. I was blitzed with amazing sushi after amazing sushi, and completed the meal within 1 hour 15 minutes. Some of the sushis were quite novel to me, and I’ll attempt to describe some of my favourites.
First off, was one of my personal favourites of Akami, or lean Tuna. Although Otoro and Chutoro are the perennial favourites with its fattiness, I still prefer the complexity of the leaner Akami. Lean but packed with flavour and texture, which was well balanced with the rice and the vinegar. Right off the bat, I noticed that the acidity from the rice vinegar was slightly less intense than at Sushi Jiro Roppongi.
I must say, the Otoro here was better than the one I had at Sushi Jiro Roppongi. It was luscious and simply melted into my mouth. And just to note, not in my hands.
Next, we had the Kohada, or Gizzard Shad sushi. To my relatively untrained palate, I would have thunk it was some form of Mackerel. Another lovely sushi, I must say.
Another interesting one was the Akagai, or Arc Shell sushi, which had a pleasantly chewy texture to it.
The next sushi course was Katsuo or Bonito, which had a much stronger flavour, but overall very delicious.
A sushi course isn’t complete without having Uni, or Sea Urchin. It was delicious and creamy, but frankly was not in your face fresh as the version I had at Sushi Jiro Roppongi. Good but not great.
The Anago, or salt water eel sushi, was also brilliantly rich and well balanced with the vinegar in the rice.
And as always, we conclude the meal with a well made tamagoyaki. Sweeter than I would have liked it, but still a really good offering.
What better way to cap off my Tokyo sojourn but with brilliant sushi. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, and the sushi was very, very good. If I had to nitpick, the flavours at Jiro’s were probably a bit more refined and precise e.g. Uni and Akami to name a few. But the Otoro and Chutoro I had here were unparalleled thus far. The price tag came up to approximately 25,000 yen inclusive of beer and sake, which was cheaper than Sushi Jiro Roppongi.
I would highly recommend this place if you want to have excellent sushi at a sushi-ya which is welcoming and without any pretense. If it says anything, I’ll definitely be returning here the next time I’m back in Tokyo, which will probably be realllly soon. Must be my post holiday withdrawal syndrome speaking, but heck, I’m truly in love with Japan.
Location: 3F, Ginza Kawabata Bldg, 8-5-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. +81(03)3573-1144. Website.