Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sushi Suzuki, Tokyo (鮨 鈴木)

An up and coming new sushi restaurant has opened in Ginza - Sushi Suzuki (鮨 鈴木). I was informed by a leading sushi expert on a food forum that I should go pay Suzuki-san a visit. And so I obeyed, and was rewarded with a deeply satisfying sushi experience, so much so that I've already booked a return seat when I return to Tokyo in December!
Suzuki San
We started off with hirame, which had good flavour, a bit stronger than one would get from a usual hirame - a clean and flavourful piece. A good start, I thought. 8/10 
Hirame (Flounder)
Next up, I was served amadai, a fish that had a clean flavour, really sweet and delicate, with a great balance between the rice (shari) and the fish (neta). Lovely stuff. (8.25/10)

We were served with the tuna course next - the tuna (akami) was from Oma and aged for 10 days. This had a good flavour, a strong tuna flavour, accompanied by the shari which was in perfect balance. A great piece (8.5/10)
Akami (Lean Tuna)

As usual, the chu-toro was next. This chu-toro had great flavour, more oily, of course, but still with that iron taste that one gets with a good tuna. Pretty good as well. (8.75/10)
Chu-toro (medium fatty tuna)

 And lastly, the o-toro. This was great, very good flavour of fish oils, a strong rich taste of tuna fat. Yummy. (9/10)
Otoro (fatty tuna)

One of my favourite sushi courses is kohada (gizzard shard) and the one here at Suzuki was excellent: the neta was intensely flavourful and sweet, and well accompanied by the shari - again, a very balanced piece. (9/10) 
Kohada (gizzard shard)

Next up was sayori, a fish with just the right hint of sweetness from the fish, and again, a very balanced piece. (8/10)

A bowl of miso-soup came next: these were flavoured heavily with mushrooms, which are an interesting touch. 

I was then served akagai, which was very fresh, crunchy, sweet, with a slight metallic taste (in a good way). (8.25/10)

Ikura was next - these were not bad but rather delicate compared to those you'd find back home. (8/10) 
Ikura (salmon roe)

Next, we had bafun uni - intense and creamy, bafun uni was great. Powerful flavours. (8.5/10)
Bafun uni

Next up: shiro-ebi marinated in konbu and yuzu. This was rather interesting in taste, with the umami of the kombu and the refreshing flavours of yuzu. Nice. (8.5/10) 
Shiroebi marinated in konbu and yuzu

Next up was squid (ika), which was tender and having some depth of flavour. Normally squid is rather bland to my taste, but this was quite good. (8.25/10)

Kuruma ebi was next - these were good: very sweet, flavourful, and prawny. Probably not as prawny as the ones I had at Harutaka the day after though, but they were still good in their own right. These were served cold (unlike Harutaka which was warm), but they were still great. (8.5/10) 
Kuruma Ebi

Hamaguri was next: the taste was excellent, slight sweetness of the shellfish with good texture. (8.25/10)

Anago was done very well too: very soft, with a pleasant eel flavour. (8.25/10) 

 The penultimate dish of the afternoon was the tuna handroll - which was pretty delicious, consisting of a few cuts of tuna wrapped in seaweed and rice i.e. in a handroll. Pretty decent, though perhaps I would have added some nikiri for taste (I'm quite a fan of tuna marinated in nikiri). (8/10) 
Tuna hand roll

And one of the highlights was the tamago, which I thought was very well done. It was just sweet custard, with a lightly charred flavour which was exceptional - very nice. This was a standout tamago. (9/10)

Suzuki-san gladly obliged taking a photo with me - even draping the cloth so that the name of his restaurant could be displayed. And at Y8,000, it wasn't bad! I think he gave me some extra pieces though! Sushi Suzuki has been one of my best sushi experiences so far: it's the level of consistency that he brings to the table in that each piece of nigiri is very good; sure the tuna may not wow as much as Tokami's and the kuruma ebi may not be as brilliant as Harutaka's, but there's this consistency about Sushi Suzuki and the balance of flavours that he creates between the rice (shari) and the neta (fish) that is exceptional, rendering each piece a unified whole. I'd gladly put Sushi Suzuki back into my rotation of sushi restaurants when I come back to visit Tokyo. I hope it wouldn't be too hard to get a reservation in the future! (It'd be sad if this place becomes another Saito). 

The address is:
6-5-15 Ginza, Ginza Nogakudo Building, 5F Chuo 104-0061
Telephone: 03-5537-6868 (+81-3-5537-6868)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sushisei Honten, Tsukiji

I'm in Japan for work (don't be jelly, it is only once in a very long time) and I'm having a bit of free time, so I thought I should go to the Tsukiji market to check it out before it moves. 

I didn't have much time to queue for Daiwa and Dai, so in the end I ventured to Sushisei Honten which apparently has a very long history. 

It was between that, and a few other recommended places such as Sushi Kagura, Sushi Maru, and so on.

Sushisei is located the Tsukiji Outer Market (I realise I haven't been there! only been to the market where Sushi Dai is located). Thankfully there were seats even though I went at almost 11.30, close to lunch time. 

Ordered the omakase for Y3,500 before taxes. I had: chutoro, otoro, buri, hotate, iwashi, aji, botan ebi, kani, uni, ikura, and the small white needlefish. All were good, especially the chutoro (very flavourful) (I learnt that the tuna is from oma), iwashi, and especially the uni. the otoro was a bit sinewy, unfortunately.

Not bad!

There are other shops as well, especially one that my friend went to called "sushi ban wu" (that's the Chinese characters) - I'm wondering if any of you know the Japanese translation?