December 27, 2015

Another import from Ginza

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Someone wanted sushi today.  On Sunday.  When the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo won't open because the fish market isn't open.  Sigh.  But when a suggestion was made to eat somewhere in Harbour City, I remembered that Sushi Tokami (鮨とかみ), with a Michelin star in Ginza - had opened up a branch there not long ago.  So we called and got ourselves seats.

The restaurant is hidden away in a "back alley" within Ocean Centre, just behind Louis Vuitton.  We had to consult a map to pinpoint its location.  And like a traditional sushiya, the entrance is pretty discreet and low key.

Once inside, we were seated at the larger of the two L-shaped counters - which seat 10 and 8, respectively.  There didn't seem to be much lunch business on this particular Sunday.  We chose 12 pieces (12貫), the smallest of the three set lunch options.  And we made sure to tell Chef Taga Satoshi (多賀智史) that we didn't want any kind of tuna whatsoever - even the roll (巻き) at the end.  He seemed a little taken aback, but accommodated our wishes.

Octopus (蛸) - simmered in soy sauce, the texture is very, very tender.  Served cold so that there was a ring of jello of the soy-based sauce still attached.  Served with a chunk of konjak (蒟蒻).  Very nice.

Halibut (鰈) - the texture was pretty firm and springy, with plenty of bite.

Golden cuttlefish (すみいか) - texture was very firm, and served with a dab of lime juice and a sprinkle of bamboo charcoal salt (竹炭塩).

Mackerel (鯖) - always one of my favorites.  This was simple and straightforward.

Halfbeak (さより) - served with a dab of ginger and a dab of asatsuki (浅葱).

Baby seabream (春子鯛) - this was very, very nice.  Very tender and succulent.  Would have loved to have a few more pieces of this.

Japanese tiger prawn (くるまえび) - this was nice and warm, very soft and tender.

Thread-sail filefish (皮剥) - shredded and served with a sauce made from filefish liver, which was nice and creamy.  Absolutely delicious.

Salmon roe (イクラ) - very lightly-seasoned.

Surf clam (北寄貝) - lightly cooked and very tender.

Yellowtail (鰤) - it's winter time and yellowtails are fatter, much more delicious.  Very soft and silky in the mouth.

Clam (はまぐり) - slightly overdone and chewy.

Conger eel (穴子)

Rosy seabass roll (喉黒巻き) - happy to have gotten this in place of the usual tuna.  Much more interesting and delicious.

Egg (卵) - kinda midway between the cheap version and the very fine, castella (カステラ)-like versions found at my favorite sushi restaurants.  This was OK.

I normally wouldn't bother to take note of the miso soup, or even drink it.  But this was different.  They've made an egg drop version, and both the presence of the egg and the use of milder miso made this something I was happy to drink down.

I thought this was a very good meal.  Ever since my first trip to visit Grandpa Jiro, I have grown accustomed to sushi made with a bigger dose of vinegar - with a sharper, more acidic flavor profile.  I also liked the fact that the rice was still warm, and the grains were a little hard.  Basically, this was kinda similar to what you'd get at Jiro... and I really dig that.

This wouldn't be the cheapest sushi lunch set you'll find in town, since it's located in a shopping mall with high rental costs, but I wouldn't deem it expensive, either.  One does get one's money's worth - both in terms of quantity and quality.  Probably worthwhile to come back and check out what they can do for dinner.

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