English Reviews (Reviews Total Language : 20 reviews)
“25-year vintage anyone?”
While there are many types of shigoto, stewing may be the test of a sushi skill. Stewing—what a strange concept it must be to the raw sushi foodies, yet nimono (stewed ingredients) is a traditional method of preparing sea eel, clam, squid, octopus and scallop and also kanpyo—the dried gourd strip. W...ithin the genre of nimono, sea eel and clam are special and differ from the rest because each ingredient is first boiled, then taken out to rest, while the resulting broth is added to tsume. Tsume is a gravy, to which the slippery sweetness of each sea eel or the briny umami of each clam has been added, and then it is boiled and reduced over days and months and years, into a dark, thick and savory caramel. Tsume is the crown jewel, the heirloom, the essence of a sushi restaurant. The joy of dining at shinise—restaurants with heritage—is to taste their vintage tsume. No doubt it is important to source good sea eels and clams, from Tsukiji or Toyosu or better yet, directly from the source, but it is crucial to get the tsume right: right—not because it is rich and heavy, but right for the right reason—so that it is the right match for the acidity of their rice, right for the silkiness of their sea eel or chewiness of their clam since each sushi restaurant has its way of texturing their sea eel and seasoning their clam: steaming vs. boiling, grilling vs. charring and gas fire vs. coal fire. At Sushi Isshin in Asakusa, for example, the sea eel is boiled, then cooled in its broth. Before serving, each piece of sea eel is wrapped in green sasa bamboo leaf, them grilled over charcoal fire and then shaped into a nigiri. Dabbed on top of the sea eel, would be a dollop of Isshin’s 25-year tsume. Just imagine how many spirits of sea eels have gone into their tsume over the last 25 years, with yours adding another layer of depth. As for clams, Isshin first boils them then steeps them in a broth, fortified with sake, soy sauce and mirin for 24 hours. The next day, the clams are drained, and the broth is added into the clam tsume—another 25-year vintage. As a matter of fact, Isshin has a 25-year vintage for squid and for octopus as well, which are best savored as is without the rice. Isshin’s octopus is another example of classical cooking: the octopus is boiled in a broth of coarse Japanese tea and azuki beans because they both fortify the depth of color and, of course, the flavor of the octopus so that the sweetness would linger longer and the mild flavor deeper. Although belonging to the same cephalopoda family, Isshin’s squid gets a different treatment. A small squid is stewed in its entirety, then charcoal-grilled right in front of the diners. The charred small ears are then meticulously cut off so the burned bitterness will not mar the sweetness of the squid tsume. Indeed, the squid tsume is surprisingly light and fresh, not too sweet or salty, but with a long caramel finish. And, should you be so fortunate, you get the squid with eggs—a jelly-like delicacy.
Visited August 2018
“Cozy place with super fresh sushi”
Loved the small restaurant where all the guest can watch the chefs prepare the food. There was no wine on the menu, but just ask for it. Would love to go again.
Visited February 2018
“Shocked that this place has a Michelin star”
We arrive a 7pm and order the standard menu with 5 starters and 10 sushi. The starters are nice but nothing extraordinary. The big problem is the sushi. Apparently this restaurant waits until all guests have arrived until they start making sushi. By 8.30pm they finally start cutting the fish for the... sushi. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean they start making the sushi. They just leave the fish there on a plate to sit until they are ready. When they still don’t even start making sushi by 9pm and we tell them we will pay and leave, since we have no interest eating the fish that has been lying there forever, there only response is that the food is Japanese style and we don’t understand it (fyi, we have been to Japan 20+ times and have eaten in the best places, none of the good sushi bars is like this).
Visited February 2018
“Hidden Gem - value Sushi ”
I be back. Been to many sushi joints all over Japan and always looking for newer places to venture. You will soon realise that most restaurants in Tokyo (example just had dinner @ sushi Iwa @ 55,000y) have increased their prices as more tourists travel the distance to dine at Michelin star restau...rants. This place is a hidden gem and jolly good at the price point for Omakase dinner 35,000y for 2 persons (no Uni serve). If you have only limited choices/budget and coming to Japan for your first time n looking for more affordable Michelin sushi, this is the place. Some very interesting varieties like oysters and fish liver wrap. But be warned no English spoken but there is a simple English set menu and friendly chefs. The Chefs even allowed a small child (5yr old) of a Japanese couple into the restaurant and a western couple to share their meal. Mind you, this is only a 10 seater counter and every seat is ‘money’ if the chefs were money minded. Easiest way to find the restaurant is to take a taxi (550y) from Asakusa station or about 1km walk. Will definitely come back unless they decide to revise their pricing.
Visited October 2017
“Authentic Edo era style Sushi in Asakusa”
Edo style sushi is a little bit different from current sushi. Today sushi is cooked with fresh fish and vinegared rice, but Edo sushi is held with rice mixed with red vinegar and processed fish. Here you can eat genuine Edo sushi. All sushi was cooked very carefully and I ate those Sushi then I've f...ound new discoveries. The chef was very kind, so I really enjoyed the pleasant dinner time. This is a wonderful sushi restaurant.
Visited February 2017