Same great sushi taste, much cheaper price

Same great sushi taste, much cheaper price

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Sushi these days can sometimes be associated with cheap fast food. Available at a family restaurants, convenient store and conveyor belt joints, it can be found for less than a dollar.


Located throughout the nation, many of you have likely had a chance to taste such cheap sushi.


On the other end of the sushi spectrum, many have likely not had the chance to check out a high-end restaurant – one that comes with a traditional bar and skilled chefs standing behind it as they craft each piece of sushi in front of you.


Since the traditional “edomae zushi”-style sushi was developed in Japan hundreds of years ago, it has been prepared in a strict manner with very specific ingredients. Usually, it is made from various raw, in-season fish, vinegar-flavored rice, seaweed and wasabi, and is eaten with soy sauce.


The traditional sushi dish has formed a core part of sophisticated Japanese cuisine.


Visiting this kind of restaurant may not be cheap – sometimes the best places can run more than $100 - but it is a good way to learn about Japanese cuisine.


Just a 10-minute walk from Hardy Barracks, and near New Sanno Hotel, Sushidokoro Kazama is known as a high-end, traditional sushi restaurant that celebrities have been known to frequent.


Fortunately, the shop drops its prices and offers a tasty lunch sets for very reasonable prices between 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.


If you are in the area, I’d suggest taking advantage of this opportunity like I recently did.


After entering through a curtain on the decent-looking Japanese restaurant façade, I found the interior to be spacious, clean and cozy. It consisted of a large wooden bar for 10 - 12 people and a couple of tables for four or six. I sat on the center of bar where I could watch the three chefs skillfully making sushi.


I ordered nigiri (hand shaped) sushi lunch set for 1,600 yen ($14).


I was impressed with skilled chefs who quickly hand-shaped my sushi in front of me. Ten hand-shaped pieces, including tuna (fatty and lean), squid, salmon, bonito, shrimp, scallop, mackerel, sea bream and egg, along with seven small sushi rolls were served in a flash.


The colorful sushi assorted on the wooden dish pleased the eyes, as well. According to a chef, they always get their seafood from the Tsukiji Fish Market every morning. So, they are very fresh and safe.


The sushi had a nice balance of the fish and rice, and the soy sauce made the fatty tuna’s profound flavor even richer and sweeter.


The set came with a salad, miso soup and a small can of beer.


Be sure to drop by this traditional Japanese restaurant to enjoy an authentic sushi lunch the next time you are in the Roppongi area. Or, if you want to feel like a celebrity, drop by for the more expensive dinner.


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