Ginza Kyubey @ Tokyo

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Ginza Kyubey was founded in 1935 and is currently one of the best sushi restaurant in Japan. Helmed by Imaha Yosuke, 2nd generation owner and executive sushi chef, Kyubey serves only the finest seafood Japan can offer. No, you can’t order Salmon because any Japanese sushi masters worth their salt will not be seen serving salmon.

After you are ushered to the sushi counter, you can choose either Omakase (USD 150++) or a la carte. To save the trouble, we opted for the omakase that came with 12 pieces of assorted sushi.

One started with a quick tossed salad of seaweed and shredded daikon in a simple yuzu, soy sauce. This pretty much set the tone of things to come – unpretentious, rustic, solid pieces of sushi.

We started with Chutoro. Delicately brushed with a soy sauce that hinted a sweet dashi taste, the sushi was eaten with the fingers. The chef insisted that we used our fingers to eat the sushi. It was exactly one bite, well balanced and perfectly room temperature.

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Daikon slices

He then proceeded to serve their signature daikon slices with shiso leave and plum sauce filling, together with tamago.

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Amaebi fried

Then the amaebi returned, or at least the head and tail returned, deep friend in a very light batter.

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Hamaguri (Pacific Clam) soup

All washed down with a refreshing hamaguri soup instead of the traditional miso.

The dinner was unforgettable for two main reasons, who you ate with and what you have just eaten. The first provided great company for the evening, the latter provided topics and a common memory for a long time to come.

Reservations highly recommended.

Ginza Kyubey

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Chutoro (Fatty Tuna Belly)

We started with Chutoro. Delicately brushed with a soy sauce that hinted a sweet dashi taste, the sushi was eaten with the fingers. The chef insisted that we used our fingers to eat the sushi. It was exactly one bite, well balanced and perfectly room temperature.

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Hachibiki (Red Mackerel)

Next came a shiromi (white fish). Hachibiki was served with its skin on, incisions made on the skin to allow the sauce to be brushed into the reddish-white flesh. This fish available in season and was very rare outside of Japan. Good fatty texture despite being a white fish.

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Aori Ika (Bluefin Reef Squid)

Before this, I did not know so many different types of Ika (squids) are used as Sushi. Aori Ika was crunchy and did not have the slimy feel to those you get in Singapore. Served with salt.

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Kanpachi (Amberjack)

When you eat sushi, you think that you are eating the freshest fish. But with this Kanpachi, it was aged which made the flavour more intense. Lightly brushed with soy.

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Hokkaido Uni (Sea Urchin)

A trivial for you: Uni Gunkan was invented in Kyubey. The founder of Kyubey invented Gunkanmaki, which is now a staple in all sushi restaurants. Edible history here. Of course, the creamy, umami uni was always good.

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Awabi (Abalone)

Awabe is in season in summer. And it’s an expensive sushi ingredient and so we were presently surprised that it came with the Omakase. The awabe was served raw, with its skirting on. Brushed with a sweeter soy sauce, it had crunch and yet a soft, flavourful skirting that complemented very well with the otherwise light taste of the fresh.

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Akami Zuke (Tuna marinated in soy sauce)

This is the correct way to serve tuna on sushi. The tuna was marinated in soy sauce and then placed on the sushi shari (rice). And no, you will not be served salmon/sake as the fish in the wild can have a lot of worms. The chef said categorically.

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Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp)

We were presented with two live amaebi. These were quickly shelled and the ebi served on sushi.

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Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp)

As the name implied, the shrimp was sweet to taste. As it had just be deshelled, the flesh was firm and crunchy.

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Hatsu-Katsuo (First catch Bonito)

Hatsu-Katsuo is a lean fish available in spring. It is usually served with grated ginger and/or chopped scallions. This fish was caught off Tokyo Bay, probably costed more than it looked just because of it’s rarity.

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Maguro Aburi (Seared Tuna)

At first looked, I thought it was aburi waygu beef. But this being Tokyo and a traditional sushi restaurant, the chef explained that it was maguro. Imagined the embarassment I had in front of my guest.

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Anago (sea eel) served with nitsume (L) and sea salt (R)

Moving off red fish, we were coming to the end of the omakase, where the taste buds will be brought through more complex tastes. Anago was grilled to perfection and then served two ways on a sweet nitsune sauce and with a simple sprinkle of salt. Flavours onslaught to the palate.

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Tekka, Kappa Makis (Tuna, Cucumber rolls)

Classic end to the sushi. The nori was not mushy, signs of a really high standard sushi restaurant. The chef asked if we wanted to repeat anything or get more, signaling the end of the omakase run. Anything else will be a la carte from now.

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Daikon slices

He then proceeded to serve their signature daikon slices with shiso leave and plum sauce filling, together with tamago.

L2M-JP-KYU16
Amaebi fried

Then the amaebi returned, or at least the head and tail returned, deep friend in a very light batter.

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Hamaguri (Pacific Clam) soup

All washed down with a refreshing hamaguri soup instead of the traditional miso.

The dinner was unforgettable for two main reasons, who you ate with and what you have just eaten. The first provided great company for the evening, the latter provided a common memory for a long time to come.

Reservations highly recommended.

Ginza Kyubey
8 Chome-7-6 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Tel: +81 3-3571-6523
http://www.kyubey.jp

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