Sushizanmai Honten すしざんまい 本店 is one of the remaining sushi joints in the once bustling Tsukiji market. And after the usual business hours of other restaurants, this 24-hour restaurant is one place to have quality fish after hours.
Kashimori (deluxe assorted raw fish platter)
The sashimi platter comes with kinmedai (alfonso), chutoro (medium fattu tuna), hotate (scallops), ikura (salmon roe), amaebi (sweet shrimp,) akagai (ark shell) and tamago (egg).
For a sushi chain, the sashimi is really good quality and fresh.
Sushizanmai deluxe with miso soup
The deluxe sushi platter came with 13 pieces of sushi – (top row) 1. maguro (tuna), 2. ishida (striped beakfish), 3. otoro (fatty tuna), 4. ika (squid), 5. akagai (ark shell), (second row) 6. hiramasa (yellowtail amberjack), 7. uni (sea urchin), 8. ikura (salmon roe), 9. tamago (egg), 10. komochi konbu 子持こぶ (herring roe on kelp), 11. menira 芽みら (chive buds), (third row) 12. anago (sea eel),13. shima ebi (grey prawn).
Komochi konbu 子持こぶ (herring roe on kelp) literraly means baby on kelp. Kazunoko 数の子 is a special new year day’s food for Japanese eaten for good luck. The texture is like popping candy, and taste is bland except from the vinegar and brine from processing the herring roe.
Menira 芽みら (chive buds) is Chinese leek flower buds and rarely used as a sushi ingredient.
Otoro (fatty tuna) is one of my favourite, but the cut was spine with veins. Well, it is a chain restaurant after all.
Fried small shrimps (crispy shrimps) is a great appetiser for supper, lightly salted and crispy.
I liked the way they have cut the cucumber into thin strips and wrapped with sesame, a departure from the traditional way of making kappo maki.
Sushizanmai is a chain restaurant with many branches around Japan. However it is a consistent performer of reasonable price yet quality sushi and sashimi. This is a 24 hours joint. You can come anytime of the day to enjoy high quality fish. This visit was at 1am, and yet the place was still packed with people.
This was where the dream started, the Honten 本店, right at the outer ring of the Tsukiji market. The market has since moved to Toyosu but some of the best sushi restaurants are still located at this outer ring.
And Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of Sushizanmai, did the crazy thing again with the first bluefin tuna auction of many firsts – first in the new Toyosu market after moving from Tsukiji and first in the era of Ryowa 令和. Of course a brand new auction record of a cool 333.6 million yen (USD 3 million) for a 612-pound (278-kilogram) bluefin tuna.
The auction prices are way above usual for bluefin tuna. The fish normally sells for up to $40 a pound ($88 a kilogram), but the price rises to over $200 a pound near the year’s end, especially for prized catches from Oma in northern Japan.
Save the Bluefin Tuna
The celebration surrounding the annual Pacific bluefin auction hides how deeply in trouble this species really is. Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and surging consumption here and overseas has led to overfishing of the species. Experts warn it faces possible extinction, with stocks of Pacific bluefin depleted by 96 percent from their pre-industrial levels.
There are signs of progress toward protecting the bluefin, and Japan and other governments have backed plans to rebuild Pacific bluefin stocks, with a target of 20 percent of historic levels by 2034.
So friend, in order for our generations to come has a chance to enjoy this delicacy, let’s make sure we protect the oceans and consume wisely. Else we will be pay those crazy prices for tuna in the future.
Sushizanmai Honten すしざんまい 本店
4 Chome-11-9 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Tel : +81 3-3541-1117
Date Visited : Jun 2019