Although I appreciate austere atmospheres and minimalist cuisine, sometimes it is good to have a truly opulent meal. Sushi Sho Masa provided what I would call a sushi feast.
This is the sushi restaurant I would most recommend for a first time in Tokyo. The chef has a perfect balance between a quiet pursuit of perfection and an ultra approachable and helpful attitude. With only a small counter (half the size of the original Sushi Sho), the service could not be better or more attentive. The quality of the fish was excellent. They were happy to tell me how they marinated each fish, for how long, and show me a picture of the fish in a book.
I had more than 55 dishes... Like I said, it is a feast.
They alternate between sushi and sashimi, and I found the chef dedicated, transparent and friendly. It is good that they are not in the Michelin guide. You may also look for the original Sushi Sho and Sushi Sho Saito.
Sushi Sho Masa inspired me to learn more about all the different fish and the ways to prepare them. I suggest the book Sushi (2012, ISBN 4756241344). For example, this is what the book says about uni:
“Uni from the Sea of Japan are best in summer, while those harvested of the east coast of Hokkaido peak from late autumn to the end of spring. Identifying the tastiest specimens is especially tricky with sea urchin. Freshness, form, color and appearance offer no clue; flavor is all. The short-spined sea urchin is yellowish-brown, fine-grained, and comes apart easily, but is rich and sweet with a slight salty tang. The northern sea urchin meanwhile is yellowish-brown and coarser, firmer fleshed than the red sea urchin, and more attractive, but not as sweet. Uni, seaweed and soy sauce make an outstanding combo, further improved by a generous garnish of wasabi”.
Do you know the difference between sumi-ika (golden cuttlefish), yari-ika (spear squid), aori-ika (bigfin reef squid), mongo-ika (cuttlefish) and shin-ika (young cuttlefish)?
What about different types of tuna? "We have four species of tuna. There is yellow fin tuna, followed by the bigeye tuna, which is lean tuna, but which has a good, bright red colour and is found all around the world. Then there’s the south bluefin tuna, which lives in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. And lastly, there is bluefin tuna, which is the best tuna. Bluefin tuna can grow up to 2 metres in length, or sometimes 3m."
Reservations: ask your hotel concierge or visit Pocket Concierge.
The only true voyage of discovery would be not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.
Kyoaji, Matsukawa (revisited), Hakone, shodo, home cooking.
Making Restaurant Reservations in Tokyo
Cafe de l'Ambre
Sushi Sho Masa
Bear Pond Espresso
Park Hotel Tokyo
New Year in Kyoto
Quotes from Chefs
Quotes from Farmers
Quote from Zen monks
Kwon Sook Soo
Yau Yuen Siu Tsui