I have not been to Jiro. Or any of the other famous sushi restaurants in Tokyo like Mizutani, Sushi Saito, Sushi Dai. It is just too difficult to get a reservation. Most of them accept reservations only one month before your intended visit and even if you do call up exactly one month before, my experience is that the restaurant is most likely to be fully booked.
So I was not terribly disappointed when my hotel’s guest relations officer wrote me an email to say that they were unable to get me a dinner reservation at Sushi Sho for the entire duration of my 6-day stay in Tokyo. I was just trying my luck. Like buying lottery. But I was surprised that the hotel managed to get us a lunch reservation at Sushi Sho, and asked if we were fine with their bara-chirashi lunch set, as that is the only thing that Sushi Sho serves at lunch. Of course we said yes! Sushi Sho makes only 20 sets of bara-chirashi a day.
Sushi Sho is located in Yotsuya, on a side street that is a short walk away from the Yotsuya station (on the Marunouchi line). The Zen-looking entrance to the restaurant looked rather intimidating. I was wondering if lunch was going to be an uncomfortably serious, stern, austere affair. I hear that some of the famous sushi places are like that. I have to remember to be on my best behavior.
At exactly 12.40pm, we opened the wooden sliding door and was warmly welcomed by one of the chef assistants. In contrast to the stillness outside the restaurant, it was quite noisy inside! Lots of laughter and banter between the chefs and guests. The place was full, and many guests (mostly elderly Japanese men and women) from the first seating were getting ready to leave. We were shown to our seats, at the end of a 10-seat counter. I took a quick photo from my seat (above), and that is the entire restaurant. It is tiny!
Many of the chef assistants could speak English so I could make some small talk with them while waiting for lunch to be served. They were quite friendly and chatty, and assured me that it was okay to take photographs in the restaurant.
This beautifully presented bowl of bara-chirashi was incredibly delicious, and it came with an equally delicious bowl of asari soup. This set cost us Yen 2,000 per person (approximately US$20). It is such a steal and worth every penny, given the high quality of ingredients. That’s only a little more then what Teppei charges for its takeaway bara-chirashi here in Singapore.
When I next visit Tokyo, I am definitely trying to get another lunch reservation at Sushi Sho.
Yorindo Building, 1F
1-11 Yotsuya Shinjuku-ku
Tel: +813 3351 6387