Any self profess sashimi lover should definitely make this pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Having been advised to experience the ‘live’ auction of tuna, HFB woke up at an ungodly 0430hr to prepare for the trip. Tai, or the Red Snapper was next – if it being one of HFB’s least favourite fish when it comes to sashimi, and he was bowed over by it – surely what else could go wrong eating at this place? Total: 16.5/20 You might also be interested in these posts:
Alas, the place was choke-full of visitors when HFB arrived at 0545hr and he missed the Fresh Tuna Auction – although he did end up witnessing the Frozen Tuna Auction proceedings from the designated area.
It was a pretty amusing sight (and sound) as the man from the auction house was making weird sounds akin to carrying a tune every time the licensed participants placed a bid.
Did HFB mention that the tunas were HUGE!
Took a quick walk around the "Inner Market", or Jonai Shijo.
And make a quick dash to the famous Sushi Dai, located at Block 6 of the Jogai Shijo or “Outer Market” – which consist of wholesalers and retail shops, amidst the sushi restaurants. At 0630hr, long queue emerged at the front of the restaurant and stretched all the way to the side of the block.
Eventually, HFB was seated after THREE *CENSORED* HOURS!!! Yes, you read it correctly – 3 very antagonising long hours, while watching the customers before you eating away in the coveted tiny area.
It was inevitable that HFB end up ordering the more expensive JPY3,900 ~ SGD60 11 + 1 Sushi Omakase Meal – truly the most expensive breakfast yet for HFB!
First up was the Tamago, which HFB believed to be a complimentary dish. It was served freshly warm, and the thickness of the egg was much fluffy and desirable – great appetiser to get the palate tinkered.
Talked about starting off with a BANG, the prized Otoro, or Fatty Tuna Belly was served first. This must be the freshest and most melt-in-the-mouth moment of HFB’s life when it comes to food – Hallelujah!
The Hirame, or Flounder was up next. With a squeezed of limejuice and quick rub of salt, the chef gave limited instructions on how to savour it – “No sauce”, he decreed i.e. no dipping of the sushi with the soy sauce/wasabi combination.
The zesty lime gave the fish an added dimension that sought to accentuate the freshness and sweetness of the fish.
The answer is “nothing” – so much so that even the other half who dislikes eating Uni, or Sea Urchin was won over by the sweet and fresh creaminess of it. It had the “taste of the sea” within and never had HFB tasted such quality, orgasmic, league-of-its-own sea urchin before. Without doubt, HFB arrived at the Gates of Heaven!
Mekajiki, or Kajiki-maguro, also known as Swordfish or Marlin, is often used as a substitute for Tuna. The marbling bite revealed the reason so, although of course it was not as fatty as the original tuna.
Miru-gai, or Giant Clam, also known as Geoduck, was simply stupendous! With a little squeezed of lime, the nerves of the clam were fully roused and it curled up its side indicating how fresh it was. Although HFB had eaten geoduck done sashimi-style in seafood restaurants locally and in Hong Kong before, somehow their version was just a notch higher.
The Magurozuke, or Marinated Tuna soaked some 30 minutes with Soy Sauce and Sake was also similarly tasty. HFB never really liked Maguro, but you can offer him this version anytime! Anyway, this was also to be enjoyed with “No sauce”.
Shiro-ebi, or White Baby Shrimp was served generously with plenty of them sitting on top the rice. The sweet juices permeated with every bite of it, although some might find it a little gluey.
Norimaki, or Cut Sushi Roll, which consisted of Sliced Squid with Cucumber and Tuna Roll, was probably the most boring dish served that morning. However, a quick pop into the mouth once again highlighted the melt-in-your-mouth experience with the Tuna.
Aji, or Horse Mackerel, is one of HFB’s favourite fish and he was delighted that it was served that day. Spring is one of the best times to consume this fish and it truly showed that day – delicious!
The chef deftly picked up the bones of the Anago, or Boiled Sea Eel, before serving and it revealed a soft texture that almost disintegrated the moment one took a bite. The sauce that was spread onto the eel also went really well with it.
For the final piece, the chef allowed diners to choose any sushi available in the restaurant. Being the calculative Singaporean that HFB is, the fatty tuna was the definite choice, although the uni and the miru-gai did provided some futile resistance.
And to make all the waiting worthwhile, HFB ordered a couple more ala-carte sushi, with the first being the Botan Ebi, or the “Peony” Large Prawn. Sweet was an understatement, coupled with the voluptuously thick flesh of the prawn, it had that added crunchy texture, and none of the gluey feel of the shiro-ebi.
Lastly, the Hotate, or Scallop to round up the meal – huge, thick, scrumptious and sweet – what’s not to love about it?
Even the complimentary Miso Soup came with chunks of fish, and was nothing short of excellent.
HFB could go on and on rambling about how wonderful the sushis were, but seriously, one really has to sample it to understand this spiritual journey – such completeness, such joy – parallel to entering the gates of Heaven!
Service: 2/5 (3 hours waiting time is a killer!)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Small, cosy and there was much interaction with the chef)
Price: 5/5 (Definitely money well spent!)
Tsukiji Fish Market
Chuo-ku (Building 6, 3rd from the right)
Tai, or the Red Snapper was next – if it being one of HFB’s least favourite fish when it comes to sashimi, and he was bowed over by it – surely what else could go wrong eating at this place?
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