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What’s it like eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro: Where “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was filmed?
Last year I was able to take an incredible trip around the world. After an wonderful safari in South Africa, Dave (my best bud) and I said farewell to my folks and headed east to our final stop, Tokyo. We used points to stay at the Ritz ( I loved the to-toilets) and I had seen the Netflix documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” in 2014 and told myself, ” YOU WILL GO THERE.” The doc features Tokyo restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro: the world’s first 3 michelin star sushi restaurant, and it’s owner Jiro Ono. It was quite a moment on the couch at midnight, lemme tell you. I couldn’t really believe we were going to do it!
Reservations can be made 30 days in advance. Sukiyabashi Jiro take calls on the 1st, in Japanese, and usually books the whole month within 24 hours. We landed reservations at the Roppongi Location.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? WE WERE ECSTATIC! We were very fortunate to get a reservation at the Roppongi location ( made by the Ritz Carlton Tokyo – they said it was the first they’ve been able to make). There are two locations that are mirror images of one another. The first, and original, is located in a subway station in Ginza. The second, where we were going, is located in a shopping complex in Roppongi. So what’s it like eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro: Where “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was filmed?
The exterior is simple and artful.
We ate at the sushi bar. Only 8 seats. Only 7 were filled. We were the only foreigners.
They have rules about photos. Take pics of the food and them, but not of the other guests. I like that rule.
The meal is quick. We started with some tea before moving to the bar and served Edamame.
There is no ordering here. You will get the Omakase ( in english: I’ll leave it to you.”) Takashi is the head chef at the Roppongi location which was given 2 Michelin stars, but both restaurants serve the same food. It is decided what you will have, the order, and how you will eat it. They have designed it to perfection. I loved it and learned A LOT.
Then we got into the good stuff. I believe this is squid.
There isn’t much English spoken at all. In fact, Takashi, didn’t speak to us much at all in English, but one of his sous chefs did. It was very educational. I learned that when eating nigiri ( fish placed on top of rice) that you should never dip in the soy sauce. I learned that one the hard way. I dipped. Then with grace and respect I was stopped and told never to do that again. Instead, I was to take the ginger and paint the fish with the soy sauce. I’ve done it that way ever since. Very interesting.
My favorite…3 types of Tuna. From lean to fatty.
People talk about Sukiyabashi Jiro’s rice. And yes…it’s incredible. I’m not a food expert so I don’t know how to describe it other that it has a body, texture, and weight that I’ve never experienced with rice before. It also had a slight tang, akin to vinegar taste to it. It provided great, subtle depth to each bite.
Some of the more interesting dishes
The herring that you see below isn’t to be dipped in soy sauce. You are told which pieces can be dipped and which can not. The food has been prepared and designed to perfection and they want you to experience it how they intended.
Clam – which was sweet but a little chewy for my taste.
Sea Urchin..which I had never had. Not sure I will order again. VERY CREAMY.
Watching these guys work is a true pleasure. You can tell it is their Raison d’être
There is an orchestra being conducted behind the bar. It’s artful, designed, and extremely well executed. This is not cooking. It is art. To witness such perfection and expertise first hand will be a memory I will cherish. All of these men have dedicated their entire lives to this art. Takashi spent decades studying under his father before he was endowed with the responsibility of the Roppongi location.
In total we were there 45 minutes. This include about 15 minutes of tea time before the meal.
Reflecting back a year later
I still have the bill saved from that meal. It was 34,500 Yen, or roughly $287. Dave and I discussed this meal a lot before we went. Was it worth the price? But, when you think about it…we were staying for nothing at the Ritz. We were flying back to the states for a little over $100 in First Class, and how many times are you in Tokyo with the ability to watch a real master firsthand? Neither of us regret one bit. It’s memories like that that I will talk about in 20, 30, 40 years. ” Remember that one time we ate at the best sushi restaurant in the world…” Totally worth the price.
This review is part of the Around the world 2015 Mega Trip – High Teas, Safari, World’s Tallest, Jiro’s Sushi all in Business and First Class
- Etihad Business and First Class Lounge Washington DC
- Etihad Business Studio – IAD to AUH
- Review: Etihad Arrivals lounge and Etihad Chauffeur experience
- Grand Hyatt Dubai
- Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Business and First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi, AUH
- Etihad Pearl Business Class – AUH to JNB
- Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
- Blue Train Johannesburg to Cape Town
- Queen Victoria Cape Town
- Chitwa Chitwa Sabi Sands Luxury Game Reserve Kruger National Park
- Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge – Victoria Falls
- Intercontinental Johannesburg Airport
- Review: S(h)ongololo Lounge JNB
- Cathay Pacific Business Class – JNB to HKG to HND
- Ritz Carlton Tokyo
- Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo, NRT
- American Air Flagship First Class – NRT to LAX