First things first when in Japan: Get some good sushi! There’s no place better for fresh raw seafood than at Tsukiji Market itself. Since Deb and I are veterans of the famous fish market, we allowed ourselves a slightly later start and set out for brunch with her friend Chris MacDonald.
On the way there, we saw a persimmon street vendor selling fruit and giving samples. This was too hard to resist! Now I know what persimmons are supposed to taste like, and these were huge, sweet (almost like candy) and juicy.
If you’re an uni lover, you may want to check out Uni Tora, an uni-centric restaurant in the Tsukiji Market area. Click here for great visual instructions on how to get there.
When you find the restaurant, you go up the stairs until you see the sign:
Meet the chef, who just goes by “Saeki.”
They have a map of Hokkaido to show where their Japanese uni comes from, but they also offer Russian, Canadian, and American uni so you can taste the difference.
This is their signature dish, a kind of chirashi with uni, crab, ikura, and assorted diced fish (including toro). It’s about $23 US. Eat this in three stages: As is, then with vegetables mixed in, then with dashi as a deluxe ochazuke.
My bowl featured five different kinds of uni. From left, two kinds from Hokkaido, then Canada, Russia and America (which was torched). For some reason I really liked the Russian one more than the others; I think it’s because I had never had it before, so the overall flavor and consistency was new to me. They were all good, though. This was about $30 US.
Tsukiji Uni Tora Kurau (うに虎喰)
4-10-14 Kato Shijo 1F, Tsukiji Chuo-ku, Tokyo
There’s a lot more to Tsukiji, but since you’ve already read my other blog on it, I don’t need to show you, right? Ha! But I’ll leave you with one last look at an oyster vendor we found nearby, who had Hokkaido oysters, ready to eat. The smallest were as big as my hand, so you can imagine how huge the 800 yen oysters were!
That night, we went to an omakase dinner at Sushi Aoki in Ginza, on recommendation from my friend Yasuo Ogawa.
The approximately $250 course meal was comprised of bonito, flounder, mirugai, akagai, anago with caviar, tai, baby tai, kohada, ika, shiro ebi, aoyagi, uni with ikura, more anago, and miso soup (no egg at the end for us, apparently) but there were so many dishes, I’m just going to show you the highlights.
I know you’re going to ask me: Was it worth it? Hard to say, since there are so many good sushi restaurants in Tokyo. This one was nice and was popular with people entertaining clients, but not pretentious at all. If you’re looking for an upscale experience in Ginza, though, this is a good option, and they allow photos.
Sushi Aoki Ginza Honten
Takahashi Building, 2nd Floor
7-4, Ginza 6-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Up next: Exploring Nakano Broadway and returning to Narukiyo for dinner! To see more of my photos from this trip, click here.
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