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Yoshitake Tokyo

Bu Pun Su

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One of my major motivations to visit Sushi Yoshitake at Ginza was “revenge”. I’ve been to Yoshitake Hong Kong before (now re-named as Sushi Shikon as the same names have caused some confusion in their reservations) and it was very good, ranked among my best sushi meals outside Japan. But, the price was astronomical there – before the service charge, it (for 5 appetizer and 10 sushi including tamago; even the water used for cooking was imported from Japan) cost about the same price as Masa NYC and more than Urasawa without the tips & tax. Whereas, Yoshitake’s flagship in Tokyo is nearly 40% cheaper and you will receive more stuffs (our meal consisted of 6 tsumami and a dozen piece of sushi) - so essentially, I want to "average down" my cost if that makes any sense at all. In addition, Masahiro Yoshitake-san’s signature dishes in particular the awabi with liver sauce was ethereal and I want my spouse to try it as well


The only ‘disappointment’ of the dinner was probably that we’re not served by Yoshitake-san himself. Apparently, the main counter was full with his regulars from Japan (we only heard Japanese being spoken from our private room). Consequently, we were seated at the 2nd and smaller counter seated 4 people. The good thing was that we had a private meal as we’re the only diners; taking pictures using camera was allowed, and our itamae (introduced himself as “Dai”) spoke nearly fluent English as he used to work for several years at Japan’s embassy in DC as personal chef. My meal at HK under Chef Kakinuma was great, so I believe sous chef Daisuke should be as capable as Kaki-san and fortunately it was the case. FYI – Masa who used to work at Yoshitake Tokyo and Hong Kong already left to open his own sushi place with family in Hokkaido.


As many of you have known, the omakase at Yoshitake will begin with several small appetizers:

-We began with a combination of ikura, smoked salmon, daikon and okra. Quite tasty especially the ikura and it had some interesting texture variations (smooth fish and more crunchy veggies)

-The sashimi was clean rock fish with its seared skin

-The famous tender and delicious tako (the sweet glaze was evenly absorbed by the octopus). Still, awesome


-The signature dish: steamed kuro awabi (tender and bouncy in a nice way). Talking about mushi awabi by itself with no sauce, the one at Mizutani was still the best. However, the incredible liver sauce (complex, creamy with deep flavor but not cloying) made this dish much better by 2-3 folds. After that, Dai gave us a dollop of shari to be mixed with the left over sauce. Uni risotto was excellent, but this ‘green rice’ was a class of its own. My wife was amazed that she could eat something this good

-Seared katsuo with charred skin was nice; it’s balanced by the radish and scallion

-Our palate cleanser was natural mozuku seaweed, chopped mountain yam and a small portion of sea urchin


For sushi, some memorable morsels were:

-Shin ika (very tender, clean with a hint of sweetness) and followed by grilled baby cuttlefish’s ‘leg’

-More and more chefs are able to optimize chu toro flavor by precise aging and marinating. It’s more flavorful than o-toro

-Yet, it doesn’t beat O-toro’s creamy and ‘oiliness without being greasy’. How it was not heavenly when you had 2 layers of fatty tuna on top of body temperature shari

-The double portion of beautifully ‘sliced’ kohada displayed harmony of vinegar & salt flavors and a slight sweetness from the ebi powder

-Kuruma ebi, served with ebi miso, was juicy and of excellent quality (freshly cooked and prepared immediately)

-Gunkan uni (a mixture of aka & bafun sea uni). Red uni in the Fall was sumptuous – creamier and sweeter than its green counterpart. Aka uni was a bit bitter when I consumed it in April


The other pieces were not by any means bad, but it’s expected as the top sushi place. Perhaps, I took it for granted. We also ate tai, sanma, akagai, anago, temaki (akami tsuke) and tamago. Our omakase ended with miso soup.   


Unless you’re very picky to certain style or preference, a meal at any Tokyo’s elite sushi-ya will be (at least) good particularly if the area in which you live offers no top quality sushi. Yoshitake is without exception; this was a very good meal – comparable to my sushi meal at Mizutani and Jiro though they don’t exactly offer the same thing. The clear advantage of Yoshitake omakase is the tsumami – arguably among best in Japan. Sushi-wise, besides the warm al dente rice with akazu, Yoshitake would plenty of ‘special’ different seasonings/preparations for each piece such as the case of our sanma as well as kohada roll in HK. Come with an open mind and you will likely be rewarded. I gave 95 pts for the food here (2 ¾*). The service was more superior to the one I experienced at Mercer hotel. It’s more relaxing but still attentive in Ginza – like having a meal in a friend’s place.


For more detailed review: http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.co.id/2015/10/sushi-yoshitake-tokyo.html


For pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/118237905546308956881/SushiYoshitakeTokyoJapan




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