An unforgettable omakase sushi experience in Tokyo
Through random coincidence I recently met someone who had lived in Tokyo for 20 years. Being a Japan-o-phile, of course I picked his brain about an upcoming trip to Tokyo. I wanted to get off the beaten track and have more authentic dining experiences. I still remember an epic amiyaki meal near the Nakano stop of the Tokyo Metro that I never would have found if not guided by expert locals. And I wanted more of that, which is how I came to find myself just outside Ginza hunting down Hashida Sushi.
We traveled in a taxi with an address that seemed near Ginza, but in reality was a bit past it, in a largely residential part of Tokyo. The place itself looked like any other typical restaurant in Japan, but the meal we were about to have was anything but typical. At Hashida Sushi, Hashida has been in this location and preparing sushi for 43 years. His son Hatchi has been apprenticing for 11 years. In typical Japanese fashion when you ask Hatchi when he will be finished apprenticing under his father, he says “never.”
Hashida and Hatchi offer sushi omakase style, this means that the chef choses what to serve the diner. I am a big fan of this Japanese concept, because I personally believe it allows the chef to serve what is freshest that day and what he feels inspired to prepare. I’ll put it this way, I have never had a bad omakase meal. And one of the delightful things is you really never know what is coming next or when it will end.
So we sat at the bar and watched Hashida and Hatchi do their thing. As it turns out, the family originates from Hokkaido and the very bar we were eating at had been moved from Hokkaido and had been in the family for 6 generations. In fact the whole house / restaurant had been brought down piece by piece from Hokkaido and resconstructed in Tokyo. We felt like we were part of culinary history!
On this day, father and son served us 7 courses over lunch. The only question from the chef was to inquire if anyone in the group had allergies. Luckily, none of us did, so we were able to enjoy with abandon whatever Hashida and Hastchi had in mind for us.
The first item was a savory egg custard to whet the appetite. Next up was fatty tuna sushi and one of the first things I noticed was the size of the portion. It was beyond generous and I wondered how I was actually going to eat the whole piece in one bite. In the end, it simply was not possible, but because the tuna was melt-in-your-mouth-perfection, I didn’t mind having a second mouthful.
What followed next is simply best described as a parade of the best sushi we had ever had. There was a whole scallop sushi, an abalone sushi, a yellowtail sushi, a halibut sushi and the restaurant’s signature eel. Just when we thought it was over there was a salmon roe on top of a Japanese omelet with fresh shrimp sushi. Every item was perfection, fish at its height of freshness and expertly prepared.
At first we were ar a loss for words. Then there were several contended sighs, followed by more articulate oohs and aahs. And when we finally got our wits about us, we collectively agreed this was quite possibly the best sushi meal we had ever had the pleasure to enjoy.
3-8-11, Kachidoki, Chuoh-Ku
Tokyo, Japan 104-0054
Telephone +81 3 3533 0341