This an addendum post to the Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka series. Other posts in this series include the intro post: Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, Matsugen (soba), Sushi Iwa, Ramen Honda (Tokyo Ramen Street), Ryugin, Omen (udon), Shouraian (tofu), Dotonbori in Osaka (street food), Taian (3-star Michelin), and Sushi Sho/Shou (Chef Keiji Nakazawa), and Nakamura (3 star Michelin kaiseki)
After rolling off of a 12 hour flight from Boston (arriving at the hotel around 9PM), Bryan asked the hotel concierge for late-night restaurant recommendations.
"There is an excellent soba place just a 10 minute walk away."
"I see you are eating sushi later this week, so maybe something different?"
Without hesitation, Bryan replied "No, I'm always happy to eat sushi."
The hotel concierge immediately booked Bryan a last minute (10PM!) reservation at a Michelin two star restaurant, Sushi Taku, in the Nishiazabu neighborhood. Armed with his new snazzy Sony point-and-shoot, Bryan attempted to channel me on this trip, taking photos of every piece of fish, writing down notes, and frankly, doing a pretty good job of providing me plenty of content to use for this post.
Sushi Taku is unusual in that its chef owner, Takuya Satosushi, is both a sushi chef and a sommelier. Unlike most traditional sushi restaurants, which more often pair sushi with sake or beer, Sushi Taku is known for pairing sushi with wine.
Takuya Sato opened Sushi Taku in 2005 at the ripe age of 30 after having trained at well-known places in Tokyo like Kyubey and Zorokusushi.
The meal started out with a delicious crab and crab roe wakame salad (not pictured because the photo was just too blurry!). Because it was autumn, they also served baby potatoes and ginkgo nuts (my favorite!).
Below is a rundown of the whole omakase. There won't be as much detail about the flavors of each dish since I wasn't actually there (Bryan took quite a few notes about the details of each fish, he didn't really provide tasting notes!).
1. Red snapper (tai)
2. Butterfish (ebodai)
3. Round clam (bakagai) was supposed to be eaten with a bit of salt.
4. Needlefish, or sayori, is also known as the Japanese half beak. This version was cooked and eaten with salt.
5. Eggplant sashimi
6. Uni from Hokkaido
7. Spanish mackerel that was lightly cooked
8. Yellowtail (hamachi) sushi
9. Sea eel (anago) served grilled on a stick
In general the chefs at Sushi Taku were really friendly. If they couldn't explain something in English, they would bring up the book and show you a picture of what you were eating. Bryan took many pictures from book pages, which was invaluable in helping me figure what the heck he ate.
10. Sushi rice cracker
11. Cooked oyster, eaten with either soy sauce or salt
12. Steamed lotus roots with shrimp (ebi) and sea eel (anago)
14. Daikon paper thin sheets
Check out those mad knife skills. If you want to see what this looks like in person, I have a pretty cool video of it in my Kyubey post.
16. Fatty tuna (toro) nigiri sushi
17. Gizzard Shad (kohada) nigiri. An interesting fact is that the chef does not make sashimi from kohada. He only uses it for sushi.
20. Spanish mackerel (sawara) sushi
21. Shrimp (ebi) sushi
At this point the chef asked Bryan, "how much more?"
Even though Bryan had eaten quite a lot, he asked for three more pieces.
Before the last three pieces arrived, out came a bowl of baby clam and shellfish soup.
This was followed by a gorgeously seared baby snapper (kodai) sushi.
Sea eel, or Anago, sushi (also cooked).
And finally, a beautiful seared piece of golden eye snapper (kinmedai) with skin.
Every sushi meal ends with a sweet egg, tamago, and this meal was no different.
What was different were the five (yes, can you believe it?) kinds of ice cream for dessert. I would have loved to try these flavors: soy sauce, ginger, roast tea, brown rice tea, and kinako (roasted soy bean flour).
Overall, Bryan enjoyed Sushi Taku quite a lot. It turns out, however, that the best dish he's ever had (in his entire life!) would come just a few days later on this same business trip, also in Tokyo, of course.
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