Just spent 10 days in Tokyo and between that and watching the Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary, I'm really inspired. It got me thinking...who will be the next Jiro in Tokyo? Any restaurants/sushi chefs that come close?
I loved Sushi Iwa. Iwa is a young chef and already has earned a Michelin star, but it is still up and coming. I had, what was by far the best sushi meal of my life there. It taught me the true meaning of what high end sushi is all about and showed me the difference - the taste, temperature and texture of the rice, the quality of the fish, the perfect melding of flavors, the order of the courses and on top of that, the knowledge and guidance of Iwa-san himself in taking us through a dinner he made for us - people essentially get the same meal, but for us, we noticed that we didn't get a couple of things that the Japanese customers received, and we were thankful for that as they were probably not our tastes - he knew what we would prefer and took care of us). He also speaks enough english to explain what we're eating. It isn't cheap, that's for sure - be prepared to spend $200 per person or more, it's only omakase. But it was a transcendent experience. On top of that, Iwa-san and his wife are the ultimate hosts. Mrs. Iwa is flat out amazing, there were times when our water glasses were filled, or something was removed and we didn't even see her - she is that stealth and that attentive! Reserve through the concierge of your hotel because contacting this place, and finding it are not easy - even with maps. But it's worth it.
Sushi Saito and Sawada are often considered to be even better than Jiro. However if you are thinking of someone who actually was a disciple of Jiro, Rei Masuda from Sushi Masuda is a name that has been coming up quite a lot lately!
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That's a difficult question to answer- Jiro represents a school of sushi that's disappearing in Tokyo. By the way if you want to I actually did an interview with Jiro at his restaurant, here's the link if you want to check that out.
There is a young chef that a lot of people feel has huge potential, it's Sushiya in Ginza.
Here's some more recommendations for you to enjoy:
Matsukawa: (IMO) the very best high-end Japanese cuisine. Caveat: it's hard to get reservations without an introduction from someone they know.
• Ishikawa: also brilliant, but less rarefied. Very much on everyone's radar, thanks to its 3 stars.
• sushi SEIZAN: good new Japanese from a young chef who keeps things relaxed and approachable. As at Ishikawa, the counter seats are where it's at.
•Jimbocho Den*: so many people's favorite: great casual contemporary Japanese cuisine; relaxed, and welcoming, reflecting the personality of chef Zaiyu Hasegawa.
• Mikawa Zezankyo*: for tempura, this is the one I always recommend. Eccentric (the chef and the decor) but brilliant.
• Tori-Shiki*: best yakitori in Tokyo.
• Butagumi*: best tonkatsu in town — don't miss it!
• Sushiso Masa: not the best known or fanciest in town, but so good.
• Narutomi Soba*: te-uchi soba with excellent tempura and side dishes
• Kagari*: great ramen; always a long line outside.
• Gen Yamamoto: master mixologist, creates brilliant seasonal cocktails from fresh fruit and vegetables and serves them in the manner of the tea ceremony.
Hope you enjoy Tokyo, it's an amazing place!
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