8-10-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku
81 3 5568 4411
Best sushi ever!
Why did we dine here? – The first food we think about when we were planning our Japan trip was Sushi. Sushi or sashimi is a favorite dish of ours, so we were eager to plan a pilgrimage to eat some real Japanese authentic sushi.
Our trip was in late March, early April, just in time for the cherry blossom (Sakura) season, and we soon found it was VERY difficult to even reserve a hotel room in Tokyo. Prices are extremely high and we had to settle on the one or two hotels still available. If you are planning to visit Japan during this season, reserve MONTHS in advance.
This peak season meant that most of the big names were full. No Jiro, No Saito, Sawada, or Miyakozushi, etc, etc. A word of warning, several restaurants our concierge tried to reserve for us would not take non Japanese speaking parties. Some Japanese restaurants have some strict rules. Sushi Kanesaka was suggested by our hotel concierge. Very good Tabelog rating at 4.1, Saito is 4.53, Jiro 4.1. It received Two Michelin Stars and was good enough for us. Kanesaka also has an outpost in Singapore. Our Sushi Master worked there for a while and improved his English along the way.
Lunch is the time to hit these sushi temples. You can save almost 50%. For lunch, we were offered 10,000 or 15,000 yen options and selected the cheaper option.
The chef has a huge wood cutting board and some scary looking sushi knives. Fish has been precut ahead of time, so a lot of prep work is done before the guests arrive. Each dish is handcrafted and served. Unlike most Japanese restaurants in America, the sushi chef slowly makes his way through the menu, one thing at a time. You’re given plenty of time to watch him prepare each dish. This spectacle helps build your anticipation of each bite. By the time each item is served, we were salivating.
The master taught us that it’s all about the rice, not how fresh the fish is. 80% of the quality is due to the best rice available. If you had average fish but top notch rice, you would still have very good sushi. Most people don’t realize this. He would not tell us where the rice came from!
Insider Tip – Your hotel concierge can easily make reservations. Lunch will save you $$.
Cuisine – Sushi Edo Style
Location – Tokyo, Ginza, Japan
Opened – 2008
Service – Sushi Kanesaka was quite an experience. The master serves you and puts on a show. Occassionally a waitress would come by to check on things and refill tea cups. All the folks at this restaurant were kind and friendly.
Verdict – Sushi Kanesaka wowed us with stellar food and a sushi master with a great attitude. No 30 minute turbo meal! The meal was top notch as was the experience. This meal recalibrated what we consider to be good sushi. If you are into Japanese food, you definitely need to visit Tokyo and see what the real deal is. Highly recommended.
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
T: +81 3 3211 5323
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Yes. Plane flight? Yes!
Sushi Kanesaka Signature Dishes – Sushi, sashimi. Whatever is fresh that day. Sword fish.
Sushi Kanesaka’s Menu does not really exist. You tell the chef how much you want to spend and the dishes will be adjusted accordingly.
Sushi Kanesaka Food Picks:
The following list are dishes in order. Note that we went for lunch and that one person had slightly different dishes than the others. Some dishes maybe mislabeled due to glitches in their English.
Steamed Ice Fish – with a sprinkle of salt, you are allowed to use wasabi, this fish was cut into small threads and had a subtle flavor.
Steamed Hairy Crab – a huge junk of boiled crab cut into a quarter. This had a pristine pure flavor and was buttery smooth.
Baby Sea Eel – this was a seasonal dish with a jelly fish, steamed firefly squid. A Japanese green onion added some flavor to this slick textured awesome dish. Stellar yellow miso sauce.
Steamed Abalone – a roughly quarter cut of Abalone, that was very tender and soft. Not much chewiness here. Included some wasabi that was spicy and not sweet, and some light ginger.
Cooked Swordfish – this was the best dish. It looked unassuming but was smooth, soft, buttery, flaky, simply the best. We couldn’t believe the best dish we would have at Kanesaka would be a cooked swordfish. Also included a Japanese radish.
Hokkaido Uni – the chef explained that this sea urchin was caught in the northern part of Japan in saltier waters and possessed longer spikes. This portion was huge and ridiculously silky.
Flounder – this dish had wasabi already, but we were allowed to dip it in soy sauce. Amazing flavor where you could feel the light texture and hint of wasabi.
Yellow Jack – shi maji – a fatty cut from a typically 2 kg fish. Creamy, buttery yet it stilled maintained a firm body.
Tiger Prawn – ebi – one look at this piece and you can tell that it doesn’t come from some cheap frozen shrimp. This piece had a light wasabi hint and tasted super fresh. About as good as this can get. We also had a raw shrimp or amaebi which was chewy and very fresh.
Marinated Tuna – he marinated this tuna in soy sauce, for roughly 15 minutes. Another stellar dish with again slight wasabi hint.
Tuna Belly – Chutoro – this dish had a lot of wasabi and was a bit on the fatty side.
Otaru – this is the bottom of the belly and had some veins showing. Buttery, sweet, still a bit fiberous.
Japanese Geoduck Clam – a chewy but not overly so, thin slice of that gross looking clam with a long nose.
Acagai – conch – this was crunchy like the geoduck. A thick chewy slice that possessed more texture than flavor.
Ika – Squid – this had small slits as well as sea salt sprinkled on it. No soy sauce. Chewy and a little bit succulent.
Aji – Mackerel – this piece was simply great. He grinded a little bit of onion on it to make it more interesting.
Scallop Sushi – kobashira – this dish included five small scallops. Tender, slightly creamy, with a hint of salt in the middle
Seasonal Prawn – was a raw Japanese prawn possessing a lot of sweetness and a slight chewy texture. A bit scary looking.
Uni Sushi – this used the regular sea urchin with short spikes. Slightly cool, silky uni, warm rice.
Sea Eel – this was precooked and possessed a yuzu zest, strong flavors in this hot dish.
Miso Soup with Clams had an intense clam flavor, along with fresh seaweed.
Egg – Tamago – looked like butter but is their authentic version of this dish that takes some getting used to.
Fatty Tuna Sushi – we were allowed to add soy sauce to this one. The rice helped balance out the fatness of the tuna.
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?Restaurant Map: