Sushi Ichiba & Daiwa Sushi at Tsukiji Market – Tokyo

sushi Daiwa - Tsukiji - Tokyo by The High Heel Gourmet 3

“Sushi Ichiba” is another restaurant in the sushi restaurant row at building #6, the opposite end from Sushi Dai (remember, the most famous one). This place doesn’t usually has long line like others and serves decent sushi and shirashi. I ordered the omakase set and my sister had the shirashi set with uni and ikura (salmon roes) on top.

sushi Daiwa - Tsukiji - Tokyo by The High Heel Gourmet 2

You can tell from the pictures, how small the restaurant is. However the bad news is, this is not yet the smallest restaurant in Japan. In fact, it’s a regular size restaurant, not only around Tsukiji but also all around Tokyo and Japan so, you better be get use to it. You will have to sit around the narrow counter where your knees have to shift to the side or else they would hit the counter underneath and if you sit too far from the counter, you would block the only access to other seats inside.

In the restaurant, there usually have a rack on top to store the bulky stuff like coat or big bags but I don’t recommend carrying big bag to Tsukiji market.

sushi Daiwa - Tsukiji - Tokyo by The High Heel Gourmet 2 (1)

My order of sushi were served on a bamboo leaf, how cool, accompany with a few other items on the side. The picture of the top of the page was my omakase set at Sushi Ichiba, accompany with the little set below.

Sushi Daiwa - Tsukiji - Tokyo by The High Heel Gourmet

These are pictures from another day of having sushi breakfast. This time at the famous Daiwa Sushi. I would considered this restaurant my favorite. When the freshness of the fishes are all equal, the taste and quality of the sushi rice is the fair judge and I happened to like how Daiwa Sushi prepared their rice. It’s not too sour. I think Sushi Dai and also Sukiyabachi Jiro’s rice are both a little too vinegary for my taste buds but this is quite personal so you have to find the one that’s right for you.

If I feel like spending a few hundred dollars (¥15,000-35,000) for a meal, at a fancy sushi restaurant in Ginza, I would go to Sawada Sushi by chef Koji Sawada because I like sushi rice there but it’s almost ten time cheaper here at Tsukiji market. One would have asked “Is it really ten times better?” The answer is definitely NOT. It’s not even twice as good but you have to try for you own experience and take your pick.

Top row: The sushi chef, Engawa - flounder fin, Chu-toro - medium fat tuna belly Second row: to the right of the sushi chef picture, Kohada - Gizzard shad, and the special hoso-maki is the umejiso-kappa maki - cucumber and salted plum with shiso leaf (this is served at last to clean all the fishy oil off your mouth, so you don't have to live with it all day long. Third row: Aji - Japanese horse mackerel, Anago Ipponzuke- a whole Japanese sea eel wrapped around a ball of sushi rice, Kinmadai matsukawa-zukuri* - Golden eyes snapper served parboiled with the skin on, baby squid gunkanmaki (I forgot the Japanese name) Fourth row: restaurant name, no I didn't eat that, Akaki - ark shell, Torigai - Japanese cockle

Top row: The sushi chef, Engawa – flounder fin, Chu-toro – medium fat tuna belly
Second row: to the right of the sushi chef picture, Kohada – Gizzard shad, and the special hoso-maki is the umejiso-kappa maki – cucumber and salted plum with shiso leaf (this is served at last to clean all the fishy oil off your mouth, so you don’t have to live with it all day long.
Third row: Aji – Japanese horse mackerel, Anago Ipponzuke- a whole Japanese sea eel wrapped around a ball of sushi rice, Kinmadai matsukawa-zukuri* – Golden eyes snapper served parboiled with the skin on, baby squid gunkanmaki (I forgot the Japanese name)
Fourth row: restaurant name, no I didn’t eat that, Akaki – ark shell, Torigai – Japanese cockle

*Matsukawa-zukari is the name of sushi or sashimi (mostly in the sea bream family or snapper) served parboiled only the skin part. This requires a greater skill from the chef. The hot water is poured on to the fish skin just to cook only the skin (raw skin is rather chewy) and then later put that piece of fish in ice water to stop cooking before the heat reach the white flesh. It’s complicated and require a precise timing that I haven’t seen any sushi chef in the US offer this type. I like its complexity of the taste, the fat underneath the skin flavored the sweet white meat, the tiny strip of the cooked skin also added the texture…uhmmm…

Without mention about Tamagoyaki, the trip to eat at Tsukiji market wouldn’t be complete. On Harumi Dori (street) outside the inner market and on the edge of the outer market, there are a lot of wholesale shops selling Tamagoyaki, the slightly sweet rolled Japanese omelette cooked in rectangular pan. Tamagoyaki is served accompany with several Japanese dishes, in bento box and also served as a last piece in the string of nigiri sushi, as dessert too.

After finishing your sushi breakfast, you should come visit this area. Why? Because, along this Tamagoyaki row, there always a few shops that offer tasting pieces. So you can have the perfect last bite.

sushi Daiwa - Tsukiji - Tokyo by The High Heel Gourmet 4

This is a very popular shop judging from the length of the line waiting to buy the eggs again. Not every shop showing the cooking method but this one cook right there in the front.

Also, I have to warn you about another one sushi restaurant. This is the picture. This place stay opened later than all the other restaurants mention above which usually closed by noon or earlier. It in the inner market at the building #5 if I’m not mistaken. It could have been #4 too. Sorry about my fading memories. I wasn’t really paying attention to the building’s numbers until I start writing about them in detail.

sushi Daiwa - Tsukiji - Tokyo by The High Heel Gourmet 1

This is the restaurant to avoid. They served sushi just like in the US, all comes together in one big plate with not so good rice (smelly, packed too tight) and I don’t know how could they managed to have not so fresh fish! When the biggest fish market in the world is just across the parking lodge from their restaurant. It might be just me. I ordering foods in English. Anyhow, if all the other restaurants are closed in the inner market, just go to any of the restaurants in the outer market would be my recommend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s