..... Enjoying life, one bite and plane ride at a time

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sushi Dai

With each Tokyo trip, as you research you will see Tsujiri Fish market come up. This is where you wake up before sunset to see the fish actions (why bother right?). However there is also another treat at the market, besides the usual market stalls affairs there is also a place call Sushi Dai.

Sushi Dai (寿司大) is an establishment within the market that has cemented itself as a tourist destination. The reason? Well great fresh amazing nigiri at a very reasonable price.
To eat here people line up around 2 hours starting from about 3am (they open at 5am and close by 2pm). Are people crazy? Well yes, personally I have been here twice before and once to it's main competitor (Sushi Daiwa 寿司大和 next door). Personally I still consider one of the top 5 sushi places I have ever eaten at (including the Michelin ones).

What do you get?
For ¥4000 is the Omakase set (Chef's choice). You get 9 pieces of nigiri sushi selected by the chef and an additional piece of your choice. If you don't like eating raw fish there is also a cooked fish option (but honestly, why would you?)

My Omakase started with steamed egg roll and miso soup. 
The nigiri were as follows:
Fatty Toro
Flounder had a bit of line and salt
Japanese Horse Mackerel
Tokyo Bay Scallops
Cutlass - out of all the nigiri, I liked this one the least. 
Maki roll
Anago (Sea eel)
Round 2 fatty toro (you get to pick another piece of your choice, I went with more fatty toro)
Yellow tail (we paid extra and got a piece of the yellow tail as it was in season, it did not disappoint)

Overall, would I do it again? Well... this was my third visit.... The fish is great and fresh and for what you pay it's very good value. Could you get something just as good in a restaurant? Yes, but you will most likely be paying through your nose for it. The usual sushi trains which you will find across Tokyo, does not even compare to this. So I will leave the choice to you, if you decide to sacrifice sleep for Sushi Dai!

Words of Advice
If you happen to bother waking up before the crack of dawn here are some tips:
  • Stay around Ginza. The subways don't start till 5am so unless you want to pay for the expensive taxi fares in Tokyo, Ginza puts the fish market at a walking distance. Each time I visit I stayed at either one of the Mitsui hotels in Ginza.
  • Be prepared to wait. Bring a phone charger, you will be playing on your phone for a few hours. The wait at 4:10am on a Thursday morning was 47 people deep. Which translate to roughly eating 3 hours later.
  • Know your sushi manners, when you get in, there is only omakase. Just sit down and let the sushi chef do his thing. He will tell you when to use wasabi and soy sauce. Also, there is a massive line of people outside, so they would appreciate if you don't sit around just for a chat afterwards.
  • Bring cash, they don't take card. So don't be that person!
  • You sushi chef knows you have waited a long time to eat there and they appreciate it, they will ask you questions with their limited English, so don't be surprise when they interact with you.
  • There is other food to eat nearby, if you feel like you need more Jap food fix after your omakase, wander around the market and you shall be rewarded.
  • The sushi master does speak some basic English so don't worry about not knowing what to do and looking lost. They also offer you an English menu for the extra piece you want to order


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