To conclude our morning at Tsukiji Fish Market’s tuna auction, we dodges past vendors that sped on trolleys loaded with boxes and bee-lined towards the restaurant section of the market.
Packed within a small block lines rows of small, traditional Japanese restaurants. They sure take advantage of their location. The only way the fish and seafood could get any fresher than being next to Tsukiji is if they were on a boat. Of course, some restaurants are still better than others and it’s quickly apparent which are the most popular.
I was wary of the airy, empty restaurants that were covered with photos of food. On the other hand, the length of some line ups blew our minds; on one corner, there was even a bouncer keeping the seemingly endless queue at bay. Well, a very slim, friendly “bouncer” wearing gloves and holding a sign but you get the point.
We, on the other hand, set our eyes on the prize. We headed straight to building 6 to Daiwa Sushi (大和) and claimed our spots in the line up. It was about 6:30 AM and we waited for about 20 minutes, which seemed reasonable.
The counter-only seating in the tiny space was very tight. There was barely any elbow room, let alone for our clunky camera bags. There were, to my estimation, 12 to 16 seats and four chefs behind the counter. The atmosphere felt intimate and lively.
One could order à la carte but I suggest going for the set menu, which included seven pieces of nigiri, 6 pieces of maki, miso soup, and tea for ¥3500. In our case, after we engulfed each supremely fresh and expertly formed piece of heaven, we ordered more from the fresh sheet. At one point, we just had to cut ourselves off because our bill mounted far too quickly.
Allow your eyes to feast on photos of our spectacular meal.
We were fortunate to be served by Daiwa’s master sushi chef. He timed each piece to our pace and made small talk with us. He was amused by our attempts to speak Japanese, namely repeatedly saying “Oishi” and grinning like idiots.
There were a couple more pieces of nigiri that we devoured before they could shoot them. For one, the fish was just too tempting and we we didn’t want to waste a moment of consumption. Secondly, we knew they were trying to turn the seats around quickly, as the line up was growing longer.
When we were thoroughly satiated and were smiling from ear to ear, we settled the bill. (¥9000, it wasn’t cheap!) We were led through the kitchen to the back exit and said a final goodbye to easily one of the best and most memorable meals in Tokyo.
Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji Bldg 6
Near Tsukijishijō station
Breakfast/ lunch on Monday to Saturday