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Grazing with the Fishes at 'Kiku Sushi' and others in Tokyo (photos) >>

May 8 2004 at 10:47 AM
MTF  (no login)



Someone asked why there have not been any fishy grazing reports from Japan, Land of Sushi and Sashimi. Well simply, there are just too many fish tales. So, this time I post photos from a number of establishments, ending with the restaurant in the title.


First up is 'Rainbow Roll Sushi' in Azabu-juban, which created a stir a couple of years ago for being the first sushi restaurant in Tokyo to mess around with their sacred foodstuff like those crazy Californians. Local folks rave about the stuffed avocado with maitake (dancing mushroom), white fish and anchovy sauce; and tuna and shrimp sashimi spring rolls, wrapped inside with fresh spinach leaves, outside with crispy yuba (tofu skin) and decorated with a basil and peppercorn sauce as appetisers. Main courses include traditional Californian Rainbow Roll, which are giant pinwheels chock full of salmon, squid, shrimp and tobiko (flying fish roe) and 'American' Spicy Negi-Hamachi Roll, a mix of shichimi (seven spice seasoning), yellowtail, leeks and mayonnaise, in a roll of rice sprinkled with finely chopped green onions.

We had a quick set lunch. Frankly, I don't even know what we got. The red miso soup was quite 'normal' but the rolls were....well....multicoloured. See for yourselves:

Miso soup.

Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado and cheese were amongst the multicoloured ingredients.

Fun for a change of sushi scene but I prefer more traditional sushi.

'Rainbow Roll Sushi', 2F Monteplaza Bldg, 1-10-3 Azabujuban, Minato-ku.
Tel: 03-5572-7688.
Nearest station: Azabujuban on the Oedo line.


Next up is a traditional sushi outlet amongst hundreds of similar establishments near Shinjuku Station. This may be the busiest commuter station in the world with nearly 3 million Tokyoites a day passing through; I used to be one of those poor souls.

Sashimi Set of the Day.

Sushi Set of the Day.

Tea to finish.

Last of the Hanami 2004 season.


Now, wasn't that just "perfect"?


Finally, a true 'local hero' in Chef Hashimoto, who has been in the business for 40 years and 'Kiku Sushi' in Kayabacho is one of three restaurants in this Tokyo chain. It is not easy to find, so here is the address and map in Japanese:

“Œ‹ž“s ’†‰›‹æ “ú–{‹´ Š•’¬ 17-1
“ú–{‹´ ƒƒCƒ„ƒ‹ƒvƒ‰ƒU

Marked in red, 1 minute walk from Kayabacho Station in Nihonbashi district. The original restaurant is marked in black, also in Nihonbashi.

Kiku Sushi.

Chef Hashimoto (Tsutomu), a most genial host and fine purveyor and drinker of good sake!

'Tama no Hikari' from Nara prefecture. This restaurant really only serves one brand of sake. Luckily, its one of the best and one of my favourites. Chef and his colleague are not adverse to sharing a glass with you! If he pours you a drink, please do return the favour.

Beer and amuse bouche: Pickled ginger shoots, minced ginger and baby squid.

'Tai' (snapper) sashimi.

Luscious 'kampachi' (adolescent yellowtail) sashimi.

Slightly seared tuna sashimi.

Simmered 'anago' (conger eel) and sauce.

Clam cooked in its shell.

Special marinated 'chu-toro' (middle fatty tuna), which has marinated in special soya sauce for exactly 10 minutes. This was my first taste of this dish and the marinade left a subtle taste without the harshness of freshly dipped sauce.

Finally, sushi rolls to make sure nobody leaves hungry.

Tea to finish.

Beautiful eponymous 'kiku' (chrysanthemum) arrangement.

Except that here is where the arrangement was

This is a typical feed and watering hole for a 'salaryman' in Nihonbashi, one of the main business districts of Tokyo. Here is the bar where everyone truly "knows your name". Even if you are a first-timer, the welcome is friendly too. Just remember to pour your chef a glass of sake and he will look after you!

Photos and Text Copyright Melvyn Teillol-Foo, 2004.

This message has been edited by MelvynTeillolFoo on May 8, 2004 11:07 AM

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