20 November 2015
My second full day in Tokyo began in the rain as Tokyo was showery this Friday. No biggie, it cools the place down. Today’s lunch is at the 1-Michelin sushi that’s huge with sushi (especially tuna) fans, Tokami. I have to thank food blogger and food photographer-extraordinaire Katie Keiko Tam for the booking as we were meeting there for lunch.
We headed to the basement and took our spots at the counter, awaiting a wonderful lunch to come. People rave about Tokami for 2 reasons — the tuna, and the rice. The tuna is of special quality, and Chef Hiroyuki Sato makes a very special roll at the end of the meal. The rice is also very interesting, but it has divided sushi connoseurs. I was here to see for myself. And it was nice to eat with someone with so much Japan food experience!
We began with an nice kaki (oyster), nice and briney. We’re into oyster season in Japan so this was a nice treat. Then we moved into the sushi segment with the typical starter, hirame (flounder).
As you can see, the rice is rather atypical looking for sushi, but that due to the vinegar used by Chef. Some of his critics say the rice is too strong for the delicate fishes, though it’s hard to say at this point with the very mild hirame. The next item is made extremely beautifully.
I love squid but this is beautiful, with the tentacles playing a major role. Very tasty indeed. Rice worked here.
Next up is kasugodai, or baby snapper. Very nice, you don’t get these too often. Then we moved into the tuna series…
First was the akami, marinated in soy sauce. I find the rice works very well with this preparation of lean tuna. Very nice. Then naturally…
The chu-toro. Fell apart a bit and I started to notice that it’s hard to eat with your hands here with this rice. I suddenly realised I am the only person eating with my hand, but I prefer to eat sushi this way, so… Not bad, but really nothing special with this. I actually thought the lean akami was more enjoyable. We didn’t do the longest menu so of course they skipped the o-toro…
Next up was the kohada, which for me has always been more beautiful than tasty. Not bad, but nothing special. I am sensing a bit of a theme here. Is it because it’s lunch?
The ama-ebi next was nice, but again nothing special. Maybe even a touch over-cooked…
Up next was smelt, which you don’t see as often as nigiri. Not bad, the seaweed treatment was a nice touch.
Following that was sawara, or Spanish mackerel. Probably my least favourite of the mackerel group of fishes, but a nice one. Worked well with the rice.
Then we have saba, which worked very well in comparison with the sawara. Lovely flavour, but again very ordinary when it comes to mackerel. I still wonder if it’s because it’s lunch…
Next up is the hamaguri clam, which I actually used my chopsticks for due to the sauce. I always like more bivalves in my sushi course, so this was a nice diversion from the fish.
Next up were some mild ikura, the way I like it. When you have ikura in Japan it’s nothing like the horrific salt balls you get in the US. Sublime. But I have a nagging feeling being on a shorter course we’re gonna miss out on the uni (I was right).
With the anago we come to close to the end. A nice piece, but nothing special again… Then we see Chef work on a handroll and this is what some say makes Tokami famous — the tossaki.
He uses the tender meat from the tuna’s collar for this roll, which was sublime. The highlight of the lunch by far. Works perfectly with his rice. Frankly the rice works amazing with tuna. I just wonder whether it would be better if he had different rice preparations for different parts of the course? But that roll was excellent and the aroma of the next dish was just as memorable…
The soup here is made from the collagen of the tuna, especially those lesser-used parts. Rich and wonderful, this was a treat alongside that tossaki roll!
We finished with the tamago, which had a brûlée feel about it. Nice close.
We thanked the Chef and headed out into the drizzling afternoon. This was a nice lunch. Aside from the final items, I would say nothing too special. Maybe it’s the shorter lunch course, but aside from the tossaki roll nothing stood out too much except the rice. To be honest I like the rice very much but only with certain items. Some chefs switch rice for different items, but I can see how that gets messy. But I have to say it’s one of the cheapest high-quality sushi lunches you can get in Ginza.
We parted at the subway and I took a leisurely stroll towards Shimbashi. I have another Ginza sushi meal today for dinner, so let’s see how well that works. This was good, but nothing special to be honest. Worth a visit, but perhaps just one.
B1F, Ginza Seiwa Silver Building
8-2-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku