Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eating in Tokyo: Sushizanmai

with SYT in Tokyo


Otoro - the highest quality fatty tuna...well marbled, beautiful, soft, tender...tasty


Finding a great sushi place in Singapore is difficult. Either one has to pay huge ransoms for very good sushi, or one suffers of small pieces of frozen fish perched atop dry, sometimes very hard rice. But land in Japan, and beautiful, fresh fish, often much larger than the ball of vinegared rice it is sitting on, is delivered to your plate, with a dash of wasabi, to be enjoyed with soy sauce.

I love a good sushi. Many have revered Sushi Dai at Tsukiji Market to be one of the best in the business...and I don't disagree...but I loathe the long queues, the nazi-like behaviour of the owner, and the somewhat variable service of the wait staff. In my travels to Tokyo, I found myself drawn again and again to quality sushi, good service, and affordable price.

My preferred dish at Sushi Zanmai is the Maguro set. At Y3000, I think it is good value for the quality of the fish.



Two slices of a good, well marbled otoro can set one back S$60 in one of the fancy places on our island...Here two generous slices are included as part of the larger set:



Note marbling of fat on the tuna. Typically this is taken from the belly, and the fish should have no veins, and the texture smooth, and creamy to the palate. Tuna of this quality should have never been frozen, but taken from a chilled carcass typically purchased the same morning at Tsukiji market. See here for an earlier visit to the market to view the auction of tuna.

Two slices of chutoro (medium grade fatty tuna) is slightly broiled with a blow torch, leaving a lightly charred outside, but still raw insides...I particularly love this.



Two further slices of akami - red tuna sushi accompanies with 3 small pieces of tuna maki. All were fresh, chilled tuna. Taste was fresh, clean, creamy to the palate. No fishy smells testify to the freshness of the fish.

The set comes complete with a fairly large bowl of miso soup with fresh clams.

Value for money, and a must visit everytime I am in Tokyo. Definitely one of my favourites...especially when I am paying for sushi myself.

Sushizanmai has many branches spread around town, in convenient locations. I have eaten at the outlet at Akihabara, at Yurakucho (24 hours), both to my satisfaction. The Yurakucho branch is situated under the Yurakucho train tracks, just a stone throw's away from the Imperial Hotel.



Sushizanmai, Yurachuko branch

Address 1-3 Yurakucho 2 Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0006

http://www.kiyomura.co.jp/sushi-e/index.html

TEL:03-3500-2201/FAX:03-3500-2202
Opening Hours Open, 24 hours
Holidays Open, everyday
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