2 Michelin starred Kimura sushi

Kuruma shrimp sushi
Kuruma shrimp sushi

The very best sushi experiences in Tokyo are rarely less than ¥ 15 000 – ¥ 20 000 per person, so I was very curious to visit 2 Michelin starred  Kimura sushi (3-21-8 Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo; tel.03-3707-6355) where dinner costs from  ¥8,400 to ¥ 12,600, while lunch “only” ¥5,250 for an omakase.

When my hotel concierge called to Kimura sushi, he was told that they didn’t require my credit card to hold the reservation, instead, they would keep the place at the sushi counter for only 15 minutes after the reservation time. The tiny sushiya is not exactly in the central Tokyo. I took the subway to Tamagawa station and then wondered the dim lit residential streets for at least 20 minutes before I got stressed (not to loose the reservation), called the restaurant and explained  in my broken Japanese that I was standing in front of the local convenient store and needed some help to find them. Soon, a nice lady,the restaurant’s hostess and  probably  a relative of the sushi master (his mother,maybe?), came to pick me up.

The best squid sushi I've had
The best squid sushi I’ve ever had
Kimura san at work
Kimura san at work
Fish filets which would be used to make sushis
Fish filets which would be used to make sushis

Like very often when dining in Tokyo, I was the only gaijin in the sushi shop. Dining alone and being a foreigner in Japan is not that awkward as one might presume.When you find yourself in such an intimate environment as a small sushi counter restaurant, sometimes just observing the art of sushi making is entertaining enough…

The sushi master, Kimura san, was preparing rice and arranging exquisitely sliced fish filets,while at the same time serving the otsumami (“snacks” in Japanese) to other guests who were already there. Although the ingredients used for pre-sushi snacks,such as squid innards, were not as fancy as at other Michelin starred sushi shops in Tokyo, they were prepared with huge attention to detail and tasted very well. Kimura sushi is also the first high end sushiya in Tokyo where I had a chance to try salmon sushi (never seen at Sushi Saito, Sukiyabashi Jiro, neither at other Tokyo’s top sushi shops). The salmon seemed to be slightly aged and differed from the salmon used in Europe or the US.  The omakase  I had didn’t include the highly priced otoro and uni, but the  produce used, the extraordinary techniques and the overall meal was as exceptional as at other high end sushiyas. I’ve spoked to some sushi chefs in Tokyo and it seems to me that many of them could easily live without using toro in their omakases as the choice of fish available in Japan is so enormous and it’s quality is so wonderful. I think Kimura san is one of those chefs and among the best in Tokyo for sure…

Horse mackerel sushi
Horse mackerel sushi

Next morning , while visiting Tsukiji market I heard somebody calling my name. It was Kimura san on his motorbike heading home after his shopping. All the roads lead in Tuskiji indeed!

Kimura san at Tsukiji market
Kimura san at Tsukiji market
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