Okay so we haven’t been to a lot of 3 Michelin Star restaurants. In fact, this was our first and only 3 Michelin Star restaurant experience ever so for us, this was the best sushi dining experience we’ve ever had but we can be pretty confident in saying it doesn’t get much better than this in Tokyo!
Our Decision to Eat Here..
Prior to our trip to Japan, we knew we wanted to experience a Michelin star sushi restaurant at least once but we weren’t sure which one to try. After reading intimidating reviews about Jiro’s Sushi, and failing to secure reservations at Sushi Sawada (They never picked up their phone) and Sushi Mitani (Fully booked until August 2013… We called in April 2013 for May 2013 dining date -_-), we decided to make reservations at Sushi Yoshitake. We’ve read a fair share of mixed reviews about going to Sushi Yoshitake as some were sketched out by how this restaurant went from a 0 to a 3 Michelin Star restaurant all of a sudden. However, given the lack of other options we had available, we decided to give it a try. Boy, are we glad we did!
Finding the Place was Hard
To begin, finding the restaurant wasn’t easy since we decided not to take a taxi there (Tourist budget mode). Located in the glitzy Ginza area, this restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of a regular office building, making it that much harder to find. If you can’t read Japanese, we recommend you look for the Japanese name/characters for Sushi Yoshitake as there is a sign for it outside the building (鮨よしたけ).
We had an early reservation at 6 pm as they only accept two groups of reservations: First group at 6 pm, and the second group at 8:30 pm. We definitely recommend going to the first group seating since this is when they freshly prepare all the ingredients whereas we hypothesize that the later group gets the already prepared food that wouldn’t be AS fresh. We were very pleased to see that Chef Yoshitake was here in Tokyo for our dinner tonight because he also owns another restaurant in Hong Kong and frequently travels between restaurants.
The Memorable Dining Experience
Alright on to the dining experience! From the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out, we couldn’t help but notice Sushi Yoshitake and his staff’s strong attention to detail. As a typical tourist, I came in with my large Nikon DSLR camera. Almost immediately after I was seated, Chef Yoshitake instructed our waiter to get me a napkin which I could rest my camera on the bar counter while I dined. Not only that, they took our bags and behind us covered with napkins to prevent them from getting dirty. They also placed a numbered clip on each napkin so they know which bag belongs to who so they can easily give us our correct belongings when we left. Crazy!
The food was phenomenal. Our first dish was nice and light, but extremely flavourful! it may have been my favourite of the night. The dish was a concoction of sea urchin, crab, grated mountain yam, jelly, with wasabi all mixed in together.
Next, he started slicing some Octopus for us to eat, served with some sea salt. The kicker for us was definitely the Abalone with Green Liver sauce. I was a bit grossed out by the liver sauce at first but it actually tasted pretty good! The seaweed salad shooter was definitely unique as well. The seaweed salad was mixed with raw crab, wasabi, and a little bit of yuzu based dressing.
My boyfriend’s favourite dish of the night was definitely the three-layered Uni sushi, which would make any Uni lover’s dream come true. The first layer was smaller types of uni, topped with slightly chunkier pieces of Uni, and finally topped with generous large slices of Uni. I generally don’t like the aftertaste of Uni but due to its extreme freshness, the aftertaste was unnoticeable! As you can imagine, with 3 layers of Uni, the flavour was definitely strong but to those who love Uni, it was strong in a really good way.
Throughout my meal, I must’ve had 5 cups of Green tea because it was so good. The thing was, I barely noticed the waiter replacing my cup with a newly refilled one because he was just THAT good.
Now, such a great meal comes with a pretty big price tag…. My bill totaled up to ¥26,400 (~$264 CDN) per person. Was it worth it?? Given the quality of food and the service we got, most definitely! Would we recommend everyone to go? We would personally only recommend those that have slowly built up their palette for sushi to come here so they can truly recognize and appreciate the varying quality of sushi. If you usually eat all you can eat sushi / budget sushi there will notable difference but you most likely won’t appreciate it as much.
As we left the restaurant, Chef Yoshitake showed us to the exit and even pressed the elevator button for us and bowed to us as we left. Now that’s something!
3F of the Suzuryu Building, 8-7-19 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo
Reservation required. If travelling from abroad, you’ll need your hotel concierge to make reservations for you. They do not accept reservations overseas.
Hours of Operation: Mon- Fri: 6:00pm – 11:00pm;Sat: 6:00pm – 10:00pm. Closed Sundays and Holidays.
Price: ¥23,000 for Omakase + 10% Service Fee.
Payment: Credit Card payment may be risky due to security issues. It is highly advised to have cash on hand.
English spoken here is average.
Website (Japanese): http://sushi-yoshitake.com/persistence_e.html
How to get there:
Get off at Shinbashi station and walk out the Ginza exit. Walk toward this area on the map or alternatively, take the Taxi