While a popular format for sushi restaurants in some foreign countries like America, it’s much more difficult to find all-you-can-eat sushi in Japan than one would think.
If you are in Japan and are looking to gorge yourself on maguro, saba or whatever else floats your sushi boat, look no further than Tabehodai Sushi Club, a little place in Ueno, Tokyo that has all-you-can-eat sushi for only 1050 yen (US $13).
The restaurant is said to be popular with foreigners and, during the busiest hours, has a line outside the door on any given day.
Your reporter in Tokyo recently visited the restaurant for the first time to see what the fuss is about.
Anyone who has been to all-you-can-eat in Japan is likely aware that it’s common for customers to be restricted to 1-2 hours until they need to clear out or pay extra to extend their stay. Tabehodai Sushi Club surprisingly has no such time limit but customers must pay a penalty fee for each dish they order but fail to eat—70 yen for nigirizushi and 120 yen for makizushi or gunkanmaki.
I sat down at my table, was handed an order sheet and proceeded to fill it out with my favorites: ama-ebi, ikura, maguro, shime-saba, and so on.
The sushi came 15 minutes later and, for my first taste test, I plopped the ikura (salted salmon roe) nigirizushi into my mouth and…
…hrm…perhaps a little flaccid…
Okay, so how about the uni (sea urchin)?
…hrm…perhaps too small to tell how it actually tastes…
Alright then, let’s try the ama-ebi (sweet shrimp)!
…!!! Okay, not bad at all! They might want to tone down the wasabi though…
Unfortunately, that ama-ebi was the highlight of my Sushi Club experience, but really, that’s only to be expected given the price.
Basically, if you’re looking for quality over quantity at a reasonable price (which, I guess, is what all-you-can-eat is all about), then save some room in your stomach and head over to Ueno for copious amounts of second-rate sushi!
Restaurant: Tabehoudai Sushi Club,
Address: 6-13-4 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Open throughout the year
[ Read in Japanese ]