Sushi, of course, is one of the most popular Japanese foods around, and many visitors to Japan are bound to try it. There’s nothing quite like the rich flavor of fatty tuna melting in your mouth, or the sensation of biting into a sweet, thick piece of fresh scallop, right? Alas, like many of the nice things in life, good sushi tends to be pricey … but is that always necessarily the case?
What if we told you that there’s a restaurant in Tokyo where you can have an authentic sushi lunch for 1,000 yen (US$8.24)? That’s right, an amazing sushi meal for under $10 — of course we had to check it out ourselves!
The restaurant we’d heard about was the Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki, located in the Ebisu district of Tokyo. Apparently, the shop is quite packed during lunchtime, but as ardent lovers of sushi, we weren’t about to be deterred by a bit of a crowd.
The restaurant was situated just a few minutes away from Ebisu Station, and the shop itself looked quite classy. By the time we got there, we have to admit that we were getting a bit worried. This was a nice restaurant in an easily accessible part of central Tokyo — were we really going to be able to have a decent sushi lunch for 1,000 yen?
Once we were inside and seated, we saw to our relief that there indeed was a 1,000 yen sushi lunch on the menu. In fact, the lunch seemed to be a pretty good deal, as it included six pieces of sushi, some rolls, cooked eggs, salad, Japanese-style soup and even dessert.
We eagerly ordered the lunch, and the first item served was squid. We were surprised to see that the squid was cut into thin pieces, like how it is served at the Komatsu Yasuke, one of the most well-known sushi restaurants in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, an area of Japan particularly famous for fine sushi.
▼ As the squid (ika) was thinly sliced, it mixed thoroughly with the vinegared rice, creating a delectable combination in our mouth. From the very first piece of sushi, we were caught by surprise and found ourselves wondering, “Can 1,000-yen sushi taste this good?”
▼ Next, we had bonito (katsuo), which had a nice moist texture and was complimented extremely well by the wasabi on top.
▼ The sea bass (suzuki) was served with soy sauce brushed on top and a dash of citrus to add some flavor and scent.
▼ The slightly sticky texture of the sweet shrimp (amaebi) was delightful.
▼ We were also served two temaki-type rolls. One was a salmon roe (ikura) roll …
▼ … and the other a boiled whitebait (kama-age shires) roll, each offering a different texture.
▼ The lunch also included a piece of cooked sweet egg and some refreshing pickled vegetables …
▼ … and a clear, Japanese-style soup for some warm liquid nourishment.
▼ Of course, we can’t forget dessert, which was a “buckwheat blancmange”, that came with a separate cup of tea with a refreshing scent.
▼ Besides the items included in the 1,000 yen lunch, we also had some marinated squid and onions …
▼ … and a plate of yam and picked plum paste rolls, topped with dried bonito flakes. The sour flavor of the pickled plum seriously stirred our appetite.
So, that was our experience having the 1,000-yen sushi lunch at Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki. Now, it’s not every day we can find such a well-prepared meal for 1,000 yen, and we have to say, we were impressed with not only the food but the locale and atmosphere of the restaurant as well, making for quite the complete package. For dinner, they have courses starting from 5,000 yen ($41.14), and we have no reason to think that their dinners wouldn’t be just as enjoyable.
When it comes to sushi, the famous Tsukiji fish market with all of its excitement and activity may quickly come to mind, and yes, you can find some excellent sushi establishments there, but if you want to relax and enjoy nice sushi at a reasonable price, Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki is a restaurant we can highly recommend. If you’re a sushi lover and you don’t mind a meal with an emphasis on quality over quantity, you might find it worthwhile to pay the restaurant in Ebisu a visit!
[Details of Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki]
Address: 1F Drop In Daikanyama 1-16-8 Ebisu Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(東京都渋谷区恵比寿西1-16-8 ドロップイン代官山 １Ｆ)
Open: Mon- Fri 11:30 am～1:30pm for lunch, Mon-Sat 6pm～10:30pm for dinner
(Closed Sundays and holidays)
Original report by: Nakano
Photos: © RocketNews24
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