If only we lived in Tsukiji…
The name Chiyoda Sushi is well-known to savvy and thrifty sushi fans in Japan. With over 200 locations across the country, the takeout-only Chiyoda is one of the best places to pick up Japan’s most famous seafood dish to later enjoy at home.
But unbeknownst to many, Chiyoda also manages two eat-in sushi restaurants, under the name Sushi Cho, which are tachigui style, where customers stand at a counter with the chef preparing morsels as they’re ordered. One of the Sushi Cho branches can be found in Tsukiji, Tokyo’s (and also the world’s) premiere sushi district, so we stopped by to try it for ourselves.
Located just one minute’s walk from the Tsukiji subway station and with a giant paper lantern hanging above the entrance, Sushi Cho is easy to find. Unlike some sushi restaurants which scoff at the gauche idea of openly listing their prices, Sushi Cho clearly lets you know how much individual pieces of sushi are going to cost you.
Not that they’re going to set you back very much, though. With prices starting at only 80 yen (US$0.78) per piece, Sushi Cho is just barely more expensive than kaitenzushi restaurants, the revolving conveyor belt-equipped eateries that make up the lowest-priced rung of the sushi world.
But that doesn’t mean Sushi Cho is going to skimp on quality ingredients. We started off with a delicious five–piece maguro (tuna) set, which included chutoro (medium fatty tuna), kamatoro (fatty collar), and marinated tzukemaguro.
Moving on to lighter-colored fish, we next ordered hamachi (yellowtail) and madai (red sea bream). Following the chef’s recommendation, we sprinkled just a bit of salt on top of the beautiful cuts of fish, and the effect was superb.
Next, we branched out into shellfish, enjoying sumptuous scallop, akagai (ark clam), hokki (surf clam), and tsubugai (whelk).
Finally, our meal finished strong with ikura (salmon roe) and diced aji with sesame seeds.
Unlike some other sushi restaurants where the dizzying high of a great dining experience is immediately followed by the sobering low of a pricey check, our feast only cost us about 2,000 yen (US$19). As a matter of fact, we were so satisfied that we went back again the very next day, and the only reason we didn’t return for a third lunch in a row is because we didn’t want the staff to think we’d started stalking them.
Sushi Cho / すし兆
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 3-10-9
Open: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sundays, holidays)
[ Read in Japanese ]