See that mouth-watering plate of yellowtail sushi? It cost us less than a buck.
They say that every good thing comes to an end, but no matter how much we may try to accept that as an inevitability, it still hurts when it’s our good thing that’s coming to an end. So when we heard that a nameless sushi restaurant, which we’d visited before, in Tokyo’s Yoyogi neighborhood was shutting down, we felt a deep, deep sadness.
Why, in a city as large as Tokyo, were we so hung up on this particular dining option? Because the restaurant sold buri, or yellowtail, sushi for the unbelievably low price of just 10 yen (US 9 cents) per piece. That’s about one-tenth of the price that most restaurants charge for buri, and definitely not the sort of dining option we could just shrug off losing.
But to our joy, we found out that the only reason the restaurant was shutting down in Yoyogi was so that it could move to Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s most lively entertainment districts and, quite fortuitously, where SoraNews24’s headquarters is located. Since it’s now just a short walk from the office, we stopped by on August 4, the day of its opening.
While the Yoyogi and Shinjuku neighborhoods are next to each other, rent tends to be more expensive in Shinjuku, which had us fearing that the restaurant may have upped its prices accordingly, especially since the restaurant is now just a block away from the newly developed Toho Building high-rise (where Tokyo’s full-size Godzilla head stares out over the city). But while the eatery has a new location and, finally, an official name of Namae no Nai Sushi-ya, or “Nameless Sushi Shop,” the prices have stayed the same, as the signboard outside the entrance proudly announces that buri is still just 10 yen a piece.
The new location is roomier than the old one, too. Customers eat while standing at a counter, and as we looked over the menu we saw that though nothing offers the same level of amazing value as the buri, the other sushi is also very reasonable, with squid for just 80 yen, mackerel for 140, and salmon for 160 per piece, Mixed sashimi sets start at 490 yen.
We started off with an order of 10 pieces of buri. While that sort of bold opening move would ordinarily make us high rollers, keep in mind that all this…
...cost us a meager 100 yen. Life doesn’t give you too many chances to get such a huge helping of sushi for less than a buck, and there was no way we were passing this one up.
Though Nameless Sushi’s buri costs only a fraction of what it does at other restaurants, it tastes just as you’d expect from a Japanese sushi specialist: moist, sweet, and delicious.
Customers are required to order one drink, but you don’t have to knock back any alcohol. We asked for some oolong tea, which the server brought us along with the otoshi, a small appetizer that you get as part of the 200-yen service charge.
Since we still had plenty of coins left in our pocket, we decided to splurge on four pieces of squid sushi, which cost us 260 yen, since tentacles are discounted to a mere 50 yen per piece.
As we finished our meal and headed home, we were immensely satisfied. Everything had tasted great, we were stuffed, and our wallet was almost as full as our stomach. Now that Nameless Sushi is so close to our office we’re sure we’ll be heading back repeatedly.
After all, we can certainly afford it.
Namae no Nae Sushi-ya (Nameless Sushi) / 名前のない寿司屋
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-12
Open from 5 p.m. (closing time indeterminant, varies by day)
[ Read in Japanese ]
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[ Read in Japanese ]