[TOKYO] Sushi Bar Yasuda

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo

Dear Food Diary:
Sushi lovers in the Big Apple weeped when Chef Yasuda Naomichi left Sushi Yasuda (Midtown East) for Tokyo a few years back. After all, he had taught us the standard rules and traditions of sushi and kept quality control for 11 years. His skills brought the distance between NYC and the Land of the Rising Sun to a minimal with just one bite. Once you had sushi at Yasuda, you became a snob in the best way possible, nothing else in NYC would really measure up.

Coming to Tokyo, Sushi Bar Yasuda was on top of my list. This is the Yasuda-san’s own restaurant, opened in 2011, with no connections to NYC. Friday night, when StakerBoy made reservations, we were delighted but also really surprised that we got a table for 4 last minute.

It wasn’t easy to find it on a rainy night, but finally, after a long walk from the subway, down the stairs we went. Excited as ever…

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - bar and dining room
Sushi Bar Yasuda has 12 seats (8 at the bar and 4 at the table). Run by the chef and his wife.

Sushi Chef YASUDA - sitting at the bar

The bar was full, so we sat at a table for 4 directly across. It’s a small cozy space. His wife greeted us at the door and was our waitress for the night. As we sat down, we must of clearly showed signs of being from America, fellow Yankees sitting at the bar said hello, while the Chef proudly announced “I’m from NY too, Astoria Queens!”.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - menu
The menu was simple, 10/12 pieces of sushi assortment for about $35-$40. And a la carte of course.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - 10 pieces sushi assortment
10 pieces sushi assortment
Lean meat tuna, 2 types of white fish, blue skin fish, salmon, shrimp, sea scallop, squid, omelet, scallion sprouts.
A fantastic starting line up for the evening at a very reasonable price.

I always gravitate towards sea scallop and shrimp for their naturally unique sweetness. And oddly enough, I’ve never been a fan of omelet, because of its sweet flavor.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - scallion sprout sushi
The Scallion Sprouts really stood out. I’ve never seen or had a sushi like this. Really bright and fresh flavors of onion with a mild hint to garlic.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - part of 12 pieces sushi assortment - sea eel and salmon roe
This is part of the 12 pieces sushi assortment. All the above plus sea eel and salmon Roe. The roe was standard, but the eel melt in my mouth, sweet and savory harmony.

The rice used is from Chef’s hometown of Chiba, Chikura. They are plump and have a slight toothsome quality. Each grain is perfectly defined. Served luke warm.

Unfiltered sake flowed as we watched the chef do his thing… from our table (sorta lame)… BUT
Sushi Chef YASUDA at work

when the trio at the bar left, Chef Yasuda invited us to move to the bar! YES!!! I had just told StalkerBoy how different the experience would be at the bar.


Chef explains how slow business is here, which seems like the universe is out of place to me… how odd is that?! Though word is that Anthony Bourdain will be coming next month and I’m betting with that kind of press (Oh, and this post too of course! *wink* LOL), reservations will be much harder to come by.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - a la carte menu
A LA CARTE is when the real palate pleasing time happened…

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Northern Region Uni
Northern Region Uni 
Really creamy with a strong splash of the ocean, some might call it fishy, but I liked the natural flavor.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Hokkaido Uni
Hokkaido Uni
Sweeter and brighter than the previous one. I really liked this one.

 

Blue Fin Tuna fun fact: Japan imports Blue Fin Tuna from places like Ireland. The best are automatically sent to Japan. 


Blue Fin Tuna 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Old Toro. Head Portion Toro (tuna)
Blue Fin Toro (tuna) – old toro from head portion 
Good fat balance. The buttery aroma was strong and lingered. All 4 of us were at awe. Wow.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Blue Fin Toro also from head portion (tuna)
Blue Fin Toro (Tuna) – Also from the head portion
It had a different texture than the previous. Melted in my mouth with an explosion of sweetness. Double wow.

 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Fat Greenling
Fat Greenling – a native Japanese flat white fish (Chef called it not so “sexy” body)
It actually wasn’t fatty but chewier instead. Sweet, but not my favorite fish of the night.

 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Tiger Prawn
Tiger Prawn
Really flavorful and bouncy in texture. It almost ate like lobster.

 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - White Tiny Shrimp
White Tiny Shrimp
Clean taste. Its salty and then sweet. Grassy finish. I love having shrimp raw. The snap in the  flesh and smooth texture that curls the tongue.

 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Central Japan Eel
Central Japan Eel with crystal salt
Grilled flavor permeated the piece. It melt in my mouth with the caramelized crispy edges, I totally loved it. Sweet and salty. One of the best eel sushi pieces I’ve had.

At this point I was getting full, but had to try some clams, so I asked for sashimi.

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Cockle
Cockle Sashimi
Crunchy and sweet. I felt like I was swimming in the sea, or wherever cockles are found.

 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Heart Clam
Heart Clam
Also had a nice snap and natural crunch. Sweeter than the cockle. I preferred this.

 

This is when I stopped, but the boys continued… 

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Mackerel
Mackerel

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - Spider Crab
Japanese Spider Crab

Sushi Bar YASUDA in Tokyo - uni (sea urchin) hand roll
Uni Hand Roll
Chef highly recommended it so we could try his hand picked seaweed. Grown in Kyushu island. I had a bite of StakerBoy’s order. Very flavorful, but it was more chewy than crispy for my taste. But that’s just personal preference.

 

Sushi Chef YASUDA and ChubbyChineseGirl
We had a such a great meal and time here. Chef Yasuda is friendly and chatty. Specially since he speaks English! (our Japanese is limited to greetings at this point).

The final bill was $125 per person, totally reasonable considering the quality and the amount we ate and drank.

As a final treat, chef invited us to tag along the next day at the Tsujiki Fish Market while he shopped! How awesome is that?

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 4.5

www.shusibaryasuda.com
4-2-6 MINAMIAOYAMA BLDG 426, B1, MINATO-KU, TOKYO
03.6447.0232