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…
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!”.
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.
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.
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.
Blue Fin Tuna fun fact: Japan imports Blue Fin Tuna from places like Ireland. The best are automatically sent to Japan.
Blue Fin Tuna
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.
This is when I stopped, but the boys continued…
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.
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?
4-2-6 MINAMIAOYAMA BLDG 426, B1, MINATO-KU, TOKYO