Tokyo Eats: Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro Roppongi

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Have you watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a 85-minute documentary about Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro? If you have not, Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro – more familiarly known as ‘just’ Sushi Jiro – is a three Michelin star sushi restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza district, helmed by Chef Jiro Ono and his eldest son.

After watching the show, I wanted to do two things – 1) book a table at Sushi Jiro and 2) eat sushi for dinner that night. To do the latter is pretty easy, but to get a table at Sushi Jiro – that’s almost impossible. If you want to dine at Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro, the easiest way is probably to get a reliable hotel concierge or credit card concierge to reserve a seat for you!

Before my recent trip to Japan, I read various online reviews and many said dining at Sushi Jiro can be quite an intense experience. Since it’s going be my first time trying a legendary Michelin-starred sushi restaurant, I wanted it to be a little bit more pleasant. So I went ahead and booked Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro Roppongi instead. The restaurant has the same name, but it’s actually a different one helmed by Chef Jiro Ono’s second son, Chef Takashi.

Ideally, reservations should be made at least a month in advance, but I only asked my friend to reserve the table two weeks before my trip. Honestly, I did not expect to get a table, but I guess I was pretty lucky!

Review: Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro Roppongi

The tiny restaurant located at a hidden corner in Roppongi Hills was a little bit difficult to find. Despite that, all the diners managed to arrive slightly earlier than the reservation slot – I guess we were all so excited we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything!

I was expecting the restaurant to be full, but at my slot there were only 5 people (including me) all seated at the counter. Once we sat down, Chef Takashi knew exactly what we were going to have.

I had the Sushi Set, which was priced around JPY 18,400 (~SGD 220.3) for 15 courses of sushi. At the end of the course, we were allowed to repeat one sushi that we particularly liked, or try a new one. This, of course, came with an additional price tag. The other set on the menu was the Sashimi Set, priced around JPY 25,900 (~SGD 310).

Is Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro Worth the Hype?

So at this point I’m sure you’re wondering – how was the experience? To be honest, out of the 16 sushi that I tried, I only really liked 6. The rest were not bad but they did not blow my mind. I also thought the sushi rice generally was a little bit too sour for me

Next – would I recommend Sushi Jiro to others? My answer would be yes and no.

Yes – if you want the experience of dining at Sushi Jiro, trying out top-notch sushi, exchanging stories with Chef Jiro Ono or his sons, and basically living out the show Jiro Dreams of Sushi in reality.

On the other hand, if you generally don’t like to splurge on fine dining and you don’t really care about the experience of dining at THE Sushi Jiro, then maybe give this a pass.

Read on for photos and more details about my sushi experience!

The Sushi Set at Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro Tokyo

Flounder
Squid
Tuna
Medium Fatty Tuna
Hamaguri (Clam)

Gizzard Shad

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Ikura (Salmon Roe)

I was never a huge fan of salmon, especially ikura (salmon roe), so I was a bit reluctant to try the ikura sushi that was part of my set.

“This is different. We make the ikura ourselves. They are homemade so they are not fishy and they are different from the other ikura that are mass-produced.”

“Okay, Chef. I will give this a try.”

I grabbed the sushi, placed it in my mouth and yup, the chef was right. That was one damn good ikura. If only all ikura taste like that!

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Kurumaebi (Prawn) – eat the tail first! The head is more flavourful, so you should eat that part last!

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Smoked Bonito. It was SOOOOO GOOOOD!! Probably the best sushi I have ever had in my life. Ever.

My personal favorite from Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro has to be the Smoked Bonito. I never tasted anything like it! It had just the right amount of smokiness and each bite was just. so. good. I remember saying “OMG this is so good” repeatedly to the guy sitting next to me and he immediately ate his portion – either he was curious to find out how good it really was, or he was afraid I was going to steal his piece, heh!

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Uni (Sea Urchin). I still think Sushi Dai has the best uni, but this was pretty good too!
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Anago (Sea Eel)

This one literally melted in my mouth. Chef Takashi mentioned that it was going to be the best eel that I had ever tried in my life. I guess he was right again. Indeed, this eel tasted like heaven! <3

Fatty Tuna
Tamago

If you have watched the show, you would know how difficult it is to make this egg omelette. In the documentary, one of the apprentices said that it took him more than 200 attempts before Chef Jiro Ono finally approved of it.

Texture-wise, the tamago was more like a cake rather than the usual egg omelette. It was slightly sweeter too, but it was oh, so good!

Summary

Overall, I did have a pleasant experience dining at Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro Roppongi. Initially, I thought Chef Takashi was not the friendliest, but he turned out be a very chatty and entertaining guy. After the third sushi or so, he started conversing with the diners – asking where we came from, whether we had watched the documentary, and whether we had been to Japan before.

Food-wise, I wouldn’t say it’s the best, BEST place for sushi, but some sushi definitely exceeded my expectations 🙂

For more Tokyo recommendations, read our previous posts here>>. And as always, drop any questions you have in the comments below!

Sushi Sukibayashi Jiro
Address: 3F, Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Residence B, 6-12-12
Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Telephone: +81 03 5413 6626

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