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Best non-"high-end" sushi in Tokyo?

Best non-"high-end" sushi in Tokyo?

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Old Dec 8, 12, 9:06 pm
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Best non-"high-end" sushi in Tokyo?

Hi,

Having done the "high-end" 3-star sushi at Jiro on our last visit to Tokyo, we're looking for the best "mass market" sushi option for our next visit. (Essentially planning an Otoro and Uni volume overdose... )

The last couple of times we ventured down to the Tsukiji area, we ended up at one of the handful of Sushi Zanmai outlets. Any other options to suggest either around there, or near Roppongi Hills?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 8, 12, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by milehighj View Post
Hi,

Having done the "high-end" 3-star sushi at Jiro on our last visit to Tokyo, we're looking for the best "mass market" sushi option for our next visit. (Essentially planning an Otoro and Uni volume overdose... )

The last couple of times we ventured down to the Tsukiji area, we ended up at one of the handful of Sushi Zanmai outlets. Any other options to suggest either around there, or near Roppongi Hills?

Thanks.
Pintokona in Roppongi Hills is exactly what you are looking for. B2 floor of Metro Hat (i.e. the cylindrical bldg. in front of the Spider.
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Old Dec 8, 12, 11:38 pm
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Talking really mass market now:

Tsukiji Sushiko might work well for you. It is a chain with outlets in Tsukiji (as the name suggests) and various other places in Tokyo. They used to have one right at Roppongi Crossing but it seems to be gone according to their website (unless I am missing it).

My personal favorite "mass market" sushi in Tokyo is Choshi-maru (すし銚子丸), a chain of conveyor-belt sushi places. They are cheap and absolutely fresh and delicious, with the usual menu selections plus some really unique ones (the salmon carpaccio nigiri is worth trying). Unfortunately, all of their locations are in the suburbs and most are a pain to access from central Tokyo, though there are some that are reasonably accessible with a bit of a train ride out (e.g. Kyodo and Samezu). You can see the locations in Tokyo proper on this Google map:
https://maps.google.co.jp/maps/ms?ms...440611,0.44426

and here is the menu:
http://www.choushimaru.co.jp/grand_menu/index.html
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Old Dec 9, 12, 3:30 am
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I think Zanmai is pretty good, especially for tuna. Their three tuna sampler special (O-, chu-, and akami) is good. I am referring to their normal restaurants and not kaiten, which are probably fine as far as kaiten goes.

Other chains include Sushi no Midori. There are many around town. One in Ginza just north of Shimbashi eki. Mark City in Shibuya. Also the mall above Akasaka station. http://www.sushinomidori.co.jp/index.html It tends to have long lines, especially the Shibuya branch.

Another one is Fukusuke in Ginza 2-chome across from Tiffany's. It shows up in a lot of tourist guides but is old information re location. They moved in 2009 to 10F of a building. If you enter the kanji in Google maps you will find it. 福助
One nice thing about this place is the setting on 10F with nice views and nice decor. It beats being down in B2F somewhere. This is not a chain, but they appear to have another one in Ickybukoro.

I will also throw in my favorite for sashimi in Tsukiji: Takahashi. They are in alley number 8, I think one over from one of the touristy Dai or Daiwa places with the huge lines. There is no English spoken or menu. Open 07:00 to 13:00.
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Old Dec 9, 12, 6:20 pm
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Thanks for all the useful input.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 5:42 pm
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Yes it's hard to distinguish between all the sushi places between mass market to high end. We tried Zanmai and found it just ok. Any recommendations in central or western suburbs of Tokyo for something between the chain places and the michelin star places? We had a nice lunch special for 2500 yen at a place in Hiroo and looking for something similar with lunch in the 2000-5000yen range and dinner maybe in the 4000-10000yen range.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by cardesigner2000 View Post
Yes it's hard to distinguish between all the sushi places between mass market to high end. We tried Zanmai and found it just ok. Any recommendations in central or western suburbs of Tokyo for something between the chain places and the michelin star places? We had a nice lunch special for 2500 yen at a place in Hiroo and looking for something similar with lunch in the 2000-5000yen range and dinner maybe in the 4000-10000yen range.
Well said. "High-end" and "mass market" are, with hindsight, not the perfect descriptors.

IMO there are two types of sushi experience:

First is the true hand-crafted sushi meal that typically involves a chef's omakase offerings in a Michelin-starred venue.

The second - and equally compelling - is the non-omakase, a-la-carte meal where one can freely order as many rounds of excellent, top-quality Otoro, Uni and other ultra-fresh delicacies with (a) breaking the bank, and (b) being looked at like an uncouth gaijin.

Finding the best second experience is the objective of this thread.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 1:35 am
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And the third experience would be mass market, which I certainly have no problems with in Japan. I admit to partaking in the pleasures of the local take out sushi chain after 8 pm when prices are reduced There must be plenty of mid to high range places, but hard to find recommendations for those.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 2:16 am
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If you really want to overdose on uni, I suggest a trip to the Northern extremes of the country. A little mom and pop shokudo in some place like Rausu (Hokkaido) will serve you a huge donburi with a thick layer of the freshest uni known to man. If you can't handle that much uni, you can go half uni, half ikura.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 9:12 pm
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I think chowhound.com is a better site for this type of question. I remember someone asked this very question there and someone suggested a well-hidden place in Shinsen (not far from Shibuya station) that was recommended. But it still was around 13k yen per head.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829520

What was wrong with Zanmai? You say that you enjoy take out sushi but Zanmai is no good? Hmmm.

A mid-range "independent" that comes to mind is Ichikan 市勘 in Daikanyama. I have never eaten there, however. The restaurant was featured in Lost in Translation.

I went to a small shop in Ota-ku (a friend's father-in-law owns it). It was very good and reasonable. I think you pay a lot more in Daikanyama because of the rent and neighborhood. A Zanmai can make up for the high rent by high turnover.

Last edited by gnaget; Dec 11, 12 at 9:31 pm
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Old Dec 13, 12, 5:41 pm
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Instead of going from perhaps one extreme to the other - I would recommend lunch at a really good place. Usually much cheaper than dinner. Robyn
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Old Dec 15, 12, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
I think chowhound.com is a better site for this type of question. I remember someone asked this very question there and someone suggested a well-hidden place in Shinsen (not far from Shibuya station) that was recommended. But it still was around 13k yen per head.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829520

What was wrong with Zanmai? You say that you enjoy take out sushi but Zanmai is no good? Hmmm.

A mid-range "independent" that comes to mind is Ichikan 市勘 in Daikanyama. I have never eaten there, however. The restaurant was featured in Lost in Translation.

I went to a small shop in Ota-ku (a friend's father-in-law owns it). It was very good and reasonable. I think you pay a lot more in Daikanyama because of the rent and neighborhood. A Zanmai can make up for the high rent by high turnover.
Yes, I ended up on chowhound but it seemed to focus on high end or affordable. Maybe mid range is a sort of no man's land.

I said Zanmai was just ok, which is not to say it wasn't good, but no better than other places for the same price (about 2500 jpy per person for lunch). Maybe it was just the jiyugaoka branch that is not as good as the others? We won't go out of our way to go there, and looking for something nicer.
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Old Dec 16, 12, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
If you really want to overdose on uni, I suggest a trip to the Northern extremes of the country. A little mom and pop shokudo in some place like Rausu (Hokkaido) will serve you a huge donburi with a thick layer of the freshest uni known to man. If you can't handle that much uni, you can go half uni, half ikura.
Once or twice in a lifetime we seem to agree...Done these kind of pilgrimaces on recommendation by local friends and there is nothing like it in the World.
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Old Dec 16, 12, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by mosburger View Post
Once or twice in a lifetime we seem to agree...Done these kind of pilgrimaces on recommendation by local friends and there is nothing like it in the World.
Yeah - pilgrimace is what I'm doing right now.
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Old Dec 16, 12, 10:42 am
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try midori sushi

preeetty good to.
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