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We had about a week in Tokyo and wanted to reacquaint ourselves with as many different genres of authentic Japanese food as we can. We managed to have sushi (see below), yakimono, wagashi, ramen, shabu-shabu, tonkatsu, localized chinese, french and italian, japanese curry and izakaya snacks (see later posts). We had lunch with IT’s friend who made the reservation at Matsue.

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Matsue is a serious sushi place without the high-end Michelin prices. Like many of the famous sushi restaurant, it looks inconspicuous on the outside. Matsue is within easy walking distance from the Ebisu station.

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Founded in 1966, the restaurant is a little larger than some of the most exclusive sushi places (that we saw on TV), but still tiny compared to restaurants in the US or Europe. Reservation is a must here, apparently according to Tripadvisor.

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We sat at the counter facing the chef who spoke some English. Very friendly and attentive service. Sue and I ordered omakase.

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Unlike many other sushi restaurants, there was no refrigerated counter separating us and the chef. None of the fishes was on display.

Octopus and abalone.

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The chef advised us not to use soy sauce as the pieces are all appropriately flavored.

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We started with some warm dishes, like this slightly charred scallop which was to be wrapped with the toasted lightly salted seaweed, and eaten like a sandwich. It was divine.

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We can see tiny flakes of salt in a few pieces. And no soy sauce was needed.

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It was more than 10 years ago when we last visited this metropolis. The Tsukiji fish market 築地市場 was not a tourist hotspot at that time, and now it needs crowd-control measures every morning. There we had the reputedly freshest sushi in Tokyo. 

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In November 2016, in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Tsukiji market will be closed and moved out of central Tokyo. It is the loss of a landmark for Tokyo. Several local magazines are publishing special issue to commemorate its closure, given its operation since the 1930’s. 

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The luxuriating texture of uni (sea urchin).

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This restaurant liked to use the torch on its sushi.

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Their rolls were particularly tasty as they paired the fish with some subtle pickles – excellent, never had this before.

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IT ordered a piece of unagi (eel) but it looked rather pale compared to those we had before (not grilled ?). Apparently it was great.

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We were probably the last customers to leave the restaurant. The chefs were cleaning and preparing the pieces for dinner – we saw many kinds of seafood, including snow crabs.

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Matsue was definitely an experience that cannot be had without local guidance. Highly recommended.

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FYI, Matsue has a newer restaurant of the same name at Roppongi.

 

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One Comment

  1. We will be in Tokyo in August to check this out!


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