[Tokyo] Zoroku Sushi 蔵六雄山

Just came back from a 5 day trip in Tokyo filled with eating, eating and what else?...more eating! We landed just in time for dinner and our first stop was Zoroku Sushi in Roppongi. With a fairly high rating of 4.1 on Tabelog (basically anything over 4 out of 5 is considered pretty high considering that Japanese tend to be such hard markers), my expectations were pretty high and I was looking forward to trying the moving uni that J had last time about a month ago. Like many of the top rated sushi restaurants in Tokyo, Zoroku was located in a tiny side street with an unassuming exterior - it was like walking into some residential building. As we stepped inside, I found the interior to be warm and cozy with a sushi bar that can sit about 10 people, and so began our sushi adventure at Zoroku Sushi. 

Of course we had to order some sake to go with sushi and we ended up trying a few from randomly picking from their menu. The white one on the left was interesting as it was a bubbly sake while the one on the right was strong with a spicy flavor but smooth finish. 

We began our meal with a cold chawan mushi, which is a traditional steamed egg custard dish, topped with aka uni. Typically served hot, I thought that it was a nice touch to serve the chawan mushi as a cold dish instead as it was so so hot in Tokyo in July. The uni was firm and creamy but a tad fishy compared to the other uni we would have later in the meal. 

Unfortunately, they didn't have the moving uni that J had the last time he was here where the uni was served in its spiky shell while the spikes were still moving as it was still alive. As with most omakase menus, it was up to the chef to decide what to serve which depended on what they had at the fish market the morning of. As it was uni season, we were served with really delicious uni anyways - moving spikes or not. The one on the left is a murasaki uni with a yellowish color while the one on the right is a bafun uni with a beautiful orange hue. I preferred the bafun uni more as it was richer, creamier, and more flavorful with a sweet aftertaste - like ice cream from the sea. 

Besides the uni, we were also served with a variety of nigiri during our meal like akami, aji, chutoro, ika, anago, hirame and more. They were all so fresh and delightful but I found the rice to be a bit too sour for my taste. The chef uses red vinegar for the rice which was apparent from the red tinge of the rice in the nigiri. As the rice typically lands on the tongue first (unless you're eating the sushi sideways or upside down), I found my taste buds to be overwhelmed with the acidity before I can thoroughly enjoy the delicate flavors of the raw fish. 

I was more impressed with the seafood the chef had prepared in other ways through marinating, grilling, steaming, etc. The tako was very tender and flavorful as it was marinated with sudachi and other sauces. The shellfish was char-grilled to perfection as it was still tender and juicy. The amaebi was so sweet and plump while I enjoyed the mountain of crab meat salad very much with its refreshing tangy flavors.  

The most unforgettable piece was of course the moving clam as it was still alive! The chef even smacked it a few times after he placed it on my plate to show me it was moving. It was still moving as I held it between my chopsticks to deliver the goods to my awaiting tummy. So delectably fresh and pure!

The fried fish dishes were probably my least favorite as I found them to be rather one dimensional. The first one we had was still good but the second was bland in flavor and the last had too many tiny fish bones. Did I mention that I hate picking fish bones? Anyways, I'm not sure if it was entirely due to the fried fishes but the restaurant was really smoky and stank up our clothes - even more so than a yakitori place we would go to later in the trip. That was something I didn't expect from a sushi dinner. 

Verdict - our tab came to ~¥25,000 per person which included lots of sake and umeshu. For a meal with 20+ courses, the price wasn't unreasonable. The style of sushi here is probably more new and modern which may not be for everyone. J prefers this style of sushi while I'm more of a traditionalist myself. We would end up trying a more traditional style sushi restaurant later in the trip. Stay tune for more!

106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, 7 Chome−18−24, 鈴木ビル2F

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