[Tokyo] Sushi Saito 鮨さいとう
Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ (5/5)
After Sukiyabashi Jiro, another dream I managed to fulfill on this trip was to finally visit Sushi Saito in Tokyo thanks to TastyTrip! The revered sushi restaurant has long been on my wish list but reservations have been pretty much impossible unless you know a regular customer who has an existing one. It was still a bit surreal to me as I made my way to the restaurant in the Ark Hills complex and sat down in one of the eight coveted seats in front of Saito San. Widely considered the best sushi restaurant in Japan (if not the world), it is highly popular with locals and tourists alike and after my meal, I can totally see why. With most meals you are trying to find a highlight but here at Sushi Saito, you are trying to find faults but can hardly find any.
It's funny that while I have seen Saito San's image all over online, I was surprised to discover that he has quite a deep booming voice. He is super friendly so the entire dining experience was very relaxed and enjoyable.
Saito is known for its fantastic tsumami and while every appetizer was strong, the Shirako (cod milt), Ankimo (monkfish liver) and Komochi Yari-ika (pregnant squid) were best in class and my favorites of the meal!
Shirauo (Japanese ice fish) - we've been having this fish at practically every meal on this trip as the shirauo is in season when we were there a few weeks ago.
Komochi Yari-ika (pregnant squid) - the first time I had this was at Sugita and I have to say that Saito's was just as good.
Meji Maguro (baby tuna)
Kegani (horsehair crab)
Ankimo (monkfish liver) - I was impressed with the one that I had at Hong Kong's Sushi Saito but this was even better!
Once the tsumami were finished, it was time for the nigiri! Saito San does all of the cutting himself and neatly lines up all the neta before making the sushi.
It’s a joy to watch different sushi chefs make nigiri and Saito San’s style is intense and fast - as my friend Meatchelin described - “it’s like he’s winding up to hit a baseball!"
Hirame Konbujime (flounder)
Sawara (Spanish mackerel)
Kohada (gizzard shad)
Akami (lean tuna)
Chutoro (medium fatty tuna)
Otoro (fatty tuna)
Sumi-ika (golden cuttlefish)
Kuruma Ebi (Japanese tiger prawn) - this was probably the best kuruma ebi I've ever had as the shrimp came with its delicious gooey innards still attached to the head (which is a first for me)! Just think about how careful he had to be when deshelling the prawn.
Sabazushi (mackerel sushi roll)
Bafun Uni - admittedly the sea urchin I had here wasn't as good as the one I had at Jiro the day before. It's also not the best season for uni right now (usually the best time is summer where I hear you can try different sea urchin at Saito).
Tamago - ending the meal with Saito San's famous custard-like tamago!
It’s rare to find J and I looking at each other and nodding in approval after almost every piece of sushi but everything at Saito was just so well-balanced with the flavor and temperature of the shari in relation to each of the neta. The hype is real my friends and I can't wait to come back here!
1 Chome-4-5 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo-to, Japan
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