Sugita 日本橋蛎殻町 すぎた

These days we would go the extra mile for gastronomy entertainment, even if it means waiting for months or even a year. This is especially so if you’re looking to dine at some of Tokyo’s best restaurants, such as the one-Michelin-starred Sugita (Kakigaracho Sugita). Reservation is almost impossible for new comers at this moment, even regulars have to wait for a chance as it is normally book out for the whole year.

I decided to check out this highly sought-after gastronomic experience for myself after successfully getting a reservation. A brief background on the history of Sugita before Sugita was opened, Chef-owner Takaagi Sugita trained at Miyakozushi for 12 years where he started out as a sushi delivery boy who worked his way up to a sushi chef. It was only in 2015 when Chef Takaagi Sugita bought over Miyakozushi and relocated from Tachibanacho to its current location Kakigaracho.

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1. Salt-baked gingko nuts

1. Salt-baked gingko nuts

Having been listed in the Michelin Guide 2017 and awarded Michelin 1 star, Sugita’s otsumami is indeed top-notch among all the sushiyas I’ve ever been.

The season’s specials including salt-baked gingko nuts and Hawahagi sashimi which were served with liver paste, made their dignified appearance, in a petite yet creamy and delicious form. This was followed by a myriad of seafood plates that featured the soft-braised tako (octopus), iwashi maki (sardine roll), and ankimo (monkfish liver) which are the stellar of the meal. The tako had been massaged for several hours to create its incredibly soft and tender texture - arguably the best I’ve ever had this year. On the hand, Iwashi maki (Sugita-san’s signature dish), has a bit more crunch in texture as it is a roll made of iwashi fish, seaweed, cucumber, sesame and myoga. Ankimo is infallibly outstanding as well, with a melt-in-the-mouth umami delight that lingers beautifully on the palate.

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2. Hirame and Kawahagi sashimi

2. Hirame and Kawahagi sashimi

3. Tako (octopus)

3. Tako (octopus)

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4. Iwashi maki (with gari, myoga and oba leaf)

4. Iwashi maki (with gari, myoga and oba leaf)

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5. Tara-shirako

5. Tara-shirako

6.1 Ankimo

6.1 Ankimo

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6.2 Sujiko (salmon roe in sac)

6.2 Sujiko (salmon roe in sac)

7. Grilled Tachiuo

7. Grilled Tachiuo

The otsumami was so appetizing that it whet my appetite even more. Then, my heart pounded faster in excitement when Sugita-san started to slice fish for the nigiri course.

1. Kohada

1. Kohada

2. Tai

2. Tai

3. Sawara

3. Sawara

4. Kasugo kombu-jime

4. Kasugo kombu-jime

5. Chutoro

5. Chutoro

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6. Shime-saba

6. Shime-saba

7. Otoro

7. Otoro

8. Iwashi*

8. Iwashi*

9. Buri

9. Buri

10. Uni

10. Uni

11. Akami

11. Akami

13. Isaki

13. Isaki

12. Katsuo

12. Katsuo

14. Kuruma-ebi

14. Kuruma-ebi

15. Anago (Tsume and Shio)

15. Anago (Tsume and Shio)

Soup

Soup

Tamago

Tamago

I was pleased to see that Sugita’s nigiri is quite generous in every serving, be it the shari (rice) or the neta (fish), allowing his guests to savour more of each creation. He will always begin with Kohada, which rarely happens in Japan as chefs often save this as the highlight of the courses that comes much later. Reason being Kohada is stronger in taste, thus most sushi chefs kick off their courses with white fish which is lighter in flavour, and serve Kohada after toro. However, Sugita-san likes to do things a little differently – start things with a bang and awaken the taste buds before his other nigiri.

With typical Sugita flair, the punchy flavours came together decadently — but they were replicated again and again with each delectable course that came through. After 15 pieces of nigiri, I got really full, patting my rather round belly in satisfaction and wishing I could stuff myself with even more of his sushi. Now, even as I pen down every memory I had of every piece of sushi I savoured at Sugita, I’m already looking forward to the next reservation, in hope of securing it with ease.


Nihonbashi-Kakigaracho Sugita 日本橋蛎殻町 すぎた

Address: Kakigaracho 1−33−6, Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan 〒103-0014

Hours: 17:00~ (two seatings), Sunday 11:00~, (two seatings) 18:00~, closed on Monday

Reservation: Impossible for new comers

This post features the visit of Oct.2017