Sushi Saito 鮨さいとう, (Dec 2016)

Sushi Saito, one of the only three Michelin-3-starred sushiyas in Japan, also possibly the most difficult sushiya to book in the world. Getting a reservation is almost impossible unless you are a regular guest, or invited to dine with a regular friend. Even so, serval months of waiting is necessary.

A meal at Sushi Saito is always beyond the sushi itself, it is also about the people and happiness. Until today, Sushi Saito is still one of my top sushiyas in the world. I am always happy to fly to Tokyo only for Saito. 

Since this is not my first review on Sushi Saito, i will skip a lot of introduction here. My first visit to Saito was in his student's private room, and i didn't manage to meet Saito-san in person as he was off for lunch that day. In August 2016, i finally got a reservation at Saito side for lunch. I was so excited that i was sit in the center of the 6-seat-counter, in front of Saito-san! Lucky me got the same seat this time. This was another fantastic dinner at Sushi Saito, the best Shokunin, the best techiques, and my favorite winter ingredients!

Regarding to the menu, the full-course Omakase menu is available both during lunch and dinner. While lunch time several more affordable lunch sets are also served - but i debt none 'foreigner' would pick lunch menus unless he/she residences in Japan. Sushi Saito is also considered as one of the most reasonablly-priced top sushiyas in Tokyo, the entire Omakase dinner usually cost around 25K without drinks, so worth of value.

Ostumami 1: Ikura with yuzu

Ostumami 1: Ikura with yuzu

Ostumami 2: Octopus and Abalone - still my favorite octopus tsumami!

Ostumami 2: Octopus and Abalone - still my favorite octopus tsumami!

Ostumami 3: Tara shirako (cod's milt), scallions, ginger and spice - best in season!

Ostumami 3: Tara shirako (cod's milt), scallions, ginger and spice - best in season!

Ostumami 4: Smoked Katsuo - another highlight of the tsumami/seasonal treats

Ostumami 4: Smoked Katsuo - another highlight of the tsumami/seasonal treats

Ostumami 5: Kegani - so juicy and umami

Ostumami 5: Kegani - so juicy and umami

Ostumami 6: Ankimo (monkfish liver) - my favorite ankimo appetizer

Ostumami 6: Ankimo (monkfish liver) - my favorite ankimo appetizer

Ostumami 7: Grilled nodoguro - still the best in my opinion

Ostumami 7: Grilled nodoguro - still the best in my opinion

As you can see from the above, Saito's otsumami (appetizers) were nothing but extraordinary - probably the best otsumami selections among all the sushiya i have been to. If i must have to pick few of my favorites, i may say the grilled nodoguro, octopus, and ankimo were hard to replaced. To be honest, my friends and i coincided that Saito's tsumami is much more impressive than his nigiri. (of course his nigiris were top-notched!)

1. Kare  

1. Kare  

2. Buri zuke - one of my favorite seasonal fish  

2. Buri zuke - one of my favorite seasonal fish  

3. Kohada

3. Kohada

4. Akami zuke

4. Akami zuke

5. Chutoro

5. Chutoro

6. Otoro

6. Otoro

7. Sumi ika

7. Sumi ika

8. Kurumaebi

8. Kurumaebi

9. Shima Aji

9. Shima Aji

10. Sanma Sushi - love this so much!

10. Sanma Sushi - love this so much!

11. Bafun uni

11. Bafun uni

12. Anago from Kyushu -  very light tsume to match the fragrant, creamy natural eel

12. Anago from Kyushu -  very light tsume to match the fragrant, creamy natural eel

13. Futomaki - with crab, kanpyo, cucumber, tamago and anago inside. Tastes as marvelous as it looks!

13. Futomaki - with crab, kanpyo, cucumber, tamago and anago inside. Tastes as marvelous as it looks!

Miso soup with aromatic scallions

Miso soup with aromatic scallions

14. Tamago

14. Tamago

Look at this sexy jelly babe :D

Look at this sexy jelly babe :D

Not yet satisfying...so an additional toro temaki (handroll)

Not yet satisfying...so an additional toro temaki (handroll)

Saito's shari (sushi rice) was not that sharp as Jiro-style sushiyas, but its comparably mild taste works perfectly with all his neta (fish). Regarding to the neta, all were perfectly done. My favorite pieces include Kurumaebi, Shima-aji, Chutoro, Sanma and Anago. Despite the flawless nigiri by Saito, none of the 14 pieces really WOW-ed me, thus I didn't order any additional pieces that i have had. In my words, the biggest merit of Sushi Saito is that you hardly find any shortcomings, and that's totally enough for a top sushiya.


Sushi Saito 鮨さいとう

Address: 1st Floor, Ark Hills South Tower, 1-4-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Hours: 12pm~, 5:30pm~, closed on Sundays & P.H.

Cost: (Dinner) 25000 JPY

Latest Visit: Dec.2016