Takumi Shingo 匠進吾
Takumi Shingo located in Aoyama Ichome is by far one of the my favorite sushiyas in Tokyo. As a sushiya under the famous Sushi Sho series, the chef-owner Shingo Takahashi is possibly the best student of Chef Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Sho in Yotsuya. I didn't manage to get a chance to try Sushi Sho yet, but it is a great chance to have a 'Sho' experience at Takumi Shingo in advance.
Visited: Dec.1.2015 (Dinner)
Address: 東京都港区南青山2-2-15 ウィン青山 1F | Tokyo, Minato, Minamiaoyama, 2 Chome−2−15, ウィン青山 1F
Damage: Around 25,000 JPY
The interior of this 8-seat only sushiya is very simple, clean, quite which can make you relax and enjoy the food freshly prepared by the chef in front of your eyes. I called the restaurant on the first day of the previous month and got my reservation, his apprentice speaks English well and called me 2 days in advance for reconfirmation. We arrived right at 6pm at its opening time, and Chef Shingo and his apprentice greeted us very warm and politely once we stepped into the restaurant.
Only one kind of Omakase priced at 22000 JPY is served at Takumi Shingo, which usually includes 12 pieces of nigiri sushi and 12 Ostumami (appetizers/酒肴).
Sourced from Chiba, the cleam has a clean and fresh flavor. It was prepared with a twist of sake and yuzu to bring out its umami flavor. Nice starter.
Very few Hirame, or probably most white flesh impressed me compare to the rich and flavorful red fish. While these two sliced of Hirame served at the beginning og the meal surprised me - fat and creamy, nicely flavored with soy sauce and side with wasabi.
A quite unique appetizer i have ever had at any sushiya.The squid itself was tender, rice was more on the firmer side and was a bit chewy. Loved the aromatic seasame sauce with a sweet hint.
A signature Sho-stle appetizer, Agji stuffed with finely-cut threads of cucumber and ginger to balance the deep flavor of the fish, perfect in texture and flavors.
Chef Shingo-san have been making sushi for 21 years, i was pretty surprised because he looks really young. He cannot speak much English but its quite easy to follow the flow as long as you can understand the ingredients. Another surprising thing is that the real sushi feast started with high-flavored fish such as Kohada and Marguro-zuke, of course i don't have any complain about that because both were pretty good.
CHef Shingo uses white shari for Kohada while Akazu (red-vinegared shari) was used for Maguro. The special part of the Maguro - it was marinated with soy sauce with wakame (seaweed), thus it gives a more umami and refreshing flavor.
Kinmedai was high in oil contents, it was melt-in-mouth tenderness and was simply flavored with soy cause. The Akazu shari brings out the best of the fish. Kuruma Ebi was also paired with Akazu shari, the prawn itself was tender and sweet. Great.
One of my favorite pieces of the night was Iwashi, or Sardine in English. The flesh was well-cut as all the other fishes, it has a deep flavor and was rich in oil contents. Akazu shari again perfectly pairs with the fish. Wonderful.
My partner really loves gari (pickled ginger) and she always eat up all the gari after each piece, i also loved the balanced sweet and sour flavor of the young ginger pickles. I think we probably had half of the large bowl of gari of the day. Besides that, we really loved the pickled radish, it was also a light pickle that was very crunchy and refreshing. Usually served only once but we requested twice more. Maybe i should change my name to Miss.Pickles. (just kidding)
Another highlight of the meal was the lightly seared sea urchin, i rarely eat cooked uni because i loved the creamy texture of raw uni. Sometimes i eat uni tempura and i liked them just because it is uni. While this was actually my first time having yaki-uni with soy sauce, it was amazing. The uni was servved in body temperature instead of cold, still creamy and the light soy sauce didn't cover the sweet and umami flavors of the uni iteself. Superb.
I loves silver fish such as Kohada, Aji and Saba and it really shows skills of the chef, because silver fish is really hard to keep fresh and proceesed. Shingo-san does a pretty nice job, the fat fish was nicely flavored, and balanced well with negi and karashi.
Amadai was well-grilled and flavored with sweet soy sauce. The flesh was rich in oils and very succulent. Lovely.
White shari was used here as the Botan ebi itself has a mild umami and sweet flavor. Loved its creamy texture which because richer as you chew it.
Burin, another my favorite fish of this season. The two sliced was fat and creamy, with a burst of oceanic flavor. Awesome.
Kumoko (a kind of Shirako) is my favorite produce in winter. Incredible rich and creamy, with endless sweetness fragrance. Matches well with wasabi and ponzu sauce. Never get enough of Kumoko (or any kinds of Shirako).
Otoro was simply a bomb, the fish melts into oils in a few seconds once i put it into my mouth, the Akazu shari matches very well with the high flavor fish. Well, almost every sushiya serves Otoro and you may say it is 'boring', then i am sure you will like the next piece as me.
On top of well-shaped Akazu shari, the find-chopped chutoto was topped with sesame, with some negi (scallions) underneath the chopped fish. It was super creamy and flavorful.
I also loved the seared Kinmedai nigiri. Kinmedai has an aromatci grilled skin, the flesh underneath was mostly raw but rich in oils. The grated radish on the top brings a refreshing touch to it.
'Leave the best to the last'. The last piece of the menu, also the best of the best, was the Ankimo nigiri. Ankimo is one of my favorite ingredients and now it is the best season to eat Ankimo. Had a lot of Ankimo dishes before but i never had or thought of Ankimo nigiri before. The Akazu shari perfectly brings out the elegant umami flavor of the monfish liver, paired with Nara-zuke made of baby watermelon to give it a sweet and refreshing flavor, the crunchy pickled was seriously amazing with the creamy fish liver. This was definitely out favorite piece of the meal, and we added one more piece afterwards.
The size of Chef Shingo's nigiri was good enough for girls with moderate stomach size, to us it was a bif small so we added two more pieces when Shingo-san asked are we full. Well, 12 appetizers and 12 nigiris were actually totally enough, but even girls would forget about their tight dresses when they really like something. The other gentlemen who also finished their meal chuckled when we said we want two more.
The first piece we added was Anago, one of our favorite fish. It was freshly grilled, very aromatic and was melt-in-mouth tenderness, the fish skin was rich in oils and creamy. The fish was grilled with a bit sake thus it has a lovely alcoholic flavor. The soy sauce with a sweet hint works very well on the Anago.
A shot of river clam soup to cleanse our palate.
Two kinds of Tamago was served by the end of the meal: Tamago-yaki with Ebi, and Dashimaki Tamago,(海老のすり身の玉子、出汁巻き玉子). Tamago-yaki with Ebi on the left has a sponge-cake texture, sweet and has a mild shrimp flavor. The one on the right, Dashimaki Tamago is moister because of the extra dashi was added, and so it has a softer texture and milder flavor. For me, i prefer the Tamagoyaki for its moist texture and sweet flavor, feel like eating sponge cake (sweet ending!).
You may pick from sorbet or ice cream as a dessert. Ice cream flavors include Monaka, matcha and milk. Sorber include seasonal fruits. I had the seasonal sorbet which was Yonashi pear flavor, while my friend had the Monaka flavor which is a better choice.
The entire meal was nothing but superb. All the fish was very fresh and wonderfully-prepared, the shari was right to point for our liking, and i loved how Chef Shingo change the rice for different neta - the consistency was really good. The ambiance was quiet and relax, very nice chef and staffs. My first Sho experience and i cannot wait my next visit to Sushi Sho.