Harutaka is a two-Michelin-starred sushiya in Ginza, and is so far my favorite sushiya in Tokyo. It used to be one-star but gained another star in 2015. It is also the second highest-rated sushiya on Tabelog (Japanese food review website). Harutaka housed in heart of Ginza area, the focus of this suhiya is no doubt nigiri sushi, as well as a variety of Japanese appetizers to enjoy with drinks.
Visited: May.18.2015 (Dinner)
Address: 3F, Ginza Kawabata Blsg, 8-5-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
東京都中央区銀座8-5-8 かわばたビル ３F
Hours: 17:00-23:30, Saturday 17:00-22:30, Close on Sundays and P.H
Price: 20,000 JPY and 30,000 JPY (with sashimi appetizers)
Chef Harutaka Takahashi comes from Sukiyabashi Jiro school, his daily life starts with a Tsukiji Market trip every morning. The best daily fish was selected by him freshly. The ambiance of this 14 seater sushiya was quite relax, not that serious as Mizutani-san, and you don’t need to finish your food in a hurry as you eat at Jiro. The chef was friendly and humorous, which made the ambiance quite homme thus we can enjoy our food.
Harutaka opens for dinner only, two sets of courses were served: 20,000JPY which includes an appetizer (non-fish), assorted sushi; and 30,000 JPY with assorted sashimi appetizers, sushi and dessert. I picked the 20,000 JPY one as i came here for sushi.
The first piece has a very clean and refreshing flavor. It was tender and balanced well with the shari.
Chef’s knife work is obvious awesome, the slightly thin flesh is soft and possess a well-balanced and elegant sweetness. It was tender, and became richer,’sticker’ and sweeter as you chewing it.
Tender, and has a very clean and simple taste.
Higher in flavor and very clean texture.
One of my favorite pieces of the meal. The chutoro was rich in oil, it was melt-in-mouth tenderness and deep in flavor. The balance between the fish and rice was right to point.
The ‘ lard of the sea’ – much fattier and creamier than chu-toro. The rich oils soonly melted in my mouth in seconds.
Kohada is another my favorite, also the highlight of the meal at Harutaka. The fish itself was well-vinegared, the sourness was moderate. The entire piece was flavorful. Much better than Jiro’s (for my liking).
The steamed abalone has a very lovely fragrance, it was tender and a bit crunchy.
One of the best produce of Spring, the Kasugo was balanced well with the sauce and shari, it taste very refreshing.
Then chef Harutaka Takahashi took out a freshly broiled Kuruma Ebi and peeling the shell in front of us. The ebi is no doubt the largest i have ever seen, it was even longer than chef’s palm. Harutaka Takahashi san took out its organs as well, and stuffed with a shari ball as well as some fresh wasabi, sliced it into two halves and finished with some sweet soy sauce.
See how large it was: half of the prawn is even longer than my fingers. It was incredibly tender and juicy, with a lovely ‘shrimp’ fragrance, i enjoyed its sweetness as well as the aftertaste. One of the best kuruma ebi i have ever had.
It has a very deep water flavor, crunchy and juicy.
The uni was from Takasaki, Kyushu (九州). It was darker in color compare to Hokkaido uni. The uni was sweet and the water content made it very refreshing. The texture was firmer than Hokkaido uni, and each piece of uni was smaller in size. It was so good with the crispy seaweed. I added one more uni at the end of the meal.
Katsuo is usually served with tuna, but i found it works well as an ending. The slightly seared Katsuo was very tender and has a deep flavor, its moderate fat content brought us to a refreshing ending.
The Anago was creamy and melt in my mouth, the sweet sauce was very lovely. Another my favorite piece.
After the unagi, chef asked me if i am full. I was pretty stuffed but i missed Tokami’s tuna hand roll a lot, i ordered one more tekka maki for a try. It was not bad but for tuna roll, Tokami’s no doubt wins.
Tamago is always another part i enjoy the most, it is served as a sweet ending. The tamago was sweet, and has a deep egg flavor. The texture was very moist. I am in love.
A flawless meal with few highlights, a good Jiro style sushiya and personal prefer Harutaka over Jiro – at least you can take time to enjoy your food. While the tastes is stronger, which i didn’t feel when i wasn eating, but after the meal i drunk almost 2L mineral water…