Higashi-Azabu Amamoto 東麻布 天本

Higashi-Azabu Amamoto has been the talk of the town ever since it opened its doors in June 2016. This sushi dining spot was awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Guide 2017 shortly half year after the opening. Since then, it has joined the ranks among Tokyo’s most popular restaurants, and of course became one of my favourite places to satisfy my sushi cravings.

Having spent nine years perfecting his craft at the renowned 2-star Michelin Star sushiya Umi in Aoyamana, Chef Masamichi Amamoto has earned his name as one of the best sushi craftsman in Tokyo. After his time at Umi, he moved on to two of the most revered traditional Japanese restaurants, Shinohara in Shiga (which has now relocated to Ginza) and Gion Sasaki in Kyoto, to further hone his culinary skills, before he finally opened Higashi-Azabu Amamoto, his own sushiya.

It is no surprise that with great expectation from gourmands, Higashi-Azabu Amamoto is fully booked all year round. After hundreds of calls in attempt to make a reservation, I finally made mine in October 2016. It took me 7 months before I had the chance to dine at Amamoto-san’s sushiya, but his exquisite and delectable sushi creations were well worth the wait.

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 1. Mozuku seaweed from Itoshima (糸島もずく

1. Mozuku seaweed from Itoshima (糸島もずく

 2. Tai from Fukuoka

2. Tai from Fukuoka

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 3. Konoko (sea cucumber ovaries) Chawanmushi このこの茶碗蒸し

3. Konoko (sea cucumber ovaries) Chawanmushi このこの茶碗蒸し

 4. Kenagi, murasak uni, beluga caviar 毛蟹、紫雲丹、生キャビア

4. Kenagi, murasak uni, beluga caviar 毛蟹、紫雲丹、生キャビア

 5. Blue whale sashimi (tail part) 

5. Blue whale sashimi (tail part) 

 ナガスクジラの尾の身

ナガスクジラの尾の身

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 6. Botan ebi marinated in Shaoxing wine, topped with Aka uni ボタンエビの紹興酒漬けに赤雲丹

6. Botan ebi marinated in Shaoxing wine, topped with Aka uni ボタンエビの紹興酒漬けに赤雲丹

 7.Nodoguro Sumibiyaki (Char-grilled Blackthroat seaperch, fish from Nagasaki), on a bed of shari 長崎ののどぐろ炭火焼き

7.Nodoguro Sumibiyaki (Char-grilled Blackthroat seaperch, fish from Nagasaki), on a bed of shari 長崎ののどぐろ炭火焼き

 8. Hotaru ika and shari (firefly squid)

8. Hotaru ika and shari (firefly squid)

 蛍烏賊と舎利

蛍烏賊と舎利

Otsumami (appetizers) at most sushiyas are prepared by the apprentice back at the hot kitchen, and Amamoto is one of the few that freshly make the dishes by master chef himself at the counter, even includes the grilled fish. I am pretty sure the reason why the otsumami were so amazing is not only because of the conditioned reflex, the dishes were indeed insane, except the seaweed (too sour) and chawanmushi (too salty) which were on the weaker side. 

 1. Aji from a secret origin 鯵

1. Aji from a secret origin 鯵

This review features my first visit to Amamoto in May.2017. The meal started at 9:50pm with 8 otsumamis followed by 14 pieces of nigiri sushi, and wrapped up with a pieces of tamago (egg omelette) at 00:01am. 

It is not common to start the nigiri part with Aji, which is higher in oil contents as well as flavors, but Amamoto-san nailed it as a perfect beginning. Some of my friends told me that Amamoto's nigiri is quite big, but i found it is quite fair from the first few pieces. It is definitely not as small as Saito (or Kanesaka style)'s, nor as big as Kimura or any old-school style's. The taste and the temperature of the shari were also right to point, marries the neta (fish) from some of the best origins to make the entire nigiri perfect to my liking. It is hard to say which pieces are my favorite as all of them are outstanding.

 2. Kinmedai from Chiba 金目鯛 千葉大浦

2. Kinmedai from Chiba 金目鯛 千葉大浦

 3. Kohada from Amakusa 熊本 天草

3. Kohada from Amakusa 熊本 天草

 4. Katsuo with shio 千葉 - freshly grilled at the counter, the skin was so crispy and delicious even this (May) was not the best Katsuo season 

4. Katsuo with shio 千葉 - freshly grilled at the counter, the skin was so crispy and delicious even this (May) was not the best Katsuo season 

 5. Murasaki uni 紫うに 北海道噴火灣

5. Murasaki uni 紫うに 北海道噴火灣

 6. Hokigai from Hokkaido ホッキ貝 北海道

6. Hokigai from Hokkaido ホッキ貝 北海道

 7. Awabi (abalone) steamed for 7 hours, from Chiba 千葉大蒲 - fragrant, so tender with a bit rubbery texture

7. Awabi (abalone) steamed for 7 hours, from Chiba 千葉大蒲 - fragrant, so tender with a bit rubbery texture

 8. Kuruma ebi 車海老 - one of the most famous nigiri from Amamoto on Instagram. As big and marvellous as it looks! I had two!

8. Kuruma ebi 車海老 - one of the most famous nigiri from Amamoto on Instagram. As big and marvellous as it looks! I had two!

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 9. Masu no zuke (marinated masu) from Amurugawa, China 中國黒竜江

9. Masu no zuke (marinated masu) from Amurugawa, China 中國黒竜江

 10. Chutoro 中トロ

10. Chutoro 中トロ

 11. Chiaigishi maguro 血合いぎし

11. Chiaigishi maguro 血合いぎし

 12. Otoro 大トロ 沖繩

12. Otoro 大トロ 沖繩

Having dined at sushiyas famous for maguro, such as Sushi Arai, Kiyota, Tokami, I found i prefer Amamoto's maguro pieces. From the chutoro i detected a twist of sourness as the chef uses different shari for marugo, it was outstanding.  Chiaigishi maguro, or the flesh right by the red muscle, is also worth mentioning as well as the Otoro which was lip-licking good.

 13. Hamaguri from Chiba ハマグリ 千葉

13. Hamaguri from Chiba ハマグリ 千葉

 14. Anago アナゴ

14. Anago アナゴ

 Tamago 玉子 - one of my favorite tamago. 

Tamago 玉子 - one of my favorite tamago. 

 赤味噌

赤味噌

 ちらし寿司弁当

ちらし寿司弁当

It was already 00:01 when tamago was served. I'm not a late diner nor one gets excited for late dining, but i left Amamoto at 00:20am with such a satisfaction that i never expected.

The ambiance at Amamoto was also worth mentioning. Amamoto-san prepares almost everything by himself, with his wife serving dishes and wines. The flow was very smooth and gives me a very relax feeling that i can take time to enjoy the food and chatting with my friends & chef. I cannot wait to go back again as soon as possible.


東麻布 天本

Address: 東京都港区東麻布1-7-9 ザ・ソノビル 102

Hours: 18:00~24:00, Closed on Sundays