You can’t go to Japan without having sushi at least once. That’s a little tricky for me because the only sushi I’ve had contained mango and the thought of eating raw fish really freaked me out. I hardly eat cooked fish so you can see why raw would be a hard sell. Since my husband likes sushi, I decided to suck it up and book a fancy sushi lunch. If I’m going to eat sushi, might as well make it high end!
I chose Sushi Ya in Ginza and had the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo make a reservation for us. I chose this restaurant because of the good reviews and the atmosphere. The restaurant is small and only has seven seats. I wanted to be able to see the chef at work so it was more of an experience. The chef, Takao Ishiyama, previously trained at Sushi Kanesaka and Sushi Saito so I’m assuming it would be good.
The shop was very hard to find. It’s located down a narrow alleyway and either was unmarked entirely or was written in Japanese and I just couldn’t tell. We walked around the block trying to find it. Luckily, by the time we looped around, there was a couple doing an Instagram photoshoot in front of the restaurant.
Once inside, we had a choice of a 10 piece or 14 piece lunch. To the chef’s surprise, I went with 10 while everyone else picked 14. He even checked to make sure I was okay missing the uni. Little did he know I was nervous about eating the sea grape salad he just set down in front of me.
I’m going to mostly let the pictures speak for themselves because I know nothing about sushi and honestly don’t even know what I ate. While I am ill-equipped to provide a review, based on the other diner’s reactions, the sushi was delicious!
The meal started off well. I enjoyed these first three and thought that I might actually want to get sushi once in a blue moon at home.
Tastewise I did okay here, but this is where texture started becoming an issue. I think this was baby shrimp.
You’d think a cooked piece of shrimp would be a welcome site, but I actually have never had shrimp so I struggled with this one, mainly because of its size.
I think this was squid. I was still enjoying the meal up until this point.
This is where things took a turn. As the meal progressed, things became more exotic. The silver skin caused some major texture issues for me.
This one shook me to my core. Pickled mackerel sushi. The thing that really got me was the texture of the green outer rim. I took a bite and had to pass it to my husband.
I don’t think this one was included in my 10 piece lunch.
Neither was the salmon roe. I ended up having the pleasure of these bursting in my mouth at a later meal in Osaka.
I also didn’t eat this one.
The uni was what everyone was waiting for. The other people at the restaurant thoroughly enjoyed this course. It wasn’t part of my lunch. My husband ate it, but let’s just say it’s not his cup of tea. Uni made an appearance in SO MANY prix fixe meals during our honeymoon that we both had to (got to?) eat it multiple times.
The final piece. Saltwater eel. Anago. Not unagi as my husband was corrected which is fresh water eel. The moment I saw him slice that thing down its length to grill it, I knew I wasn’t going to do well with it. I’ll admit it smelled kind of good when it was grilling, but when I took a bite, it smooshed in my mouth and I actually gagged. I swallowed quickly and chugged water. I don’t think anyone noticed.
After the most adventurous meal of my life, I earned this cup of soup.
Last but not least, dessert. The item on the left is tamago, a Japanese omelet of sorts made by rolling together layers of cooked egg. This was also the only maki of the meal. The inside was kanpyo, a sweet gourd.
As this was my first sushi experience and I hardly eat seafood, I can’t actually comment on the meal. However, the couple next to us seemed like sushi buffs and they were loving it. While I had trouble with some of the items on the menu, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you’re looking for a nice sushi meal in Ginza and any of the above are up your alley, I recommend making a reservation at Sushi Ya.