There was a queue outside of Sushi Dai Bekkan in Tsukiji. You get that a lot in Tsukiji and it's easy to poke fun at it but really, there is nothing wrong and everything good about people being prepared to wait for the good stuff.
And there was indeed good stuff to be had at Sushi Dai Bekkan. In fact, my favourite sushi piece of all time (so far...) was to be had here...
Ordering the 12-piece omakase chef's choice menu for JPY3500, I found myself enjoying some standard pieces including egg omelette (tamago yaki), sweet shrimp (amaebi), horse mackerel (aji), chopped fatty tuna rolls (negitoro maki), sea urchin (uni), seared fatty tuna (aburi toro) and conger eel (anago). Yum.
And then the shock. Halibut (hirame), the red meat tuna (akami maguro), the Spanish mackerel (sawara - more on this one in a moment), the red clam (akagai), the golden eye snapper (kinmedai) and the rockfish (kasago). Oh wow.
All of the above had lovely textures and rich flavours but it was the Spanish mackerel that floored me. Thick, juicy and pillow-like with a hint of sweetness, the Spanish mackerel was an absolutely marvelous experience.
Following close behind was the red clam. A hint of crunch, full of texture and taste, it melted beautifully. Quality clam is a delight and eating it, well, you would have seen a rather contented grin on yours truly.
I was able to choose the last piece and so went with a topping new to me, rockfish. Offered with salt or soy sauce, I went with the salt. Deceptively textured, the fish had a deeper than imagined flavour that was almost hypnotic.
I'm in a trance now, typing this up. Ethereally delectable, don't be shy, get in line.