Sushi is by far my favourite Japanese fare, and I think I may have found a little bit of heaven, tucked in the streets of Umegaoka: Sushi no Midori Sohonten, introduced by one of my foodie friends. No need to go all the way to Tsukiji market to sample the freshest sushi, as you can find it in a few select locations across Tokyo.
We lined up at the restaurant for an early lunch, amongst other sushi enthusiasts (mostly of elderly age, apparently). We luckily got to sit at the counter, which is the best seat in the house, as it enabled us to closely watch the swift and efficient work of sushi chefs.
The lunch set featured a platter of assorted sushi, as well as a salad, chawanmushi (egg custard), green tea, and a light dessert. My friend and I, feeling a little daring, ordered some alcoholic beverages despite not having had breakfast. Sushi is best accompanied with beer or sake, and bites of gari (pickled ginger) are recommended between each sushi dish, to help cleanse the palate.
We dined on delicious pieces of salmon, tuna, eel, sea urchin, egg omelet, salmon roe, and well, more tuna in a sushi handroll, generously offered by our neighbour. The kind older ladies on my left taught us how to properly flip the sushi and dip the fish into the soy sauce, without making a mess. Brilliant!
By the end of the delightful meal, we were secretly hoping pieces would stop coming, as we both fell into a sushi coma and lost our morale. At that point, we both thought we would never be hungry again (yet the hunger came back, a mere few hours after), but we did manage to eat the dessert and snap some fun photos (and blankly stare at the sad remaining pieces).
I loved, loved, this place so much, and I'm already planning my next visit.
I highly recommend having lunch there, a) if you love sushi b) if you can handle some interesting fish and dishes like crab brain salad, and c) if you go on an empty stomach. Oh, and it's definitely wallet-friendly, with platters starting from ¥840, and the lunch sets (with salad and dessert) will cost around ¥1600.
I've decided I'm bringing a boy there next time I go—this way, he can polish off the whole platter.