14 February 2015

Day 19: Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

Day 18: Toraji BBQ Restaurant 

Tsukiji Fish Market is known as one of the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, which handling more than 2,000 tons marine products each day.  And this place is increasingly famous for tourist to visit as well.  Because of their huge outer market that selling food products and flowers.  They also open the tuna auction early in the morning for visitors, however they only limit up to 120 people per day.  As I remember it starts as early as 5:20 in the morning and is first come first serve basis and some people would queue just before 5 am in the busy day.

"A few more general rules for visiting Tsukiji Market
Since Tsukiji Market is a site where serious business is conducted, it is important for visitors not to interfere with the action by adhering to the following additional rules:

Do not enter areas restricted to authorized personnel!
Do not obstruct traffic!
Do not bring large bags or suitcases into the market!
Do not enter the market in high heeled shoes or sandals!
Do not bring small children or pets!
Do not smoke in the market!
Do not touch anything!"

I actually would love to visit that tuna auction but in this cold weather morning, it was just nice cozying under the warm blanket.  However, on that day we still need to wake up early to queue one of the famous restaurant in Tsukiji Fish Market, called Sushi Dai.  According to so many reviews, people are lining up since 4am and keen to wait about 2 hours plus.  Hmmmm... So tell me how good would it be??

We woke up just about the clock's needle nearly struck 5am.  We were speed dressing up then catch train to Tsukiji station.  Arrive in front of restaurant around 5:30am and OMG the queue was this long already (as photo below).  Not as long as you thought, is it?? The people at the front of the photo below that's about half of the queue, you need to turn to the right then you can see another long queue in front of the restaurant.


We are getting close to entering this shop

Before we got in to the shop a nice lady came out and explained a few different omikase menu.  After this long wait, we definitely need to maximise tasting those sushi.  So we went for 11 courses set menu plus one of your choice.  It costs 3,800yen per person.

Once we got inside, we seated along the bar.  The place was pretty tiny and quite squeezy too.  There are 3 sushi chefs lining up behind the sushi bar, with a nice smile they greet us and trying to make a conversation with customers while his hand are keep working on those sushi.  What a lovely gesture from them.

Before we start with our first course, the chef mentioned that we better taste the fish without dipping it in the soy sauce as they did put dash of salt in there already.  So we can actually enjoy the freshness and genuine taste from the fish itself.  However, he still serve soy sauce on the side of our table just in case.

Another charming thing from this shop is that their sushi is served right on top of the sushi bar in front of individual customer.  No plate or sushi dish like in any other shop.  But it clean though as they always wipe it after a few sushi are served.

Ootoro sushi

Japanese Omelette

Red Snapper

Sea Urchin

Mackerel Horse

Salmon Roe

Baby Shirmp

Tuna Roll

Spanish Mackerel

Sea Eel

Choice of yours - I picked Ootoro

Look at those marvellous marbled fatty fish

And for the last course, we can choose any one sushi from the menu.  Of course I would go for the Melt-in-the-mouth Ootoro sushi.  It was like de javu from the first dish that they served.  Still soft and taste great, 

Queue from next door sushi shop - Daiwa Sushi

10 am and the queue are getting longer for Sushi Dai restaurant

Was it worthed for that long wait?  I would say yes, because they serve an fresh daily caught fish, premium quality product.  It does make different taste in your palette, with a great flavour combination as well and the surplus was friendly staffs indeed.  You will not find a fancy type of sushi in this restaurant, just traditional menu.  They use high standard quality seafood, fresh from the sea and want it to shine, therefore most of them are served as raw.  Will I come back?  Ehmmm... Probably not.  I definitely want to have this kind of sushi again and again but 2 or 3 hours gone for queueing is no no...

Tsukiji Market can easily be reached with five minutes walk from Tsukiji Station on Hibiya line or alternatively, you can get of at Shimbashi station on the JR like then walk about 15 minutes to the market

Opening hours:
Outer market is varies by shop, but generally 5am to 2pm
Wholesale area open for visitors after 9am
Tuna auction open for visitors from 5:25am to 6:15am (restricted to 120 visitors/day)

Closed: Sunday, national holidays and some wednesday.

Thank you to follow my Japan blog series.  It finally has come to the end.  Hope you guys enjoy it and hope to see all again in my next destination.  Octie Appetie...

Oopss... I had one more blog about Japan that I just posted.  It's all about some random stuffs in Japan that catched my eyes.  If you guys interested just click on the link below:
Interesting things in Japan

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