Lunch @ Kioicho Mitani 紀尾井町 三谷 (Tokyo, Japan)

January 3, 2019 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Opened in mid-2016, Kioicho Mitani is the branch of famous sushi-ya Mitani in Yotsuya. And for the unfamiliar (since I previously was), Sushi Mitani is notoriously difficult to book. The waiting list at Sushi Mitani is… More than 2 years! And since I know it’s impossible for me to get a booking at Sushi Mitani, my closest bet was Kioicho Mitani. But having said that, one shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty of making a reservation at Kioicho Mitani too.

I honestly didn’t think of trying since I anticipated failure. But with the encouragement from a fellow foodie, I decided to just give it a go. At least no regrets meh, I guess. And thus, my hotel concierge enquired in December 2017 for February 2018. I was told the restaurant was fully booked for dinner, but had an available lunch slot for 1 of the days I indicated. Awesome! And to secure my reservation, I provided my credit card details too.

Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately noticed the 2 chefs; Head chef Hiroyuki Takano and sous chef Yoshinori Sugaya. The 750 years-old Taiwanese cypress L-shaped wood counter could sit 12 people, and I was led to the end where chef Sugaya san was. And I was glad I was assigned to him as he could speak English. Yeah! Shortly after I took my seat, I commenced my ¥30,000 omakase lunch with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Baby white anchovy (shirauo) with kelp sauce.

2) Dish #2 (above) – Hairy crab with its roe.

3) Dish #3 (above) – Black throat sea perch (nodoguro) and sea cucumber roe.

4) Dish #4 (above) – Monkfish liver (ankimo). And for this dish, chef Sugaya san took a chunk from the fridge, mashed it up with a fork, portioned it and sprinkled some salt before serving. And this tasted interestingly like ice cream.


5) Dish #5 (above) – Scorched rice topped with a creamy sauce made with cod’s milt.


  
  
  
  

6) Dish #6 (above) – Sushi assortment of squid, flat fish, adult yellowtail (buri), marinated tuna, slightly-seared medium fatty tuna (aburi chutoro), gizzard shad (kohada) and tiger prawn, and minced tuna hand roll. And I really enjoyed chef Sugaya san’s sushi alot. Very well made in terms of size and the proportion of topping (neta) to rice. As for the sushi rice (shari), I could taste the red vinegar although it was not distinctly strong. But it’s after my visit that I read the sushi rice was marianted with red vinegar, brown rice black vinegar, salt, sugar and 3 kinds of sake kasu (leftover paste from sake production). Wow.

7) Dish #7 (above) – The signature egg omelette (tamago). Such a beauty! And this was so good; Soft and fluffy within the various layers.

8) Dish #8 (above) – Clam soup.

  

9) Dish #9 (above) – I thought I had came to the end of my meal with the egg omelette and soup, but chef Sugaya san continued with 2 more; Clam (hamaguri), and ark shell clam (akagai) with sea urchin. Female version for the ark shell clam was without rice while the male version was with rice. And for these 2, chef Sugaya san served them directly onto my palm instead of placing them onto the plate before me. And I had read that the passing-of-sushi-from-hand-to-hand is Mitani’s style.

  

10) Dish #10 (above) – Pickled gourd (kanpyō) sushi roll. One served in seasoned tofu pouch (inari). Another Mitani signature.

11) Dish #11 (above) – Plum (ume).

I started my lunch at Kioicho Mitani at 12pm and was done by 1.40pm. And it was an enjoyable lunch by chef Sugaya san. One could tell he’s a shy man from how he couldn’t hold eye contact for long. Just like me. Keke. But despite his shyness, he kept his professionalism and introduced the various dishes, checked if I was full when I finished the sushi leg of my meal, etc. And I liked that; The zen-ness of the meal provided the ‘me time’ I wanted.

Would I recommend Kioicho Mitani? Well, the thing is… I always look forward to my meals in Japan not only for the masters’ culinary skills, but because the meals are value-for-money. And at Kioicho Mitani, I certainly appreciated the dishes by chef Nagaya san. So based on taste alone, I would definitely recommend Kioicho Mitani. But if one is looking at getting a good deal, one may want to consider other sushi-yas which omakase lunch menu is not as expensive as Kioicho Mitani’s. However if one is a hardcore foodie sushi-lover (like me), one should definitely come to Kioicho Mitani for Mitani-styled food since Sushi Mitani is virtually impossible to be booked by non-Japanese (unless one is extremely lucky).

And since Sushi Mitani is also known as a pioneer for their alcohol pairing, one should consider opting for it at Kioicho Mitani.

Kioicho Mitani 紀尾井町 三谷
Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho, 1-2 Kioicho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 千代田区 紀尾井町 1-2 紀尾井テラス 3F)
+81 3 6256 9566, Tablelog
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8