Dinner @ Sushi Nakamura 鮨 なかむら (Tokyo, Japan)

February 28, 2017 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

With so many Michelin-starred sushi restaurants in Tokyo, it could be difficult to decide on just one to go to. I was exchanging (instagram) messages with Mervin (chef-owner of Akashi) and he recommended Sushi Sho and Sushi Nakamura among the Michelin-starred sushi restaurants. Though Mervin further shared master chef Nakazawan san is no longer working at Sushi Sho. And with that, I contacted my hotel to make the reservation on my behalf for Sushi Nakamura.

And with 1 month’s notice, my hotel managed to secure a slot on the last day of my Japan trip for 9.15pm. I was also informed by my hotel staff that dinner cost ¥16,000.

As always, armed with a portable internet modem, I found my way using Google map on my mobile. And Sushi Nakamura was a short 2 to 3 minutes walk from Roppongi metro station’s Exit 2. When I entered the restaurant, I realised I belong to the 3rd seating. Ie, customers from the 1st seating came really early and left by 9pm for me to commence dinner at 9.15pm. It’s either that or I simply belonged to the 2nd seating. Just that I was starting my dinner when the 1st seating just commenced the sushi leg of their dinner course.

And with that, I commenced my dinner with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Oyster. I was asked of my dietary restriction when my hotel made my restaurant reservation. However, I didn’t think of mentioning my phioba for oysters. So when this was served, I was worried. But when I took my first bite into the oyster, I was pleasantly surprised that the cooked oysters were pretty good. I had no problem finishing all 3 pieces.

2) Dish #2 (above) – Baby white anchovy (shirauo).

3) Dish #3 (above) – Lightly grilled scallop (hotate).

4) Dish #4 (above) – Seaweed (wakame) marinated with vinegar.

5) Dish #5 (above) – Sea bass. And this was grilled to perfection; Skin was crisp while meat retained its juiciness.

6) Dish #6 (above) – Hairy crab topped with sauce made from its innards.

7) Dish #7 (above) – Monkfish liver (ankimo).

8) Dish #8 (above) – Grilled milt (shirako). And when this was served, I was told that it was hot. Skin was thicker than expected, and I enjoyed it better without the lime.


9) Dish #9 (above) – Sushi assortment of flounder (hiramei), squid (ika), ark shell clam (akagai), tiger prawn (kuruma ebi), gizzard shad (kohada) and sea urchin (uni).

10) Dish #10 (above) – At this point, a water bottle came out. Am not too sure of its purpose though.


11) Dish #11 (above) – Continued sushi assortment of half beak (sayori), snapper (tai), marinated tuna (maguro zuke), medium fatty tuna (chutoro), mackerel (saba), sea eel (anago) and omelette (tamgo). I noticed the toppings (neta) of chef Masanori Nakamura’s sushi were thicker, yet still maintaining the overall proportion. Ie, it wasn’t a crazy imbalance of ingredients and sushi rice (shari). That instead gave me a more substantial bite of the ingredients (neta). And if the topping (neta) was not sliced thickly, there would be 2 slices. Like the half beak sushi. And because of the odd timing that I started my dinner (9.15pm), I was seated quite a distance from chef Nakamura san. Wasn’t able to watch closely how he kneaded his sushi. But his sushi were well made indeed; The lightly vinegared sushi rice were not packed too tightly, yet still giving one the ease to pick the sushi up easily. And honestly, his sushi was gorgeous. My favorites were half beak, medium fatty tuna, sea eel and omelette! Chef Nakamura san’s omelette (tamago) leaned towards a fluffy and airy sponge cake. And it was slightly moist within and its exterior coated with a sweet liquid. Sugar? Really nice.

12) Dish #12 (above) – Soup with clam.

It was a quiet dinner. Most of us didn’t speak much during the meal. And even if anyone did, they did it softly. But despite the quietness, I felt very comfortable as the atmosphere was more zen and peaceful than tensed.

So while the side dishes (tsumami) were prepared by his assistants (whom I noticed all had their hair shaved. Including a female!), chef Nakamura san makes the sushi personally. Yeah! And because he was the only one doing the sushi, he was really busy. But despite that, I caught him checking on me regularly. I could tell he was gauging when he need to start making my sushi while juggling the rest who were ahead of me in their sushi course.

Although chef Nakamura san didn’t speak much, he gave out a very kind and approachable vibe. When he served me my sushi, he would give a warm yet shy smile when we eye-contacted a little longer before he repeated the fish name of the respective nigiri sushi to me. And he would only move away when I showed signs of acknowledgment. I guess I must have looked blur. Haha. But that gesture made me felt very welcomed at the restaurant. It showed that he sincerely cared.

Would I recommend Sushi Nakamura? A definite yes. I love Sushi Nakamura for chef Nakamura san’s sushi, for the attentive service from waiting staff and for the zen ambience which allowed the focus of the meal to be on the food.

My dinner started at 9.15pm, and I was done by 10.40pm.

7-17-16 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 港区 六本木 7-17-16 米久ビル)
+81 3 3746 0856, Tablelog
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 9
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:30
Ambience: 8
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Tokyo 2018.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Tokyo 2019.