Lunch @ Sushi Tokami 鮨 とかみ (Tokyo, Japan)

May 28, 2017 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

The one thing I realised from my November 2016 trip to Tokyo was that I didn’t have enough sushi meals. So when I was planning my February 2017 trip, I made sure I didn’t commit the same mistake. Ha. And with a (large) number of sushi-yas that I wish to try in Tokyo, I was glad to secure a reservation at 1 Michelin star Sushi Tokami successfully. But that came with much hassle; I went through my brother’s friend’s cousin’s boss who got as many as 3 (Japanese) staff based in Japan to make the call. Gasp.

But the thing was… Before I received news of the successful reservation (which came in only 3 weeks after I first contacted my brother’s friend with my request), I was really anxious and went to contact head chef Hiroyuki Sato on my own. Sheepish grin. Which head chef Saito san did respond, but only after my lunch reservation was successfully secured through my brother’s connection. And through our exchanged messages, I learnt that he was leaving Sushi Tokami by end March 2017 to start his own restaurant and was currently doing dinner service only. Being really keen to try his sushi (which I heard so much of from Japanese food instagrammers whom I follow), I asked if I could change my reservation from lunch to dinner. Unfortunately, he was overseas for the period I was in Tokyo! Sigh.

And one could say I still went ahead with my meal because I was ultimately grateful to my brother and his friend (whom I know personally). Also because I thought maybe… Just maybe, my review would be useful for those who are considering to visit Sushi Tokami after head chef Saito san’s departure.

For my 12pm lunch appointment, I reached the restaurant which was located in the basement at 11.55am. But I was told to return at 12pm. I guess they were still preparing. Thus, I couldn’t just wait by sitting at the counter? Unfortunately, as the lift lobby was too small for me to stand around, I ended up heading back to the ground floor and spent my next 5 minutes waiting at the main entrance of the building.

And there’s 3 menus for lunch. Each with varying number of sushi pieces. 10 pieces was priced at ¥5000, 13 pieces ¥8000 and 16 pieces for ¥12,000. And from the menu, I ordered:-

1) Menu #3, ¥12,000 comprised of:-

(A) Dish #1 (above) – Sashimi. I thought I heard second chef Shota Oda said hobo (red gunnard), but I ain’t sure.



(B) Dish #2 (above) – I was excited over the sushi leg of my lunch course because I heard much of their sushi rice (shari); Rice originated from Niigata cooked in traditional ceramic Japanese pot (olla) with the addition of red vinegar fermented using natural sake yeast. A demonstration of edo-mae sushi tradition. And for the 16 pieces of sushi, I was given the usual self-identifiable pieces like squid, different cuts of tuna, gizzard shed (kohada), mackerel (saba), etc. However, for the remaining toppings (neta) which I had difficulty in recognising, I only managed to get the name of a few (like baby snapper, sillago, sea perch) because chef Oda san didn’t have the English name to all of the fishes. With the owner of Sushi Tokami also being the founder of Yamayuki (a specialty shop dedicated to tuna located in Tsukiji Market and a time-honored brand in the market), it’s of no surprise that the cuts of tuna were good. However, besides the quality ingredients and distinct vinegar taste in the rice which I enjoyed, I wasn’t impressed much by chef Oda san’s sushi due to his inconsistency. The size of the sushi rice (shari) became bigger from my ninth piece with significantly more wasabi. I couldn’t help but wonder (then) how better the sushi would taste if it was made with the magical hands of head chef Sato san. That said, I was glad chef Oda san included the sea urchin sushi where cold and warm sea urchins were paired and served together. It’s a dish which head chef Sato san got his inspiration from his chef friend chef-owner Shinobu Namae of L’Effervescence.

(C) Dish #3 (above) – Miso soup.


(D) Dish #4 (above) – And the tuna tossaki hand roll was a specialty at Sushi Tokami. Tossaki being a rare cut from the base of the tuna’s head.

(E) Dish #5 (above) – Rolled omelette (tamago). And the version served at Sushi Tokami was ‘creme brulee’ inspired where the top surface was caramelised. Nice.

Including GST and service charge, lunch came up to ¥12,960. Pretty value-for-money, if one asks me. But would I recommend Michelin-starred Sushi Tokami? It was a good meal but… No. I would not strongly recommend Sushi Tokami. Not with the departure of head chef Sato san. Noting that lunch menu comprised mainly of sushi, the sushi (by chef Oda san) was good but not fantastic or impressive enough for me to recommend others to try. If one knows one sushi very well, Sushi Tokami is a definite no for travelers who wish to make full use of their limited slots for meals in Tokyo. There are better sushi-yas.

In fact, this meal just reinforced the fact that I will continue to try to dine at where head chef Sato san is. One should see how he serve his pacific sardine sushi. So gorgeous.

Ginza Seiwa Silver Building, 8-2-10 Ginza, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 中央区 銀座 8-2-10 銀座誠和シルバービル B1F)
+81 3 3571 6005, Website, Tablelog
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun