May 28, 2014

Sushi Daiwa (Tokyo, Japan)

Raisin Bread and I woke up at 3:30 am one morning to make the journey to Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market. Alas, despite arriving at 4:45 am, we were too late to gain entrance into that morning's tuna auction.

Not matter, we would enjoy an unbelievable sushi breakfast instead. During my research, I picked out three different sushi spots in case one or two had extremely long waits. It was my understanding that the food that each restaurant serves is virtually the same. We walked quickly towards the row of restaurants and discovered Sushi Dai's line to be about two hours long. On the other hand, there was just one couple waiting at Sushi Daiwa, so we immediately settled into our places in this line. We still had about 45 minutes to kill since Sushi Daiwa does not open until 5:30 am. That gave us a chance to observe some of the goings on of the market.

Tsukiji Market is a real working fish market that has not quite found the balance between serving as a tourist destination and as a place of business. Near misses between tourists and racing trucks are a regular occurrence, which is why there are plans to move Tsukiji to a new location in the future.

One funny thing about waiting in line in front of Sushi Daiwa was that other foreigners would come up to us and ask why people were standing in line for Sushi Dai. Clearly, they did not do any research and without question, they would decide to join the line for Sushi Dai. It made me laugh a lot. Silly wabbits.

5:30 finally rolled around and we were seated elbow to elbow around a tiny sushi bar. Sushi is served by set menu, but one can order additional pieces at the end. Our chef was responsible for us and the couple in front of us. He placed our sushi pieces before us faster than we could consume them the previous piece. All told, the entire meal took probably 20 minutes at most. There wasn't much time to savor our food, but the sushi was so delicious that we didn't mind.

Chutoro (medium fatty tuna)
This singular piece of tuna is probably the best piece of tuna I have ever had in my life. To die for.

Ika (squid)
I rarely order squid. I find the texture to be off-putting. This piece was no different.

Odori Ebi (live shrimp)
I bit the inside of my mouth while eating my last piece of sushi, so I was a little out of it for the next couple of pieces. I didn't notice the shrimp still moving, but Raisin Bread did!

Kanpachi (amberjack)
Amberjack became one of my go to fish during our trip to Japan. So yummy.

Uni (sea urchin)

Miso Soup with Fish

Otoro (fatty tuna)

Tamago (egg)

Tuna and Ikura (salmon roe) Cut Rolls


Shrimp head
This was an interesting part of our meal. I must say that I very much enjoyed the shrimp head and was intrigued by how they used up most of the shrimp.

Katsuo (bonito)
This piece was not part of the set menu and was the finale to our meal at Sushi Daiwa. Look at that color.

After breakfast, we walked around the outer market area, which sells restaurant supplies and vegetables. We tried to see if we could sneak into the inner wholesale fish market, but that clearly wasn't going to happen. There was security turning all of the foreigners away.

Tsukiji Market is a fascinating place, and there is nothing like eating the freshest sushi of your life at 5:30 in the morning.

Sushi Daiwa
5-2-1 Tsukiji
Chuo, Tokyo

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