To raise awareness about climate change, Kyubey Ginza and a Japanese bio health firm Euglena teamed up for a campaign: The Last Day of Sushi (well, the direct translation is the day sushi disappears) and it kinda made me depressed.
Along with top researchers, they calculated the last days select neta can be served. Kyubey opened advanced reservations to book the last day you can eat x.
Here is a partial list of the neta and the last years they can be served that they published:
Ika イカ (cuttlefish) last year it can be served = 2035 (16 years left). Last booking date: Saturday, June 30th, 2035
Shako しゃこ (mantis shrimp) = 2041（22 years left） Last booking date: Saturday, November 30th, 2041
Ikura and salmon いくら= 2049（30 years left） Last booking date: Friday, December 17th, 2049
Scallops ほたて = 2068（49 years left） Last booking date: Friday, August 31st, 2068
Uni うに (sea urchin) 2073（54 years left） Last booking date: Thursday, August 31st, 2073
Awabi あわび (abalone) 2080（61 years left） Last booking date: Tuesday, October 1st, 2080
Hirame ヒラメ (Flounder) 2089 (70 years left) Last booking date: March 31st, 2089
There is an English version of the site (run through Google Translate so the descriptions may be weird lololol) which goes a little more into detail about their research, impact, etc., and they’re also doing a Twitter campaign. First prize is a 30,000 yen voucher for Kyubey.
Someone randomly liked a super old post on Instagram which prompted a bit of reminiscing. I then realized, I only IG’d most of my posts and never really blogged about my sushi experience in Tokyo… which is a shame because I spent way more than I care to admit eating high-end sushi two to three times a week for about two and a half years, and now know more about sushi than a normal person should know. So I thought, why not write an ode (better late than never, right?)
After a year or so of consistently eating sushi, I finally felt confident to form informed opinions. Such as, which season to eat sushi is my favorite (neta fish used for sushi is hyper seasonal and you start picking up on patterns of what is served when), the various shari sushi rice from which chef and where (every chef uses their own recipe and flavoring techniques to complement their curation techniques… most chefs learn from where they apprenticed and usually put their own subtle touches) and I’ve also drawn the conclusion, my favorite sushi restaurant is Sushi Saito. My favorite piece of sushi is the simple red tuna. Or, akami, as we say in Japanese.
At first akami seems so boring and mundane but I didn’t understand the allure and depth until moving to Japan and experiencing the high-end sushi and for that, I am grateful.
So here is a gallery of Instagram posts of akami from Saito. Even before declaring akami is my favorite piece, reckon I subconsciously knew, as a lot of my posts from Saito are of the most mundane piece of red tuna on top of rice.
Read more about why I love Saito-san here. Really nerdy post on thoughts and learnings about sushi are here. Ranking of Tabelog’s top sushi spots are here though most of the top spots are near impossible to book.
Found this place that just opened through a wonderful food friend… and oh my god it was seriously one of the best meals I’ve had in Japan.
From the attention he pays to every single detail in his shop (design, hand towels, and even specialty toilet paper), to ceramics, his choice of staff all reflects in his stunning food.
His shari (sushi rice) was literally perfection. His otsumami (small plates) surpasses any of the places I’ve eaten before.
Above are only a few of the photos and the notes, not as extensive as I’d like (too preoccupied enjoying my meal).
6 hour steamed abalone in its juices
Hokkaido shishamo caught only in October served two ways (nigiri and gunkan)
Ankimo with mizunomi (ankimo steamed with the mizunomi omg the texture!!!)
Of course nodoguro
…and the sushi was 100%. Not a fan of cured neta that is pungent, or shari that is too sour (I can name a handful of super famous spots that are aggressively flavored)
On and on I can keep going but honestly, I only remember being blown away. Asking trillions of questions like I always do. And not retaining most of the information… hashtag OLD.
So, I will leave this post with my friend Ash’s succinct – but vulgar – description (and this guy knows. his. shit.)
Shin Ika so smooth it looks like a dolphin’s tummy! Shin-ika, like shinko (baby kohada) is a baby squid and are accessible only towards the end of summer. It’s so smooth and sweet and melts in your mouth!! It was so pretty I just had to share.
Of course this is at Takahashi, my favorite sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Takahashi-san is so talented — I only eat his sushi now. I know, I know, I need to get out more. But I can’t help it. I’m now treated as a regular and as a regular’s advantage, I get special dishes like this ↓ (points below)
I mentioned in passing the other day I loved his aji tsumami (appetizer). It’s aji with the Saito pesto, egg yolk and sesame seeds. It wasn’t included in this menu but he made one just for me!! It was, as always, super delicious and one of my favorites of all time. Love him!!
Also, he served tako (octopus) which I hadn’t had in a while. But the ceramic (kozara) was one I’ve never seen before. Even more amazing is that it’s shaped like the Bat symbol (from Batman!!)
– steamed awabi, this time with kimo (liver) sauce that was AMAZING
– lightly charred anago with three condiments: wasabi, tōgarashi (red pepper) dipping sauce, salt and his raw shichimi (he shared the recipe with me this time!!!)
– aka mutusu a.k.a. nodo guro a.k.a. sea bream sakamushi (steamed with a sake base) with ponzu and some sort of sea vegetable OMG this was delicious
– tai (snapper) that was kissed with a touch of smoke
…and who am I kidding. Everything was super delicious. Takahashi-san makes me so happy.
By the way it’s almost time for fall foods. I love fall foods in Japan. SOOOOOO pumped!
Almost a year has gone by since I ate my way through Tsukiji and it’s time to update — especially since revisiting some older posts, my face turned hot and red; I am extremely embarrassed at how little I knew about sushi.
So today, almost 12 months and many, many high-end sushi meals later, here are a few things I have learned. Warning: this will be a super long and ultra nerdy post with barely any photos…