Waking up early and then queueing for sushi is like the quintessential Tsukiji experience every foodie must go through at least once while in Tokyo! That’s what I kept reminding myself after waking up at 4am (with barely 3 hours of sleep), just to have a sushi breakfast at Tokyo’s renowned Tsukiji Fish Market.
At this early hour, the metro train station was deserted. Compare that with the market, which was already buzzing with activity!
Destination reached! I made a beeline for Block 6 immediately since that’s where the 2 famous sushi restaurants in Tsukiji are located. Both Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa are media favourites and it’s tough deciding which one to go for. Since I’ll be back here again in less than 2 weeks’ time, Sushi Dai will have to wait till then while I went to Sushi Daiwa this time round.
While I had an amazing experience at Sushi Daiwa, truth be told, I think Sushi Dai or other less famous restaurants (I’m targeting Sushi Bun next time too!) in Tsukiji would have been equally wonderful since I don’t have the palate to notice the difference if one place were to have slightly better otoro than the other. And I think anything would taste good in Japan! Haha, that’s how biased I am =)
Waits of over an hour are legendary here but count me lucky, I only waited 15 mins for a seat in sushi heaven =) The sushi bar is very small and one thing I noticed is that no one was talking. The diners, I mean. I guess everyone was too busy savouring their moment of sushi nirvana to talk, haha.
This guy on the right is my friendly chef for the morning! We ordered the 10-piece omakase (chef’s special menu) and just let him feed us with the freshest catch of the day. Costing ¥4000 (approximately S$63), this is the most pricey (and earliest!) breakfast I’ve ever had but so so worth it. I’m a sushi convert now, thanks to Daiwa =)
Green tea and miso soup were served, then the first piece of chutoro sushi hit the counter.
Followed by sweet raw shrimp.
Ikura and tuna maki.
The friend had ika sushi while the chef substituted that with the reddest maguro for me.
Hamachi and the fattiest otoro, love! The former is unlike any I’ve tried in Singapore.
This is the best anago ever! Don’t even need to bite, the whole thing just melt in the mouth~
Soft and fluffy sweet tamago.
I wanted hotate initially for my last piece of sushi but the friend saw others having this weird looking sushi. We asked our chef and it turned out to be shirako (sperm sac of cod fish), ick! That sounds like something that appears in Fear Factor But in the spirit of adventurous eating, both of us chose that as our final piece.
“One bite, one bite!” went the chef after placing this brain-looking-sushi in front of us. I did as instructed and popped the whole thing in. Hmm, a little briny, very creamy like custard, and not something I’d like to try again, thank you very much.
After that perfect breakfast, we walked around the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.
Hectic. Mayhem. Chaos. Just awesome.
The biggest tuna I’ve ever seen!!!
The outer market is even better, great atmosphere with a few blocks of small shops crowded along narrow lanes, locals and tourists queueing up at different stalls, and friendly vendors greeting us in Japanese everytime we stopped to take a look at their produce.
So many fresh vegetables (that’s wasabi in the top middle pic!) and seafood!
I can’t wait to come back here in January.. For that special Tsukiji experience again +)