Kurosaki (Tokyo)


#1

It was a beautiful evening in October 2017 when I visited Kurosaki (1 Michelin Star) in Shibuya. It is located in what looked like a mostly residential district and if you do not look carefully, you could walk by it (since right across the street and adjacent are parking garage doors).

Coming here was not planned at all, but I was alerted of the restaurant’s cancellations 5 to 6 hours prior and immediately inquired for reservations and got in. It is wise to book in advance (1 to 2 months ahead, not sure of their policy). Out of the 6 or 7 places I went to (for sushi) this was one of the greats.

Chef owner Kazuki Kurosaki has experience from some not as well known sushi restaurants, but also worked at other non sushi restaurants before. One of his hobbies involves him enjoying eating around, and from doing that he gets new creative ideas. There is clearly a Sushi Sho style influence here with alternating otsumami/appetizers with nigiri sushi, amongst influences from other restaurants and preparations, but in the end this is a separate entity in itself.

He is in his 30s, so still considered very young and one of the new crop/current generation of chefs (he must be quite a hit with the ladies too), and he has so much potential given the quality bar he sets. He is super humble and a great guy to interact with, and he will tell you he has no master…that his “master” that he learns from are his customers. He also enjoys DJ’ing and apparently in his spare time he is also a rapper (in Japanese of course) and he is known to wear interesting dressed up outfits when he goes shopping for fish at Tsukiji Fish Market. Lucky for us, he chose the main path of the Dark Side, instead of rapping!

In short: please go!

@skramzlife next time! Definitely blows away Jiro Roppongi.

@CiaoBob in case you were still thinking about it

@Chowseeker1999 @Sgee @PorkyBelly @TheCookie @BradFord @J_L @Starchtrade - because I know you all love reading about this stuff too :slight_smile:

Without further ado:

The entrance:

Starting off the course with matsutake and ginan in a delicious broth

Not pictured: the sake pairing started off with a bottle of Hakkaisan sparkling sake (in lieu of champagne for wine pairing)

Chef owner Kazuki Kurosaki

Next dish: Botain ebi, with a thickened dashi broth (ankake?) of shrimp head (miso) and roe

First sake: Kamonishiki (Niigata Prefecture) single pasteurized Junmai Daiginjo (apparently this is the one of the hottest/latest and greatest in the market)

Shirako with three year aged kanzuri (Niigata pepper paste that has citrus tones, it’s not yuzukosho)

Kawahagi with liver (it’s inserted between the rice and the fish)

Akasu zuke gari (red vinegar/sake lees vinegar marinated ginger slices) - so good

Fresh ikura

Hokkaido Hon Shishamo

Sake somm / “beverage director” Nao san with the next sake, a Junmai Ginjo brewed with Omachi rice from Yamagata prefecture called Retsu 洌

A nice sized piece of Kuroawabi (black abalone) from Chiba Prefecture being prepared

Kuro awabi slices with sauce made from its liver

A little shari seasoned with akasu to soak up the rest of the killer liver sauce

Jikon Tokubetsu Junmai (Mie Prefecture) - a legendary sake producer that brews in very small batches, thus not easy to find, and I believe this is single pasteurized too, designed for seafood

Kohada

Wild Kurumaebi - about a week or two before I arrived in Tokyo, there was a fairly severe typhoon that resulted in a shortage of seafood at Tsukiji Fish Market. Kurosaki san probably spent a lot more than he normally does to secure whatever prawns he could, and probably at a loss, just so he could serve them.

Kurumaebi

Konnoko (sea cucumber eggs) chawanmushi

Ankimo paste mixed in with Japanese persimmons (in season during the fall)

Wild line caught Aomori prefecture Oma bluefin tuna, from a famous wholesaler “Yamayuki”, aged one week

Otoro

One of my favorites: Hitakami (Miyagi Prefecture) “Yasuke” Houjun Karakuchi Junmai Ginjo. The president of Hitakami is known in his field as “The Sushi Prince” since he loves sushi so much…so much that he designed and created a sake built especially to pair with sushi (and sashimi).

Akami zuke

Chutoro

Bafun uni (Hokkaido of course)

Nodoguro and kegani mushi sushi with bafun uni on top, in dashi

Hokkigai

Sumi ika

Iwashi

Grilled kurumaebi head

Last sake for now: Dennaka Rokugo Junmai from Fukuoka Prefecture (also pretty popular these days)

Wild unagi

Handroll time

Shellfish broth made with shijimi (Corbicula japonica, or Japanese brackishwater clams), asari (similar to Manila clams) and hokkigai (parts he couldn’t serve as sushi)

Buri (aged five days)

Saba

Sanma with kimi shoyu (a sauce made with the liver of pike mackeral)

Buri zuke

Ending with tamagoyaki (made with madai)


#2

Wow - looks fantastic.
Will I be able to get by with “just” English?


#3

fantastic report and great pictures. Damn i need that abalone liver sauce and unagi handroll. what was the damage? did you book through your hotel or directly?

bookmarked, thanks.


#4

@CiaoBob yes, chef speaks and understands spoken English but keep your sentence structures simple and it should be good. Staff understands “I have a reservation, name is xxxxxxx” etc. They might not ask you what you want to drink so you have to be proactive as to when you want your drink, be it a beer, or sake (and if you just say “sake please” they will pick for you, unless you have a specific favorite in mind you can inquire).

@PorkyBelly they can be booked through a reliable hotel concierge service,or booking services like Pocket Concierge (which these days handles popular restaurant reservations by opening up slots from previous cancellations) and JPNEAZY also has them listed though I’ve never tried with them. I can’t remember the cost but these days it’s not uncommon to shell out $300 ish or a shade over (including drinks). The beauty of high end dining in Japan is no tipping, no health care initiative cost etc (e.g. Northern California), and in some cases the tax is already built in and not a separate surcharge, which lessens the wallet pain, and plus you get ingredients (and techniques) that otherwise you will not experience overseas/where we are and far better quality. Plus…sake that will never be exported overseas that is damn delicious. Unagi is rather unconventional at a sushi omakase restaurant, but it’s his place and I will eat what he serves! Last time prior where I had great wild unagi was at a kappo kaiseki restaurant as part of a course.


#5

That chawanmushi and ankimo look very interesting. Too much porn, making me horny for sushi!!!


#6

Hi @beefnoguy,

Sugoi. Fantastic report and thoughts. :blush: Thanks for thinking of me; I definitely want to go!

All of the courses looked amazing. After seeing the first course, I already thought, “Bookmarked. OK, when can we fly out?” :grin: I knew the rest would be good.

Those Sake look and sound fantastic! I’m guessing they allowed you to try them by the glass? Or did you polish off each of those bottles?! :wink: :open_mouth:

The Wild Unagi looks so good! And the Konnoko Chawanmushi, wow.

And then the Hokkaido Hon Shishamo! Double wow! :slight_smile:

When you showed that picture of the box of Hokkaido Bufun Uni, I thought, “So YOU’RE the reason there’s a shortage of Bafun Uni right now in L.A.?!” :stuck_out_tongue: I was going to ask if you ordered a 2nd Box of the Bafun Uni, but then I remembered it wasn’t @J_L or @PorkyBelly writing this report. :wink: :blush:

Thanks again for the recommendation! And let me know if you see any of those Sake here in the U.S.


#7

Could this be more perfect?

The meal is like liver 5-ways and I need them all. A sliver of liver “inserted between the rice and the fish”? I mean really. :heart_eyes: I’m gonna’ have to read this report again… and again. Hello!