One New Years resolution is to actually fish through all my Japan food pics…
Sushi Masuda is another sushiya from the Jiro tree - Rei Masuda is one of many of Jiro’s former apprentices to strike out on his own. On my previous trips, the Jiro-style sushiyas happened to be my favorites (Mizutani, Harutaka), so I made sure to book one this time around. My impression of the Jiro-styled sushiyas is that you will not be served any new fish you’ve never heard of, and the types of fish are pretty middle down the fairway, but the quality will be among the best you’ve had. Both Masuda-san and his apprentice speak great English. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to the premium course for 7k JPY extra, and we gladly obliged. I would say that the otsumami here was the most consistently excellent, in that every single dish was of the highest level.
Fugu sashimi with liver sauce - I think fugu sashimi tends to be overrated (it’s tough and bland to me), but this sashimi in combination with the liver sauce and some sort of ponzu sauce was outstanding
Seiko gani with Hokkaido uni - the bright crab with the earthy roe and the rich uni were all outstanding individually, yet complementary
Shirako with truffle - I’m wary of eating crappy shirako (reminds you that you’re eating sperm sac) these days, but this shirako was delicate, and the truffle was a perfect match
Oyster with broth - magaki from Miyagi prefecture
Hand roll with karasumi and mochi - Whoa!!! Texture-wise, mochi and karasumi go so well together, and then mochi provided a nice backdrop that let the flavor of the karasumi shine
Amadai In broth with green onions
On to the nigiri!
Kawahagi with liver (again) - this time the liver was on top instead of in between the fish and the shari
Maguro / akami
Kuruma ebi - this is the best kuruma ebi my very first piece with Mizutani-san
Hamaguri - one of the very few misses of the meal - the sauce was a bit heavy-handed
Anago - again the saucing let them down
At this point, they asked if I wanted anything else. I asked for kanpyo, which was met with a roar of approval. I wonder if this should go in the Sushi 101 post about what you order to show the itamae you mean business The gourd was more delicate and subtle than what I had at Nanba
Obligatory Jiro-style tamago
All the nigiri was of a very high quality. They use gomezu in the rice, which gives a razor sharp acidity that peaks quickly and doesn’t really linger, leaving a clean taste.
As an aside, we ended up sitting next to the CEO of Pocket Concierge and chatted with him and his team briefly. FYI, Masuda only seats 5 at the counter - they have a private room. I saw that Masuda-san made the nigiri for the counter, while his apprentice made the nigiri for the private room. I also think they must be in some guide book (yes, I know, Michelin, but I assume other popular ones as well?) because three different parties knocked during lunch and were turned away because they didn’t have reservations. As I understand it, Masuda is not that hard a reservation to get, yet the sushi is excellent (albeit pricey). I would highly recommend this as a sushi destination for many folks on their travels to Japan where you can enjoy world-class sushi and not stress about whether you can get into the latest intro-only restaurant.
Of the three sushi restaurants I went to on this trip, if I could only return to one, it might be Kimura, because of the uniqueness of the aged fish and the warm hospitality. But I would say Masuda was the highest quality meal from beginning to end, with only a few misses detailed above.