Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sushi Dai: THE SUSHI TO DIE FOR

WE WAITED FOR 5 LOOOONNNNGGG HOURS FOR THIS!!! So let me tell you about the half day experience that we had in tasting Sushi at this famed restaurant.

Sushi Dai (寿司大) is a famous and humble restaurant in Tsukiji Market, Tokyo (I think it's been operating for almost 20 years now). There is a lot of sushi restaurants located in the Tsukiji Market and most of it looks the same. However, you will know that you are in Sushi Dai if you see an incredible long line outside of the restaurant. I did not try the other restaurants as it was highly recommended for us to try Sushi Dai. What I can conclude is that this is SUSHI HEAVEN for me because the food are extremely fresh and the taste of Sushi will never taste the same anymore after this experience. 
We woke up early just to go to Tsukiji Market. We arrived around 8:00 am together with my 2 other high school friends. People recommend to go there early morning at around 4-5am but the waiting time is the same regardless if you go 4am or 8am so we chose to go 8am. But expect to wait for around 5 hours (people say it used to be 3 hours a couple of years ago) and eat for total of 1 hour. So in our case, we were able to eat by 1:00 pm.
Here's the whole map of Tsukiji Market. The area is quite big and very interesting! :) You'll see a lot of knick knacks, food, and more food!!! We really enjoyed eating here aside from Sushi Dai (will blog about our food trip soon!).
Going there is easy. Here's how:

1. Ride the subway and alight at Tsukiji Station in Tokyo Metro, exit no 2.
2. Go straight (don't go up the walkway).
3. When you see this intersection. You need to cross the street to the left side then cross to the opposite side again.
4. By the time you have crossed the street, you will see this sign to your right. Just go straight! The sushi and ramen stalls will start to greet your nose and eyes! hahaha :)
5. It will take about 5 minutes for you to get to the Tsukiji Market main entrance. You'll see the white billboard on your left. That's where the food trip begins. We went gaga over fresh scallops and oysters as big as your palm, fresh tuna, salmon, and a lot more in this strip. I suggest you visit Sushi Dai with 3 or more friends so you can take turns exploring this strip while one person falls in line to kill boredom. Curious about the food here? Click this link to find out what's in store for you!
6. Walk straight and cross the street leading to Cosmo.
You will be able to pass by Tsukijishijo Station on your left. As an alternative route, you can also alight from this station. From here, Sushi Dai is just 2 minutes away! :)
7. When you reach this part right after Tsukijishijo Station to your left, you need to enter the delivery area.
8. Look for building no. 6!
9. Tadaaaa!!! look for this stall :) and fall in line. Line starts on the side street (turn right when facing the restaurant). I suggest you bring paper or foldable chairs if you have and umbrella too to protect you from sunlight and rain.
10. This hardworking receptionist will approach you and your group to count how many guests will eat by batch. Make sure that you're all complete once she comes and do the head count. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU WAIT FOR HER BEFORE YOU GO OUT OR LEAVE YOUR LINE for some quick shopping or quick snack elsewhere.
11. Sushi Dai is open from 5:00 am to 2:00 pm only! (2 pm is the last cut-off for the line but not when the restaurant closes. So closing time is around 7-8pm). No credit cards are allowed here. You need to pay in cash. 

Omakase Course is highly recommended! It's "Trust the chef" course for 4,000 yen or about Php 2,000 for 10 sushi + 1 FREE sushi of your choice. You will also get some free side dishes like Tamago and Miso Soup plus a warm green tea. There is also a cheaper version of 7 sushi but better go to with 10 sushi since you already waited for 5 hours for this!

Note that the restaurant is closed every WEDNESDAY.
There are only 12 counters inside the restaurant and only 3 chefs working on your sushi. They work hard whole day! without breaks! :O All for the love of sushi haha.
I think the person below the picture is the head chef... :) He does have a very good memory because when we were inside, we were joined by a couple from China. It was their second time to visit Sushi Dai and their first was 2 years ago. When we entered, the head chef recognized them and said "Aha! welcome back! it's been a year now right?" and the couple were very surprised as well because the chef remembered them. Cool right? :)
 

The chefs in action!
Here are the sushi we ate:

1. Blue Fin Tuna Belly
2. Tamago (Egg)
3. Snapper
4. Uni- I tried Uni before in the Philippines and I didn't like the taste even the color doesn't look appealing BUT after tasting THIS UNI ohhhh myyyy I super loved it!!! :)  <3 <3 <3
5. Tuna (it's soooo red!!!)- MY FAAAVE!
6. Horse Mackerel
7. Shiraebe or Baby Shrimp
8. Maki Rolls
9. Ikura or Salmon Roe
10. Anago or Sweet eel
They also have A la carte options if you feel you want more sushi. However, the 10+1 option is already very filling.
Recommendation:
Overall, I highly recommend you to try Sushi Dai! It's probably the best Sushi you will taste in your life. It's not something though that you'll go back and forth several times as it's a bit expensive and takes so much time out of your schedule but definitely worth trying once in your life. If you're after good sushi but do not have the time or patience to wait for 5 hours, you can still go to Tsukiji Market and try other restaurants as it's definitely much better than most Sushi you'll eat in your life.

Address: 5-2-1 tsukiji, chuo-ku, Tokyo (located inside tsukiji market)
Phone No.: + 81 3-3547-6797
Operating Hours: 5 am to 2pm
Access: Tokyo Metro Station - 5 min. walk or Toei Subway Tsukiji Shio- 2-3 min. walk

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5 comments:

  1. Hi, Tin! I'm preparing for my Japan trip on November, so expect me to comment/ask/annoy you in this post, as well as others! :D I travel to eat, and Japanese is my favorite cuisine! But I also aim to travel on a reeeeeally low budget. I'm trying to balance these while making my sightseeing and food itinerary.

    I'm travelling solo, so I wonder if you think going to Sushi Dai is okay (I have no one to stand in line with me!). The Omakase Course looks awesome, but a little pricey for one person (plus sobrang bondat siguro ako!) Or do you think I'm better off eating in the market stalls?

    Thank you!

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  2. Your itineraries are always so detailed! Good job, Tin!

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  3. Hi Tin, we will be going to Japan this December (if the embassy gives us the visa), and I would also try and include the places that you visited, since they're all seems good and fun!

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  4. Hello! May I know how much did you spend in Sushi Dai? Hoping for your positive response ��

    ReplyDelete

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