In my recent work/leisure trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to try out all kinds of Japanese food. I’d say that most of the food there are amazing, especially those sushi from Sushi Dai, a sushi restaurant located at Tsukiji Fish Market.
On my trip I decided to experience Sushi Dai for myself as I heard it was voted as the 3rd best restaurant in Japan by TripAdvisor and oftenly as the *best* sushi restaurant in Japan. As a sushi lover, that sounds too good to pass up so I just had to head over to Tsukiji Fish Market for that.
To reach Sushi Dai, you can take the Oedo Subway line to Tsukiji Shijo Station. From the station, Sushi Dai is just a few minutes of walk away. For the exact location refer to the google map below:
Photo taken at the entrance of Sushi Dai around 7 o’clock in the morning. Keep in mind of a few things if you plan to visit Tsukiji Fish Market in the next coming months:
1. You should visit before the market moves in 2016
The Fish market will be relocated to Toyosu district in November 2016 for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
2. If you’re visiting Sushi Dai, expect a VERY long queue
The queue is so long that when I finally entered the restaurant, the chefs greeted me with “otsukaresama deshita!”, meaning “you must be tired! (from the long queue)” ^^;
This restaurant is ever popular with tourists so expect a long queue of 2-5 hours (seriously!). Come as early as 5am if you want to wait on a shorter queue. I waited for about 5 hours (from 7am to 12pm) before I could get in ><
As the queue for Sushi Dai was super long, I’ve decided to kill some time by exploring around the area & got myself some yummy Tamagoyaki (grilled egg).
While Tsukiji Market is best known as one of the world’s largest fish markets, it is also the wholesale market that handle the distribution of vegetables, fruits, meat and flowers in Tokyo.
Shop selling Japanese sandals at the outer market section of Tsukiji market, where you can find all kinds of food-related goods, knives and souvenirs.
Finally got into restaurant after 5 hours of long queue. As you can see there are only 12 seats in Sushi Dai and photography is allowed. Do note that some other sushi restaurants in Tsukiji prohibits their customers to take photos of their meals in order to increase the table turnover rate.
Only two sets of meals are offered in Sushi Dai, I went for the omakase course that comes with 12 nigiri sushi.
Finally got to seat down after standing for about 5 hours in the queue. Unlike certain sushi restauarants, the chefs here are pretty tourist-friendly and talkative with customers.. I even exchanged conversations with one of the chefs in Cantonese ^^;
Tamagoyaki nom nom. Realized that I didn’t take photos of every piece sushi as some of them looks super delicious. By the time I thought about taking photos, they were already gone into my belly ^^;
This is the Horse mackerel (not a horse, it’s a type of fish!) and I really like the way it was presented.
Baby Shrimp sushi. I’m not a big fan of shrimps ><
English Menu = Tourist Friendly. Time to order the 12th and final piece of sushi for my omakatse meal set. If you feel that 12 pieces of sushi aren’t enough to fill your belly, you can always order for add-on. A tourist from Hong Kong who sat besides me ordered the omakatse meal plus lots of A la carte and his final bill amount was 8,000 Yen (64 USD) O_o
I picked the O-toro (fatty tuna) as my final piece of sushi. It was great with the tuna fat tasting all buttery and creamy. Nom nom nom!
My thoughts: In the end, I feel that Sushi Dai is definitely an outstanding place for sushi as long as you don’t mind the long queue and paying two or three times compared to regular sushi restaurants. When I finished my meal and stepped out of the restaurant at around 1pm, there are still dozens of people waiting in line. If you want the same quality of sushi but with shorter queue, I recommend to check out Sushi Daiwa, which is located just on the left-side of Sushi Dai.
Sushi Dai (寿司大)
Location: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Tsukiji Ichiba Building 6 東京都中央区築地5-2-1 築地市場6号館
Hours: 5 a.m.-2 p.m (Closed Sundays and holidays)
I’ll be posting more photos of my recent Japan trip in the coming days. At the mean time, you can check out more places in Japan to visit from my previous Tokyo trip listed up here: