Located in the famous Tokyo Tsukiji Market Building, Daiwa serves fresh, quality Sushi at reasonable prices. The Zagat Survey rated it the top Sushi ... More
Located in the famous Tokyo Tsukiji Market Building, Daiwa serves fresh, quality Sushi at reasonable prices. The Zagat Survey rated it the top Sushi bar in Tokyo and is a favorite among locals. The restaurant is small, so expect a line. Breakfast for two is around USD38.
If you walked into any restaurant and sees the staff at the table wiping down plates from the last customer with a dirty rag (without washing) and sets them on the table for the next customer...you would be calling the health department, never mind with the same hands preparing your food. Well, the sushi is decent in Daiwa. Good grade, generous cut, nicely flavored and perhaps worth the 1 hour wait. The service is so so.
What most people missed is observing what happens to the wooden sushi "serving plates" when they get done. It's given a few wipes by the sushi chef's rag, then placed on the table. No washing? I didn't see any. Now remember this is a high turnover place so if you get there late, chances are you have quite a collection of saliva from people before you. Now notice when someone finishes eating a shrimp, the chef grabs the leftover tail from the plate and throws it away. Then with the same hands prepare everyone's sushi. Even though I don't think the risk of HIV is great (as immunosupressed people usually stay away from sushi), the chance of contracting hepatitis, especially Hep B is quite real.
In summary, I really don't like my chef cleaning the dishes before handling my food...especially when my dishes are only getting a wipe down with a rag. I admit the sushi is good, you'll have to decide whether it's worth it.
I went to both Daiwa Sushi and Sushi Dai on my trip to Tokyo. Both offered the best sushi I have ever had. It is so amazingly fresh. Any trip to Tokyo would not be complete without a trip to Tsukiji Fish Market.
But I had to say for the same price I paid, ($35), the omakase set at Sushi Dai had much better selection + quantity. (I got 1 maki roll and 12 pieces at Sushi Dai vs. 1 maki roll and 7 pieces at Daiwa Sushi).
Both places will have long lineups, but the Sushi Dai lineup is where I ll be waiting on my next trip to Tokyo.
They might have the best and freshest sushi, but I can't verify this as they claimed to be "sold out" at 11am. Of course, after waiting for a neighboring restaurant, and leaving 5 hours later, they were still serving other, non-Western customers. So draw your own conclusions. I sincerely hope that this is not the experience of other travelers.
How do you get sushi that is fresher than that served right in the Tsukiji Market?
Go to Tsukiji early for the tuna auction, stroll around, then line up for a sushi breakfast at 7am. It's definitely worth it.
The counter is a little cramped, but the seafood miso soup will settle you down. Then order the most delicious seafood from the chefs. It may be a $30-50 breakfast, but hey, who cares when the fish is so fresh?
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