Sushi and Sashimi Lovers must visit Tsukiji Market at least once in their life. It is one of the World's Largest Wholesale Seafood and Fish Market with over 2,000 tonnes of seafood sold per day and handling more than 450 kinds of fishes. Tsukiji Market is also home to a bunch of Sushi Restaurants who serves up some of Tokyo's and if not the World's best Sushi at an incredibly affordable price.
Picking the best Sushi Restaurant to eat in wasn't difficult because there were only two that had long queues which included Japanese. The difficult part of the entire meal was the 3 hour wait we had to endure at -4 degrees outside "Sushi Dai".
The 3 hour wait is caused by Sushi Dai's limited space which could only accommodate no more than 13 people at a time and a reputation among many as the best Sushi Restaurant in Tsukiji. The price at only 3900 Yen for a Chef's Omakase which, includes 10 Sushi + 1 Sushi of your choice and Miso Soup is also one of the cheapest Sushi Restaurants serving such High Quality Sushi.
Meet our Sushi Chefs
With just 13 seats everyone had direct access to our Sushi Chefs who would make our Sushi piece by piece and place it in front of us and instruct us on how to eat it. These guys are not only Sushi Chefs but are wildly entertaining with one of them being able to say "Hello" in multiple languages including "Malay"!.
I was surprised to see the use of Rock Salt which was applied to some of our Sushi. This maybe the secret as to why the Sushi tastes so good!
The Miso Soup was really good! It contained chunks of Salmon Meat making it very rich in flavor. It was a great way to start our meal together with a very good cup of O-Cha (Green Tea) after having to wait 3 hours in the cold!
O-Toro (Fatty Tuna)
Our meal began with the most expensive Sushi, O-Toro. The O-Toro here has a firm texture upon biting and literally melts in your mouth. This is one of the best O-Toro I've ever had!
I've never had Flounder before until today. The meat was firm to the bite but was very smooth in Texture. The flavor is hard to describe. All I can say is it is very fresh!
Mirugai (Top Shell)
Our Top Shell was still moving when they served it. Without much hesitation we ate it in one bite. The texture was very different from the usual Clam Sushi I've had which are usually very chewy. The Top Shell was actually quite soft in texture.
Tai (Red Sea Bream)
I'm not a fan of Tai. Everywhere I've eaten Tai it is usually very bland, dry and has a foul fishy taste. At Sushi Dai the Tai was on a whole different level. Even the color was much redder. The Tai did not have any foul taste and was very moist when eaten. I actually enjoyed it!
The Kajiki was surprisingly soft and melts in your mouth. The flavor again is really hard to describe. All I can say is I loved it as much as the O-Toro Sushi.
Aji (Horse Mackerel)
I'm a big fan of Mackerel especially when it's super fresh. This was my first time having Mackerel that was Red in color and I must confess it is way better than the White Mackerel.
Uni (Sea Urchin)
The Sea Urchin was super fresh. It was very rich and creamy with a hint of sweetness.
Shiraebi (Baby Prawn)
This was my first time having this as well. The Shiraebi was very gooey in texture but had quite an intense sweet flavor.
Magurozuke (Marinated Tuna)
Although I'm a fan of O-Toro I don't usually like the meaty texture and flavor of Tuna. However the marinade changed the Tuna's texture making it really smooth and soft. I actually loved it.
Anago (Sea Eel)
Tokyo is supposedly famous for Sea Eel. Unlike Unagi (Fresh Water Eel), Anago is actually steamed and then brushed with a sweet soy sauce. It is also different in texture being very light and mushy.
For our extra Sushi we asked our Sushi Chef to choose for us and he made us Hamachi Sushi. This was so delicious! I've never had Hamachi like this ever! It literally melts in your mouth! This is the best kind of Sushi I've ever eaten even better than O-Toro!
Assorted Nori Maki
Our Nori Maki consisted of 2 Chopped Chu-Toro and 2 Cucumber Nori Maki. Although Chu-Toro does not contain as much fat as O-Toro mincing it allows it to melt in your mouth a lot better. I usually find Chu-Toro a little fishier in taste but at Sushi Dai there is no trace of it.
Tamago (Sweet Japanese Omelet)
The Tamago was served warm. It was a little dense and had a nice sweetness to it. This Tamago was good but the one at Toshian Soba Shop was much better.
Sperm Sacs of Cod Fish
In addition to our Omakase we were amused by the name of this Sushi and decided to order it. Our Sushi Chef jokingly said "It will make you stronger tonight". As gross or amusing as it may sound it was really good! The Sperm Sac was warm and had the texture similar to that of Ikura (Salmon Roe).
It took us no more than 35 minutes to finish our entire meal. Was it worth the 3 hour wait? I would say YES! I haven't been to any Michelin 3-Star Sushi Restaurants yet but compared to everywhere else I've eaten Sushi, Sushi Dai is by far the best Sushi Restaurant I've visited. From the friendly chefs to the delicious Sushi I would definitely be back again when I visit Tokyo.
Price: $$$$$ (Approximately USD $50 per person)
Address: Tsukiji-Shijo 5-2-1 #6.
Business Hours: Open 5am-2pm. Closed Sun, some Wed.
View Larger Map