Sushisho Masa - Sushi Omakase in Tokyo
In an omakase you don't order - you leave it all up the chef. So it can be risky, but I'm not a picky eater and will try anything. The mystery of what's coming up next also makes it a little more fun and interesting. Plus, it's Tokyo and sushi! How could I really lose???
So I did a little research on different omakase restaurants in Tokyo a few weeks before traveling there (this was probably the only thing I spent more than 20 minutes researching for Tokyo before my trip). I found that sushi omakases in Tokyo are not cheap. But this was something I really wanted to do and I don't mind paying for an experience like this, especially when it's food :). I found a several restaurants in Tokyo, but narrowed it down to a 3 or 4 because sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming.
After reading this blog post by GQ Trippin, I was sold - Sushisho Masa was my choice. It's a small restaurant that only seats 7 - it's pretty much just the sushi bar. It required reservations made weeks, sometimes months, in advance (See Making Reservations). Luckily I was able to get a reservation just a few weeks out. The entire meal lasted about 3 hours and consisted of over 50 pieces with unlimited beer and tea. They had a book that had pictures of most of the fish they served that the chefs would show us, so we would know what we were eating. The staff there only spoke Japanese, which I did not mind at all. We were still able to communicate effectively with lots of pointing and smiling :). Unfortunately I can't remember what every piece was, but of course, I took pictures.
Shirako ("white children") - this one was interesting. For those of you not familiar with this, it is cod fish milt, which is the sperm sac.Yup! And now I can say "I had sperm" and it was actually good lol. For those of you curious about this, you don't have to go to an expensive omakase restaurant for this. Some of those conveyor belt sushi places have shirako. But I didn't think they were as good as Sushisho Masa's.
And the pieces kept coming one at a time like this for 3 hours. It was amazing! It was nice to get a small break in between pieces. Sitting at the bar, you get an up close view of the sushi chefs working meticulously to put each piece together. By far, this was best sushi I've ever had and it was the greatest dining experience yet. I cannot recommend Sushisho Masa enough! If you love sushi and you're in Tokyo, you should definitely check it out. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did. Just make sure you arrive hungry.
To make reservations you can have your hotel book it for you, if you have a hotel booked in advanced. But I didn't. So I used one of my credit card's benefits to make the reservation. I have never done this before, but it was simple. One of my credit cards is a Visa Infinite. One of the benefits it has is it's concierge service (Visa Signature cards also have a concierge service). I just called them up and told them I wanted reservations to Sushisho Masa and told them my preferred dates and time and they did the rest. I got an email from them a few days later saying my reservation was confirmed. They made the process pretty simple.
Like I said earlier, it was pretty expensive. I think it was about 30,000 yen (~$265USD at the time). It was by far, the most I've ever spent on a meal. But the quality of the food and the overall experience made it totally worth it....and I would gladly do it again.
Sushisho Masa Location
The restaurant is in Roppongi. It is a little hard to find because the signage was not obvious. I used google maps to get me there and had no trouble finding the building. But it took me a minute to find the actual restaurant. It's in the basement (B1) of building with a bar on the street level ("Joe's Bar" on google maps).