Tsuruhachi Bunten 鶴八 分店

I LOVE THIS PLACE

I am usually a very cynical person but I still believe in love(lust?) at first sight….especially for sushi.

Interesting side fact is the location of this sushi-ya: it is located right smack in between a floor of massage palors- I found it a stark change from the glitz of Ginza.

“Onii-san, masaji yoroshii desu ka?”

I guess I should focus right back on the sushi before someone reports this post for inappropriate content.

Tsuruhachi Bunten (“TB”) probably has the strongest nigiri performance I’ve had in Tokyo. The sushi is very edomae– large in size, seasoned with akazu and a seasonal offering for the neta.

TB is one of the stellar shops in Shimbashi, along with his senior Shimizu who runs the reputable Shinbashi Shimizu.

Igarashi-san, the sole chef there, provides warm service even though he does not speak English. He works in a very unique manner but what matters is that all the sushi he served were nothing short of spectacular. That’s right, no pedestrian pieces at all! For those of you obsessed with “lightly-packed” shari, nearly every piece presented was sinking nicely.

What I had:

Sumi-Ika (Squid)
Hirame (Should be Shitabirame, Tonguefish)
Buri (Yellowtail)
Chutoro (Medium-Fatty Tuna)
Otoro (Fatty Tuna)
Ikura (Salmon Roe)
Kohada (Gizzard Shad)
Tako (Tako)
Akagai (Ark Shell)
Anago (Sea Eel)
Saba (Mackerel)
Murasaki feat Bafun Uni Gunkan (Two kinds of Sea Urchin in one roll!)
Asari Soup (Clam Soup)
O-Maguro Temaki (Tuna Roll)
Kampyo-Maki (Dried Gourd Roll)

The best items would be the Saba and Anago– possibly the second-best I ever had (with the top being T-sushi). Saba was perfectly balanced- I managed to taste a whole different side of the fish. Anago is unique- it is served in the “cold style” similar to that at T-sushi- supremely soft with a slightly gelatinous quality, served with hearty but nuanced ni-tsume sauce (eel reduction sauce). Another great item that I would be hard-pressed to like anywhere else would be the Otoro (yes! Finally I talk about Otoro!) which had a nice acid kick to help the piece to be less cloy.

I pretty much loved the other items: Tako was fragrant and flavourful, Kohada was supremely balanced (no vinegar rush! Very gentle vinegar kick), Ikura was poppin’ and lockin’, Akagai was crunchy….

The only item that I wouldn’t put as stellar would be the Hirame, but it is truly hard to impress me with such a neutral tasting fish in sushi.

Superb meal all-in-all.

Quality: 4.5/5
Cost Performance: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

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Sumi-Ika
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Hirame
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Buri
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Chutoro
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Otoro
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Ikura
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Kohada
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Tako
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Akagai
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Anago
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Saba!!!
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Uni
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Temakiiiii

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