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Hi Everyone

Welcome to EM checked in...

This is where I document my experiences in hotels, occasionally restaurants and travel adventures. Hope you will find it enjoyable and inspirational!

Ginza Kyubey, Tokyo

Ginza Kyubey, Tokyo

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EM has checked into ... Ginza Kyubey

When you think of Japan, sushi is one of the top elements that associate greatly with the country. They say when in Rome, do what the Roman's do. So when people come to Japan, they must experience sushi omakase at least once. Not sushi train stuff, but the type whereby the sushi chef is standing right in front of you and make your sushi in the most skillful way.

If you are in Melbourne and have been thinking of the infamous Minamishima, I have a detailed review of my experience and thoughts (both good and bad) at Minamishima.

So back to your considerations of picking a sushi omakase in Japan (Tokyo in specifically), many people have heard of Jiro Sushi, Sushi Saito and lots more but let's face it, these places are highly expensive and you might not fully enjoy it with quite a serious type of atmosphere. Unless if you have the money, then sure go ahead. But for the rest of us, let me introduce you to Ginza Kyubey - A cheaper alternative yet can provide the ultimate sushi omakase experience of your lifetime. 

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Seating

At Ginza Kyubey (the main branch), it is in fact a multi level building and each floor compromises of a few individual stations. And there are around 12 people in one station with at least two sushi chefs per station. So you can still have the authentic experience to engage with the chef yet still have the ability to socialise and talk with your partner or group.

If you opt for the sushi omakase course, you will have a checked green plate place right in front you. Love the green instead of the standard black as it gives off a more relaxed style.

If you opt for the sushi omakase course, you will have a checked green plate place right in front you. Love the green instead of the standard black as it gives off a more relaxed style.

Starting off with a small bottle of sake.

Starting off with a small bottle of sake.

Some light appetisers to start the course. The left dish is actually a house made soy sauce with radish and spring onions to dip your fish throughout the whole meal if you wish to. I love it how it is not just the normal plain soy sauce given in most sushi restaurants in the world.

Some light appetisers to start the course. The left dish is actually a house made soy sauce with radish and spring onions to dip your fish throughout the whole meal if you wish to. I love it how it is not just the normal plain soy sauce given in most sushi restaurants in the world.

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Side condiments

I love it how they provide not 1 but 3 different types of side condiments to refresh your palate and they are generous too. So you have have a bite of seaweed, radish and pickled ginger in between each serve of sushi.  They really do want to make sure you are well spoiled and fed.

Grilled piece of fish - forgot what fish this was but boy it was sooooo delicious! It was moist, flaky yet filled with intense flavour with a touch of charred texture on the skin.

Grilled piece of fish - forgot what fish this was but boy it was sooooo delicious! It was moist, flaky yet filled with intense flavour with a touch of charred texture on the skin.

Very excited for the next piece! I think I know what is next!!!

Very excited for the next piece! I think I know what is next!!!

Why hello gorgeous tuna, you are so pretty that I just want to stare at you all day long!

Why hello gorgeous tuna, you are so pretty that I just want to stare at you all day long!

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Love the sea urchin, so fresh and creamy.

Love the sea urchin, so fresh and creamy.

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Our chef brought a plate of prawns which were still alive! And he asked us whether we want to try it raw or grilled. Both options are stunning by the way, it just comes down to your personal preference.

Our chef brought a plate of prawns which were still alive! And he asked us whether we want to try it raw or grilled. Both options are stunning by the way, it just comes down to your personal preference.

I opted for the grilled version - which provides a bouncier texture with hint of smoked flavour blended with the seafood flavour. I was also given the grilled head which was amazing! Crunchy and soaked with all that prawn goodness.

I opted for the grilled version - which provides a bouncier texture with hint of smoked flavour blended with the seafood flavour. I was also given the grilled head which was amazing! Crunchy and soaked with all that prawn goodness.

My husband opted for the raw version - which brings out the maximum flavour of the prawn, you really can taste the freshness of the prawn and how intensely sweet it is. 

My husband opted for the raw version - which brings out the maximum flavour of the prawn, you really can taste the freshness of the prawn and how intensely sweet it is. 

Fatty tuna, YUM!!!! The wagyu version of tuna.

Fatty tuna, YUM!!!! The wagyu version of tuna.

Getting ready for the next piece.

Getting ready for the next piece.

Seared beef with fried shallots - IRRESISTIBLE!

Seared beef with fried shallots - IRRESISTIBLE!

Grilled eel.

Grilled eel.

A hot bowl of clam soup to bring a satisfying warmth to your stomach, trust me your stomach will thank you.

A hot bowl of clam soup to bring a satisfying warmth to your stomach, trust me your stomach will thank you.

Watermelon to finish off the meal.

Watermelon to finish off the meal.

Verdict

The omakase was the best and most worth it winner during my trip in Tokyo. With such a reasonable price tag (I remembered it was around $130 AUD in April 2017 including a couple of drinks), we were thrilled with the experience. The fish were at excellent quality and the atmosphere was well thought out with a slight casual tone to allow you to be relaxed and comfortable. I wouldn't say that this place is casual yet it is not fine dining. 

You will also notice that there are less foreigners in this place compared to all the other well-known sushi outlets. That is because this place is actually well known among the locals and not promoted widely to the outside world - so this is the true secret gem of Japan. 

In saying that, you need to make a booking few months in advanced. Try to go for the lunch session as it is cheaper and easier to get a booking than the dinner session. BUT the challenge of this place is that you need to get your hotel to book for you. You can't just call in and book it yourself. I guess this is their way of making sure that you won't be able to cancel last minute and even if you do cancel last minute, they are able to send a bill to your hotel to add into your reservation account. Also, highly recommended for you to make a reservation at the main branch in Ginza as they have several branches in Tokyo. I heard the main one is the best.

So next time you are in Tokyo, come and try Ginza Kyubey! I would highly recommend it and would go back time after time. Seriously, don't even bother to consider the standard 'well known' sushi places. Go to Ginza Kyubey, I promise that it will worth more than what you pay for.

Till next time, take care and stay inspired.

xoxo EM

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