Apart from one or two things, the type of fish here was completely the same as Jiro. In a way it provided a nice contrast. The nice thing about
is that you get sashimi before the sushi if desired.
Flat fish was again the first to be served as a sashimi this time. Where as we overlooked this at Jiro, due to the rice over powering the fish, as a stand alone it was so chewy and subtle in it’s flavor. We learned that rice is not always the main event like most sushi connoisseur’s tout, but sometimes the rice should be absent or maybe take a back seat for the fish to shine. This leads us to conflicting decision about speaking negatively on Mizutani‘s rice, or just accepting that it is not supposed to be a one to one comparison to Jiro’s rice. Rice here was almost al dente, and not very flavored.
Second up on the sashimi plate was saba (spanish mackrel) nicely fishy, clearly different from the aji (king mackrel) that I tend to favor. Though, it may be too fishy for a novice sushi fan.
Then yellowtail sashimi, very firm, loved how the sashimi was pink, elastic and chewy but not sinewy.
Then they brought us a bowl of 50 little claws of the mantis shrimp, when we asked what it was sushi master Mizutani did lobster dance with his hands. Despite controversy about the chef not being welcoming to foreigner’s, he was at least smiling and attempting communication, which did not happen at Jiro.
Then they brought a sliced cross section piece of squid head wrapped in sea weed, the fishiness of squid combined with the ocean taste of sea weed without rice was a new combination for us. The seaweed here is so much better than the US, all top notch sushi places smoke their seaweed with hot coals, so they are woody and crispy in flavor. Erika loved the seaweed here.
Then abalone, but the biggest we have ever seen, almost like giant triangle pieces, again, soft, spongy and warm served sashimi, unbelievably good.
Now for the sushi..
Squid was a bit tougher here, but Erika loved it. Sauce was noticably absent here apart from when we had the sashimi.
Tuna was great, again went from medium fatty to super fatty O-toro. Not mushy at all, still firm.
Kohada here was the best out of Imamura and Jiro. We realized that maybe certain fish’s flavors really stick out when the rice flavor is more muted. Soft and slippery vs dry and grainy, also unusually sweet for Kohada.
Aji, again, noticed the special green onion flavor, the cut was different here, slightly smaller, less silvery skin.
Cockle shell, again, like we had at Jiro, similar to a mussel, but more octopussy. It was warm, as well, nice slippery, alternative to tako (octopus). Supposedly in the spring and summer, tako is not typically served, but rather in the winter. In the summer months it tends to be more poisonous, we never knew this; again reflects the importance of seasonality here.
Boiled prawn, again, was the best shrimp we’ve ever had in our lives, we were lucky to have this twice in one day. When we asked for seconds at Jiro of this, they said it was sold out.
Ark shell/akagai, aka red clam. Again, one of my favorite pieces, slimy and sweet OMG!!!
Followed by the giant clam. I had two of these, was my favorite sushi item. More of a meaty texture than the red clam, less fishy, more bizarre textures in our mouth, barnicles, tubules, frayed little tentacles, like eating a baby alien.
Mantis shrimp. This is the crazy looking lion shrimp, was brown, but sweeter than Jiro’s version, again grainy, almost like eating dark soba. Interesting, we’ve never had this before coming to Japan.
Uni, again, cannot emphasize the difference from the sea urchin in Japan compared to US. Best we’ve ever had in our lives. So Damn sweet, more like little globules. Similarly as good at Jiro, but Jiro had a sour rice. Imamura served their uni on rice with red vinegar, which was also unique.
Baby scallops, sweet again, but this was where some tastier rice would have complimented scallop better.
Unagi, just like Imamura, and Jiro, and suprise suprise it was steamed not grilled. Again, from now on for unagi, I will ask, ‘steamed not grilled please’.
Tomago, egg. Better than Jiro and Imamura. Soft and bready on top and bottom, cold and moist in the middle, almost like Alinea’s cold potato/hot potato concept.