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“you won't understand until you have it in your mouth”

Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
Ranked #54 of 7,987 Restaurants in Chuo
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“you won't understand until you have it in your mouth”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

we traveled all the way from NY to try the triple Michelin starred sushi resturant with high expectations. Could it live up to the hype? Not only does Jiro deserve three stars, I would have created a fourth star for the master of the blade and fresh fish. Not only was the fish the freshest we ever experienced ( I am convinced he had salmon living in the sink in the kitchen) but what
he adds and how he manipulates the fish is truly a mastery of the culinary arts. His medley of tuna was unlike anything i have experienced in over many years of travelling the world.
In the most simple way, it is the quintessence of sophistication. It was worth the 24 hours of travelling for the 30 minutes of food.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Jeanluc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    110
    27
    12
    8
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great Sushi, a must try”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We booked dinner for 2 about 3 months in advance, we did not encounter any of the issues mentioned in some of the other reviews in terms of discrimination to foreigners (neither of us is Japanese) or need to pay a deposit. We did have the booking made through the concierge at the hotel though. Place is a little bit tricky to find as it is literally in the underground next to the metro station, we were 15 minutes late to our reservation time, again no problems with that.

The food itself is fantastic, freshness and quality above anything I have tried before. The rice has a little more vinegar than what I believe is the average, but this is Jiro's particular twist, this will not be to everyone's taste I suspect. We were given a short menu written in Japanese / English with about 20 pieces of sushi listed and asked if we had any allergies or things we did not like. While Jiro and his son do not seem to speak a lot of English, the younger apprentices speak well enough for what you need. Jiro himself assembles every piece of sushi served to all the clients while his son cuts the fish, everything happens right in front of you, with an incredible attention to detail. Watching them in action is impressive. Yes, the pace is fast, but I agree with other reviewers, this is meant to be for you to experience each piece and mix of flavours at its ideal points.

Jiro does not engage with customers much, even the Japanese ones. He always seems very focused on every piece of sushi he puts together, giving each his full attention,. Perhaps noticing my camera he did come out from behind the counter when we were done and was happy to pose with us for a couple of pictures.

In short, a great culinary experience, watching a master at his craft work with the finest ingredients to produce a truly exceptional result. Price is steep at YEN 30,000 each, but if you like food I think this is worth it. If you are looking for a place with ambience or where stuff will entertain you, this is not the place for you. Jiro and his staff are there to prepare the best sushi they can and just that, the rest is irrelevant

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank CM6266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“A fair appraisal”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

There are a lot of emotional reviews one way or another about this restaurant on TripAdvisor, and some that don't even seem to be talking about the right restaurant (i.e., the ones that describe Jiro as "fusion food" - this is old school, orthodox sushi). If you are considering paying the $300/ person to eat here, I thought it important to try and write a fair appraisal of the experience. I would have appreciated that before I went.

My husband and I ate at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Ginza, on Sukiyabashi street, on May 8, 2013. This is the location that the father, Jiro Ono, featured in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, works at. The Minato/Roppongi Hills location, which is also on TripAdvisor, is the location that the younger son works at.

We made our reservations through the American Express Concierge Service. Prior to confirming our reservation, AMEX sent us a long email detailing the "terms and conditions" of eating at the restaurant. First, they strongly encouraged that we eat at the Minato/Roppongi Hils location, which is apparently more amenable to foreigners. They told us that if we wanted to eat at Ginza, we would need a Japanese speaker with us. There were other conditions as well relating to the eating experience (basically to treat it with reverence). We told AMEX that we wouldn't have a Japanese speaker with us and insisted on making the reservation anyway. We are not sure if this subsequently affected how we were treated, but this is what happened.

We were given a reservation at 5:30 pm.We did not have to pay a dsposit like M_Rodriguez, the reviewer below. We were told we'd have to pay in cash which is not unusual in Japan.

The restaurant is located in a basement annex next to Ginza station. There are about 10 seats at the counter, and 3 tables. There was only another couple dining with us at that time. The couple was also American and also booked via Amex.

We were given a menu written in Japanese / English with 20 pieces of sushi listed, going from mild fish (in our case, sole) to stronger tasting fish (eel) with the conclusion being the famous egg/tamago featured in the movie. This is not a true omakase experience (you trust him to serve you a meal that evolves based on what he learns you like) but a set menu. The one aspect of omakase I did sense is that he immediately understood I was left handed and adjusted the positioning of my sushi for that (which I ate, as is proper, by hand).

The sushi is technically outstanding. Each piece is pristine - you are tasting each fish as it should taste, how it should be cut, and at what temperature it should be served at (which varies based on the fish). Jiro's rice has a stronger vinegar taste than "usual" - which may or may not be to your liking. I thought it worked on the stronger tasting fish, but overpowered the milder fish. For me, the stand outs were the chutoro and the shrimp (exquisitely cut and presented).

The experience is FAST. He paces it to take about 30 minutes to eat your 20 pieces. Apparently this is because his theory is that the fish is best the instant he makes it and puts it on your plate. I held back for a few pieces to savor the experience. When I did, he would pass on the next fish that he was supposed to make for me to his son.

At the end of the meal, we were told to go sit at the tables, where we were served a piece of musk melon and tea. We were then invited to go take photos outside at the entrance with Jiro and his son (you are not allowed to take photos inside). Jiro also came up to us and autographed our menus.

My feeling in the end? The sushi was very very good. Jiro is working with only four elements: the fish, cut, temperature, and rice. And you appreciate how amazing it is to just work with these four things, in perfect balance (excluding the rice for some people). It is also cool to say you ate at the restaurant featured in the movie.

But in terms of value for money, you can spend the same amount and take the train to Kanazawa, on Japan's west coast, and spend your weekend eating sushi. Kanazawa is known as the capital of sushi in Japan, and everything from the conveyor belt experience in the fish market to Otomezushi (featured in this WSJ article http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2013/03/25/the-secrets-of-perfect-sushi/) is phenomenal and a fraction of the price.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
22 Thank NYGypset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Different treatment based on your nationality”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

If you were not born with a Japanese sounding name, you will have to pay a 10000 yen deposit.

This requirement does not seem to apply if you have a Japanese sounding name, and has nothing to do with whether you live in Japan, can speak Japanese or can provide contact information in Japan. The staff personally acknowledged the existence of this rule, and suggested I refrained from visiting if I did not agree to it.

Unfortunately, I don't think I would be able to enjoy a 30000+ yen meal at a restaurant that practices racial profiling, therefore I will abstain from visiting this business while this offensive rule is in place.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
49 Thank M_Rodriguez193
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
東京
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“It is possible to be the best sushi. But it is not best way spend money at all.”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Sushi here is not really expensive for it's quality,taste and the "master's" skill and technique.
If you would like to eat good sushi, this Sukiyabashi Jiro can be an exellent candidate.
But if you would like to have best time at the night, the other options shoud be considered.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Skipper18152
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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