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“Exceeds expectations!”
Review of Sawada

Sawada
Ranked #135 of 8,555 Restaurants in Chuo
Cuisines: Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi
Reviewed July 4, 2014

When we were planning for this Tokyo trip, we could only "allocate" one night for a full-course sushi meal. We were deciding on all the big names: Mizutani, Jiro, Saito, or Sawada. Note that we read in all the blogs about how each compared. We also watched "Jiro dreams of Sushi". We avoided Jiro as we read that the serving was too rushed. Among the other three sushi masters, we decided on Sawada, perhaps randomly. A great choice, it turned out.

There's only one menu at Sawada. We had to arrive at 6pm sharp, not at any other time. There were only six counter seats at the restaurant. No photography allowed.

The night started with sashimi. Abalone, clams, toro, squid, octopus, and so on. Then it progressed to sushi. Some memorable ones to highlight: the octopus, tuna belly (both sashimi & sushi), tuna aburi sushi (grilled over charcoal), uni sushi (where the sea urchin was piled sky high.. 1 portion of rice with 3 portion of sea urchin), unagi aburi sushi, which melts in the mouth. Lastly, the tamago was served: it was very special, which did not taste like a regular tamago, rather it tasted fluffy like a cross between a Bengawan solo pandan cake and omelette.

Unforgettable experience.

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2  Thank LeeshAsianTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 36 of 49 reviews

Reviewed May 24, 2014

The reviews here are not overstating how good a meal at Sawada really is.

We arrived a couple of minutes late as it is a bit of trick to find. Sawada-san had just served up some small amuse bouches to a Japanese family that was taking their teenage son out to a birthday lunch – what a lucky kid.

What followed was not just an epicurean treat but also a rare opportunity to see a true sushi master in action. With seemingly little effort Sawada-san conjured up piece after piece of heaven, placing them directly in front of you and urging you to eat them in that instant of perfection. Even the beer was perfect and looked like it was ready for a TV commercial.

After different grades of tuna, I thought it could get not better until he prepared the seared tuna holding his charcoal over the fish: Spectacular. What was more fun was watching my wife trying to eat the sea urchin in one bite; all were most amused!

Chef Sawada was very welcoming and friendly taking time to name each piece in English and answering our naive questions. He seemed to have an endless supply of anecdotes and jokes for our fellow diners but as I don’t speak Japanese it was somewhat lost.

I would fly to Tokyo just for the opportunity to dine here again.

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6  Thank DiveSailSkiTrek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2014

I have never spent so much money on sushi, rarely have I spent so much on ANY meal (NYC's Per Se and Tokyo's Takazawa are the only contenders coming to mind). Yet, I left this lunch after two hours feeling it was worth every penny. Koji Sawada is a genius. Watching him work was fascinating, and his extraordinary effort was worthwhile in that the sashimi and nigiri actually tasted better than any I've ever had.

Every new fish he would bring out for sashimi would be sliced into thin pieces and placed one on top of the other, providing about three bites per fish. This way we were able to taste each fish multiple ways. Sawada or his wife would advise us on how to eat each type. Some were "allowed" to be dipped in salt, some in soy sauce, some in wasabi (or a combination of the above). Some were advised to be eaten as is. The wasabi was freshly grated right before our eyes, you don't see that every day... Also, he seared the otoro (fatty tuna, the BEST cut) and it was one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.

Then came the nigiri. I loved his rice, it complemented everything just right. Everything was wonderful except perhaps the gizzard shad, which I've decided I'm not a fan of. The other two members of my party, both equally blown away by this place overall, aren't big fans of eel which was a shame because he seared two eel nigiri for us; a "soy sauce taste" and "wasabi taste". I loved every bite. The tiger prawns were huge and delicious. One of my favorites was the otoro nigiri, six were prepared (one per customer) on a single plate. Then he brought red-hot charcoal over in some tongs, searing all six at once! Good grief it tasted like heaven on earth.

If you are in Tokyo and you love real sushi (not those goofy American "rolls"), this is a must. I didn't try Jiro or Mizutani or Saito, but I did have other sushi in Tokyo and as good as it was...it couldn't compare to this. I've been back in the U.S. a couple weeks now and sushi is RUINED for me. I have no desire to eat it here because it doesn't compare to Sawada. If you decide to go, please know that the sashimi and nigiri course lasts about two hours and will run about 35,000 yen before drinks. You have to reserve a month in advance, as soon as they open up reservations for the next month. He only serves 6 people at lunch and another 6 at dinner. You won't regret the effort or expense, and you will cherish the memory long after.

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3  Thank Sanjuro2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2014

Our group of 6 took over Sushi Sawada - we have all eaten at the other Tokyo Greats - and they still are Great in the classical sense - Sushi Sawada takes the experience to a new level. The meal is not in 33 minutes- 3 full hours were enjoyed - bite by bite. I didn't make the reservation for our group - so I don't know the exact method. My other problem is Tokyo is usually a 'last' minute decision for me, so I don't know how I will book to get back in - and go again I want to. Take your Brinks truck ( I think Trip Advisor needs a $$$$$$ option for Tokyo) - you need it for many places in Tokyo - take a sense of humor - and enjoy.

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Thank askworldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2013

Sawada Sushi is located on the 3rd floor of a nondescript building in Ginza. It is a small, intimate space, seating six people at a time. Upon entering, you are greeted by the husband and wife team. The wife's English good and the husband's English, I'm told, is improving all the time due to all the foreign tourists who visit.

The next two and a half hours were gastronomic perfection. The dishes were all incredibly amazing. There were a lot of dishes that were new to me, but at the same time, the dishes I thought I knew were prepared in a way that totally changed the flavour for the better.

I really can wholeheartedly say that the sushi was the best I have ever had. The person next to me seems to agree; he travels from overseas to experience Sawada-san's sushi once a year.

Reservations may be difficult to obtain but are not impossible. Staying at an inexpensive business hotel, I thought my chances were slim, but somehow, the concierge pulled through. Keep in mind, the meal is not cheap, but it was entirely worth it.

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Thank Chouster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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