Ever since I watched the movie 'Jiro dreams of Sushi' I dreamed about having a meal at the master of the masters. This is why you shouldn't dream about it.
After having a meal at his place, the 3 Michelin-starred Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten in Ginza, Tokyo, I wouldn't ever want to return there and keep asking myself: how could the world trust a TV show (Bourdain) and a nice movie with such a delicate thing as top gastronomy?
It was on my bucket list, it was pretty expensive, so it would be a much better idea to think it was a great experience. But it was not.
- I can appreciate their special style, to have not more than 30 minutes for the whole meal (20+ big nigiris), I do respect their culture. But I don't think it's okay to place the next sushi on my plate while I am still chewing on the one before. (And it is stressful, since it could happen to you, that he takes away a sushi from your plate, if you are not fast enough...)
- The ambience was everything else than relaxed or friendly. I felt a bit like somebody not really welcomed, and believe me, even if they served the best sushi of the world, you need a relaxed atmosphere to really enjoy it.
- And the sushi is not the best of the world. It is not even close to perfect. I had so many great experiences in Tokyo on my trip, that it was just not enough to get nice food. Most of the fishes were great, but some pieces seemed even low quality or defective, for example the mantis shrimp had a very strange slushy texture.
- The size of the sushi is too big. Okay, this is the style of the place, but still it should be easy to fit into your mouth to enjoy it. (Biting off is not an option because of the etiquette.)
- The flavouring of most of the sushis were just too strong. This is of course also a question of personal style, but I still want to enjoy the taste of the rice and the fish, and not the overwhelming marinade or sugar. Some of them were too sour, some of them way too sweet, some of them well balanced.
- Not even Japanese think this is the best sushi. If you check out Tabelog, you will find Jiro not even in the TOP20 in Tokyo.
- Service was very unfriendly. It was not just strict and not kind at all, but there was not a single word from Jiro. And of course I greeted them in Japanese, said thank you in Japanese, etc.
- Service was even more unfriendly. I was not even allowed to take off my jacket! I tried it first at the entrance, then the young guy told me I should keep it on. Then I tried inside to take it off again, then again he said I should keep it on. So did I. And it was definitely an outerwear, and I had to keep it on for the whole time. (From this point of view it was nice to just have 27 minutes...)
Don't get me wrong, it's a decent place with a sushi that is much better than almost anywhere else outside of Japan. But is definitely not the number 1 in Japan, not even in Tokyo.(Check out the real number 1 here!) And it was a really bad experience.
Your comments are welcome here.