With the big back-lit sign board and the posters outside, there’s no mistaking this place for a high class sushi restaurant. There’s also no mistaking it for Genki Sushi or what you might call a “wholesale” sushi joint.
The interior of the Akihabara Bekkan (Akihabara Annex) branch that I visited had a pleasant interior with light woody tones – not unlike most sushi restaurants in Tokyo! The notable difference with this store was the fish tank window – so you know that your neta has not just been thawed from frozen.
The atmosphere is relaxed with piano jazz playing quietly in the background and a mix of office workers and local residents engaged in a hubbub of conversation. Thankfully, they have smoking and non-smoking seats available so that your sushi isn’t spoiled by salaraymen lighting up for a pre-lunch puff.
I ordered the Sakura Nigiri Set for 790yen, which includes 8 pieces of sushi, chawanmushi (a kind of savoury egg custard with prawn in it) and miso soup. For another 200 yen, you can bump up the sushi count to 11 pieces. Lunch sushi sets range from the 790yen Sakura set up to 2,600yen. Unlike some other sushi shops, they also have a wide range of other sets which include grilled fish, tempura, udon and donburi – ranging in price from 880 to 920yen. The tempura and sashimi teishoku for 920yen looks like very good value.
My meal arrived within about 5 minutes of taking my seat at the bar. The sushi was beautifully fresh. The salmon in particular was nice and fatty and full of taste. In comparison, the fat-free maguro was almost a disappointment – perhaps this is the direct impact of the world wide maguro shortage. It wasn’t bad though. The miso soup and chawanmushi were also very good. I’m not sure why, but every time I get miso soup at a sushi restaurant, it seems to taste better than anywhere else. If you like to stuff yourself with sushi Genki Sushi style, you might find the amount of sushi with the Sakura set to be a bit small – it was plenty for me though.
If you go for dinner instead of lunch, the sushi will cost you 137yen a piece – quite reasonable for dinner, but it doesn’t measure up to the lunch deals. Also, while Ginzo is a chain, the menu may differ slightly from branch to branch.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market