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Kurosaki

1-5-9 Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0002, Japan

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Kuzuki Kurosaki opened this restaurant in 2014, located in a quiet side street in Shibuya at street level. Thee are nine seats at the wooden counter, behind which the chefs carve the fish and prepare the food. As ever in Japan it is fascinating to watch the knife skills of the sushi chefs as they work. To begin with there were some appetisers before the sushi sequence. Aubergine with sesame sauce was genuinely good, the sauce excellent and the aubergine having good flavour. Sashimi of flounder and snapper came with freshly grated wasabi and was fiine. This was followed by excellent, lightly salted bonito sashimi, followed by sea urchin from Kyushu with salmon roe on top of a bed of rice.

The real action began with sushi of baby squid, which was very tender indeed. This was followed by Pacific soury sushi, and then there was a break in the sushi sequence with grilled fresh water eel (unagi) from Kyushu, which is actually quite rare to see in a sushi restaurant. Sushi of gizzard shad or kohada with its gleaming patterned skin was excellent, as was a carefully cooked kurama prawn sushi with good natural sweetness. Another break in the sushi sequence occurred with anglerfish liver, which had lovely silky texture and quite subdued liver flavour. We then moved on to tuna sushi, this from a 173kg fish. Semi fatty chutoro was excellent, followed by otoro and then then lean akami. Another break came with a little soup of white tilefish with matsutake mushrooms, nicely enhanced by freshly squeezed sudachi, a Japanese citrus like a small lime. This was particularly good, and better than several similar dishes I had eaten this week in supposedly more prestigious restaurants. Filefish or kawahagi sushi with its liver was next, then a different sea urchin from Fukuoka, followed by grilled prawn head, and then sushi of seawater eel or anago. Finally there was a roll of kampyo, which is dried shavings of calabash, a type of gourd. This was reconstituted and cooked in water with soy, dashi and sugar, giving a pleasing sweet and sour effect; the nori roll was exceptionally delicate. We couldn’t resist an extra piece of sushi, in my case the lovely akami tuna.

The bill came to ¥102,870 between three (£233 per person), but that was with beer, extra pieces of sushi and three different excellent sakes, so a more typical cost per person might be around £170 per head. We had a most enjoyable evening here, the chef being friendly and speaking quite good English, the atmosphere relaxed. The standard of the sushi was very high indeed, and the meal had a nice rhythm to it, building up from lighter to bigger flavours with well timed breaks. This was classy sushi, and my highly experienced dining companion, who has lived in Tokyo for a decade, felt this was much better than its current respectable rather than exceptional 3.93 Tabelog rating. It was certainly better sushi than a great many places that I have tried. I would highly recommend it if you are comfortable with the price.

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