Sushi Taku

2-11-5 Nishiazabu, Minato ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Taku opened in 2005, a sushi restaurant run by chef/owner Takuya Sato in Roppongi. Chef Takuya Sato also trained as sommelier, but as a chef previously trained in Kyubei and Zorokusushi and went independent when he turned 30. It is situated in a quiet side street with, as ever in Japan, a discreet entrance. Inside are just eight seats arrayed around a counter, with an additional private room. It was awarded two stars in the inaugural 2008 Tokyo Michelin guide, which it has retained ever since.

The meal began with an appetiser of crab and Japanese vegetables, ginko nuts and baby potatoes. This was followed by flounder sashimi, which was tender (16/20). Hada fish was next, also very good (16/20). Butterfish sushi was extremely capable, the flavour delicate (17/20). Needlefish was cooked and served on a bamboo leaf, a fish with enjoyable flavour and soft texture (16/20).

Baby salmon sushi was lovely, the fish having rich flavour (17/20). This was followed by slices of raw aubergine and then anago (sea eel) with nice texture (16/20). Yellowtail was superb, with lovely flavour and delicate texture (18/20). This was followed by steamed Spanish mackerel (16/20), then shiitake mushroom and salmon roll in a nori roll. Swordfish was cooked, pleasant though not thrilling (15/20). Akami tuna sushi was excellent (17/20) followed by velvety chu-toro (17/20). Shrimp with maitake mushrooms, lotus root shavings and anago had a pleasant balance of textures (16/20). Cooked shrimp followed, then more anago topped with lemon zest, with a little tuna soup.

For dessert there was ginger ice cream with plenty of ginger flavour, and the classic tomago (16/20). The bill came to ¥33,900 for two, which works out at £120 a head.  The staff were friendly and welcoming. The attention to detail was illustrated by a couple next to us, one of whom was left-handed. The chef noticed this and placed the pickled ginger to the left, rather than the usual right, of the place setting. Taku was very enjoyable, with some unusual choices of fish, and with excellent staff.


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