Sunday, May 29, 2011

すしざんまい Sushi Zanmai in Tsukiji Market for 24 hours fresh sushi .... Tokyo, Japan

We got lost as we ventured into maze of Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo with a list of sushi places, Sushi Dai, Sushi Daiwa and Sushi Zanmai, keyed into my iPhone. The afterthoughts from reading about Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa, made us realized that we are not hard core sushi lovers afterall. The queues for these two sushi place in Tsukiji have a wait time that's at least 2~3 hours and we weren't desperate enough to wake up early or to join the queue. For those who tried, I salute you and hope that the experience was totally worth it. We decided to drop by Sushi Zanmai that's known for their value for money fresh sushi. Apart from being known for value, Sushi Zanmai is opened 24 hours to satisfy anyone's crave for fresh sushi.

Although Zanmai didn't have an enduring queue to boast, still most of the tables were filled and we were lucky that there were still four bar seats for us. Another observation, was that most of the patrons were Japanese, so sushi standards should be still up to the mark.

Apart from the rest of the fishes and sea food that we ate in Zanmai, which I thought was absolutely fresh but wasn't really worth mentioning as freshness is a given at any sushi place inside Tsukiji fish market. Our highlight into Tsukiji was already mapped out in our minds the night before, an ultimate indulgence of gorging chu-toro and ootoro (prized tuna cut around the belly region). What can be the best place to feast on them than in Tsukiji? 

Here's our  tuna set at 750 yen, from the right Akami, in the middle the Chu-toro, and the left most the Ootoro. This is value for money especially when Japanese tuna belly was so much more expensive in Singapore. However, this promotional set was a bit of a disappointment, the chu-toro must have been the portion too close to the akami portion. There isn't much omega 3 fatty streaks on the supposed chu-toro. Fortunately, the ootoro was melt-in-your-mouth material. At this price point, there really wasn't much to complain. So, we had at least 4 rounds of this promotional set.

Apart from the fresh ootoro, we asked for some pieces of ootoro to be blow torched. Torching provides the mingling of alternate taste on the same piece of ootoro from the slight burnt top layer to the raw bottom side ride above the sushi rice. The little topping of ginger with yuzu surfaced the sweetness of the ootoro. Marvelous!

Even though Sushi Zanmai didn't provide the more exquisite sushi, we still had an enjoyable gorging session for this prized Japanese tuna cut. I don't think we'll ever get full from just eating fresh Japanese chu-toro and ootoro without hurting our pockets back in Singapore. However, for a more exquisite sushi experience in Tsukiji, the choice of braving the weather in the 2 hour queue for Sushi Dai or Sushi Daiwa would still be up for grasp.

東京都中央区築地4‐11‐9 築地市場外
Tsukiji Market 4-11-9
Tokyo, Japan
Tel : 03-3541-1117


yixiao said...

looks delicious! i'm glad you didn't bother queuing at those famed sushi joints. it's more for the experience and bragging rights anyway.

myfoodsirens said...

I'm going to bookmark zanmai! :) think it will be a different experience altogether.

Unknown said...

Ootoro! :)

Anonymous said...

i like how you complain about the chu-toro being too lean and still order four sets of it


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