Authentic nigiri sushi in Japan doesn’t come cheap. A meal could be as ‘low’ as ¥ 8,000, to a wallet-busting ¥ 20,000 – or more. Even if money isn’t of a concern, it doesn’t mean you could casually arrive without advance booking.
I’ve tried walking into some of the very localised sushi places – both in Yokohama and Tokyo – some of which are Michelin-starred. “Sorry, we’re fully booked today” was a common reply.
Hunting for food at Ebisu one night, I chanced upon ‘Mai’, a Japanese restaurant at the Westin Hotel. It was already 8.30pm when I asked if there’s a seat available. I got the same reply and when I was about to leave, disappointed once again, I was informed a customer’s about to leave. I sat down and ordered a nigiri sushi set without hesitation. It comes with 8 nigiri sushi, a tuna maki cut into 6 pieces, home made miso soup, a salad and a tofu appetizer. The salmon roe and chu-toro nigiri tasted amazingly fresh and refined. Authentic nigiri indeed.
At ¥ 8,000, you get nice food and amiable hospitality – not a forgettable dining experience. A plus for non-Japanese speakers – an English menu is available.
Mai (舞) Westin Hotel
Address: 2/F, Westin Hotel, 1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone: (81)(3) 5423 7685
Hours: Closed Tuesday – Wednesday