I remember when I visited Hatsunezushi 2 years ago, I made a reservation 2-3 weeks in advance. But now? Probably a year in advance? It’s like one of those places that you could never get in without a connection. This place got viral all of the sudden and I believe it’s all because of Nakaji San’s innovative sushi style.
Back then, Nakaji San’s sushi was more about maguro, there weren’t as many variety as it does now. I recall having at least 6 maguro piece: Akami, Akami Tsuke, Chutoro, Chutoro Tsuke, Otoro, Otoro Tsuke. Also, his sushi size had became bigger, sometimes it’s so big that it felt like a ‘onigiri’.
Nakaji San always empathise on the temperature. He will ask you to grab the sushi by hand, and leave the sushi in your mouth for a few second before chewing.
The most amazing thing is to witness how Nakaji San push himself to innovate in these years. I remember the time when I met him, three years back then, he didn’t speak fluent English (other than explaining his dishes), but there was one sentence that struck me the most until today was: I should be more open minded. And now he did.
I wouldn’t say he makes the prettiest looking sushi, but when you put the sushi in your mouth and close your eyes, it’s another story. The flavours were bold, the temperature, the combination of neta, everything just goes together. It’s unique on its own.
My highlight this time was the Anago, Katsuo, Bachiko and Karei.
If you every visit Hatsunezushi , remember to go with an empty stomach because it’s a big meal.
Address: 5-20-2, Nishikamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 03-3731-2403
Hours: 5:30 pm – 10:30pm (closed Sunday)
Chef: Katsu Nakaji
Visited on: 10 June, 2017