When my nephew visited Japan, he went to a good expensive sushi restaurant. He had saved up for his meal, so he knew exactly what he wanted. I would have been happy with cheap and good sushi but a friend of mine who knew about my nephew’s adventure decided to let us have the experience of eating at a traditional sushi place. She booked a table for us in case it was crowded. It was a Friday and there was no crowd at all except for a couple at the sushi bar.
There were two people working behind the counter, presumably the very experienced sushi chef and his son. Tea was served by the sushi chef’s elderly wife. I was told that this shop has been around for more than a hundred years old, passed down from one generation to the next.
We ordered our food and both father and son set to work making the sushi for us. At this kind of place, sushi is best eaten at the counter, eaten with sake and small talk is made with the chef. We did neither of those things. As we were a larger group, we could not sit at the counter. We also did not really want to drink and we did not really speak Japanese either. So, for all those reasons, our experience was not really authentic. This shop also had limited supply of what I was used to. I was more familiar with conveyor belt sushi where everything was reasonably priced and I could just take what I wanted off the conveyor belt. But here, each sushi portion was rather specific and other sushi that I was more familiar with were not available.
Still it was a good experience for me and the next time I visit a place like this again, I would sit at the counter and try to fully appreciate the art of sushi-making from the chef. Ja matta. Till next time.