Tag Archives: tsukiji

It’s 3 a.m. and I’m drifting

Every so often I feel like reminding myself that I no longer am 14. The proper assessment method is to pull an all-nighter for no apparent reason and realize once more that such initiatives should never be considered in the first place. What may once have been a feat of strength at LAN parties with other guys sporting long, unkempt hair, is nowadays nothing more than a measurable burden. Speaking in scribbles, wondering whether one is asleep or awake and especially passing out at a family dinner while leaning on your own fist are all occurrences that should be left in the past. For a reason.

But what choice did I have? We went drinking with the Embassy Trainee Squad (ETS) on Friday. As Friday turned into Saturday and I woke up at 5 in the afternoon, I realized that it would be quite difficult to come back from the admittedly self-caused predicament. The only sensible way I could think of was to play Rift until dawn and pull an all-nighter Sunday night in order to then “get up early” and go straight to Tsukiji for some world class sushi first thing on Monday. Plan set in motion.

You can't really miss the general fish market area.

Whoop Whoop!

Sushi Dai is a renowned and ridiculously small sushi stand at the Tokyo Tsukiji fish market that has been given rave reviews online. Upon arrival it became clear that the store appealed more to foreigners than locals, immediately setting off my tourist trap alarm. The clock dinged 6:45 when I arrived, yet I still had to queue for around 45 minutes for my early breakfast sushi. I was too tired and hungry to take any pictures of the meal, and since other bloggers with better skills and tools have done it before, I refer you to EdEdition and Paul’s Travel Pics for lengthier illustrated reviews of the place. I really can’t be bothered at this stage.

La queue (queque)

I do agree with most reviewers that the sushi at Sushi Dai was definitely the best sushi that I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, due to the immense hype surrounding the place, I was pretty much expecting to get raptured while my taste buds sang songs of praise. That didn’t happen. The problem wasn’t in the quality of the sushi, but merely in the experience as a whole. It is also possible that I found my limit as a sushi lover.

The place has 12 seats, and queues of 1-2 hours to get inside are not uncommon. Those two things combined create a barrier that effectively prevents people from enjoying Sushi Dai as a lengthy social experience. Maybe with the exception of people who happen to like the queue simulator. ¥3900 for a dozen pieces of excellent sushi after and hour’s wait in a remote location is not entirely worth it, at least more than once. The sushi was excellent, but I’ve had excellent sushi at other locations which offered additional perks. The slight increase in quality does not justify all the fame surrounding Sushi Dai, merely some of it. But since freshness is such a selling point and there are 50 other sushi stalls at Tsukiji, there should not be that big of a quality gap between Dai and all of the rest. The next time I venture into Tsukiji, I’ll try to find a cheaper, less gaijin-infested sushiya. I’ll also try to sleep the night before.

-Stark Dålig