No.26

Sushi Saito

Tokyo, Japan

On the pass:

Takashi Saito

Pastry chef:

Style of food:

Japanese

Standout dish:

O-toro nigiri

Contact:

1st Floor, Ark Hills South Tower, 1-4-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

+81 3 3589 4412

Sushi elevated to new levels by Tokyo master

In a nutshell: A tiny, spartan dining room in Tokyo’s Ark Hills office and leisure complex is the unlikely setting for one of Japan's most venerated sushi restaurants. Chef Takashi Saito goes to extraordinary lengths to source the best ingredients to create sushi that balances texture, temperature and flavour.

The food: Diners at the tiny sushi counter are treated to a procession of precisely prepared sushi from aji (mackerel) with grated ginger and negi (onion) and iwashi (sardine),  through different cuts of tuna (akami, chu-toro and o-toro) to sea urchin, eel and octopus. Saito serves slightly smaller slices of fish than most (some are aged, their temperature precisely controlled) and adds marginally more salt to his rice, prepared with mild red vinegar.

How to get a reservation: With extreme difficulty. The restaurant only seats eight people, there is no website and it is booked several months in advance. Your best bet is to try to get an invite from a regular or hire the private dining room, which has its own counter and seats seven.

Bonus point: Joël Robuchon has described Sushi Saito as the “best sushi restaurant in the world”.

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