15 MUST Eat Tokyo Bites at Sushi Dai
UPDATE | Sushi Dai moved to Toyosu Market location | UPDATE
“have you heard of Sushi Dai?”
“yes I have and I know this means we’re waking up early”
Sushi Dai tl;dr
- Go Early to Get in Line
- Come Hungry So You Can Eat Everything
- Be Open Minded Because There’s a Lot of Interesting Things to Eat
You’re in Tokyo and you don’t know what to do. The land of wagyu, sushi and sake. You’re looking for a place to eat sushi. Let me help you out. You’re about to go on an adventure but you need to know the name of the place you’re going to eat.
Take a moment, breathe in and then breathe out. Say it with me nice and slow…
Su shi dai (pronounce Sue-She-Die, I think)
Within the market there is a sushi spot that is a hidden treasure though not much of a secret anymore judging by the number of people in line at 4:00 am. Sushi Dai is the place to go for no nonsense great tasting, super fresh seafood.
If you are flying into Tokyo in the middle of the night and intend to go to the Sushi Dai, I would highly suggest staying up instead of going to sleep and getting to the market early… really early.
If You’re Going, Go Early
We found a cab to take us to the Tsukiji market at 3:30 am (cabs is the only way to get there so early). After walking around the Tsukiji market finally found the restaurant (I imagine it would be easier to find at the new Toyosu Market location). If you get there early you will avoid that line…
We did not get there early enough. Low and behold there were already people there lined up.. at least 12 of them ahead of us. We didn’t make the cut of the first group to go in and waited nearly 2 hours for our turn to eat all that is sushi.
Order As Much As You Can Eat
Once inside you need to order the chefs special omakase to sample all the sushi that is amazing. Especially if you’re like us, and don’t know a tamago from a toro, then rest assured that you can’t go wrong with the omakase. Of course you are more than welcome to order more afterwards.
After voraciously consuming the omakase, we figured out what liked a lot and ordered more. Looking back at the menu, there were some exciting sounding ones that we thought we’d try too (pen shell?). There were some many things that were so good that words don’t really do them justice. Here’s a bunch of photos of our meal.
I typically order this first to get a sense of the quality of what’s to come.
Ikura (Salmon Roe)
Maybe it’s Tuna
Nadia loves uni!
Uni (Sea Urchin)
Anagao (Sea Conger Eel)
Getting a photo with our chef!
Japanese Pen Shell
Tai (Red Snapper)
Akagai (Ark Clam)
Magurozuke (Marinated Tuna)
Ama Ebi (Sweet Shrimp)
Toro (Fatty Tuna)
More Toro (Fatty Tuna)
Don’t Get in This Line
If you got here this late… Just come back another day. I can only imagine how long this wait was. I imagine at the new location, maybe you won’t be exposed to the elements.
At the End of the Day
Yes, the line is too long and it can get cold, but it’s a small price to pay for this level of seafood. Going to Sushi Dai was an amazing experience, though I wish we got up earlier to avoid the cold 2 hour wait (maybe not such a problem at the new location).
For the quality and freshness of fish, Sushi Dai is the best place I can think of going. If you have never been, you have to go here at least once during your trip.
Like everything else that I ate in Japan, the things that I was familiar with were better. Fishy tastes were absent and sweet tasting fish was even sweeter. I’m ruined for all sushi outside of Japan.