Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sushi Zanmai, Akihabara

I have a bit of an unnatural attachment to Sushi Zanmai, at least the Monnaka branch that I like to think of as 'home base'. The prices are extremely low, and I like to think that the quality is very high if you order carefully. Just so's you know, that means: scallops, salmon, chu-toro. The white fish are often quite ordinary (but how much can you expect for Y100 sushi?).

After a shopping expedition to Yodobashi in Akiba, which led through various circumstances to the unfortunate breakdown of my internet and phone service (half restored, thanks), I was deeply desirous of fish (as I had been all week, which led to suzhi the next night also!). The Zanmai branch in Akiba is built into the corner of Yodobashi, so....

Looooong counter, many tables, 6 or 8 chefs, and everything humming along at capacity on a Thursday night at 9 PM. I felt a little lucky to get a seat down at the end of the counter, and went about my usual business of ordering and drinking tea. The scallops were the same as at other branches - so fresh, so plump. (When I lived in San Francisco, I used to read the Zagat guide. I swear to you, every review of a sushi place would say something like 'So fresh, it practically swims away from the table!' I would say that about these scallops, but scallops don't swim a whole lot.) There were some specials (toro saba, buri) that were also excellent (but Y260 per). And the service was fast and to-the-point, which is always pleasant in a big and crowded restaurant.

Hey, it's not great, but it's ril good, and it's ril cheep!
Open 24 hours!

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