This Ginza Kyubey Tokyo Sushi Review is my husband's, since he and our son dined there while I was at Sushi Sawada (which doesn't accept diners under age 20).
Recently, my 10-year-old son and I ate lunch at Ginza Kyubey, a Tokyo sushi restaurant founded in 1935 that actually houses several unique spaces in its 4-storey building, from private tatami rooms to several sushi bars. There were some Japanese locals there as well, but for the most part, the guests were like ourselves: tourists who had heard about Kyubey, and booked well in advance.
Ginza Kyubey Location, Hours, Reservations, Cost and Policies
Ginza Kyubey (銀座久兵衛) is located at 8 Chome-7-6 in Tokyo's Ginza district, about a 10 minute taxi ride from the Shangri-La Tokyo (near Tokyo Station) where we were staying, or about a 20-25 minute walk. Kyubey is open Mondays-Saturdays for lunch 11:30am-2pm, and for dinner 5-10pm, and is closed on Sundays. Make reservations in advance for dinner, but for lunch, the only reservation is for 11:30am (which is what we reserved); all times after that are first come, first served.
For lunch, there are sushi options for JPY 5500, JPY 8000 or JPY 13,000 per person. Expect to spend JPY 20,000 or more per person for dinner. We had the JPY 5500 per person option.
We arrived by taxi on rainy day outside the main restaurant, and were escorted to a few steps down the street to the companion sushi bar for lunch.
The host was very helpful and immediately showed us to our section of the bar, and we soon were seated in the small and cozy interior.
Ginza Kyubey Lunch Sushi
We didn’t have time for the larger omakase, so we selected the more limited meal. The first course was a simple and delicious clam soup. Because the weather was rainy and cold, it was the perfect start.
Next up was Tairagai (Japanese pen shell or razor clam; similar to scallop but firmer) split to fit on the sushi rice. It was juicy and refreshing. I’m from New England, so I know good scallops and clams, although this was only the second time I was trying pen shell.
After that I was happy to have Kohada sushi (Gizzard Shad, similar to sardine). I love sardines, and this was not disappointing at all.
Then it was time for everyone’s favorite, 0-toro. This was passable, but nothing special.
Then came a live prawn. I’m sorry to say I didn’t take any photos, but there was a great deal of commotion around this course. The chef beheaded the live, hapless creatures in front of us, which was exciting enough, but then the commotion began. Apparently, beheading a prawn is an excellent way to make is start moving, squirming, wriggling all the more. So these little active, headless creatures were deposited on our plates for us to devour whole in all their wriggling glory. The Americans seated next to us were hysterical. My son was fascinated, and happy to try something new. I was agog at the proceedings. After everyone calmed down, the chef brought back the fried head and tail of the prawn, which made for a crispy snack.
After that we head two different types of eel, Anago (saltwater eel) and Unagi (freshwater eel). This was probably our favorite. It was scrumptious!
After the eel came a hearty and warming miso soup.
Then the chef prepared a roll of several different types of sushi. There was cucumber, tuna, pumpkin and others, and the different colors were beautiful: a sushi rainbow!
After that came a sweet and delicious Sakura (Cherry Blossom) mochi sweet rice cake. This is a seasonal delicacy, perfect for our late March visit, although only a few cherry blossoms were visible in Tokyo itself; most of the cherry blossoms came from farther south in the Japanese archipelago, such as Kyushu.
We concluded with Tamago (sweet egg omelet) sushi:
On a rainy Tokyo afternoon if you are hungry for lunch, Ginza Kyubey is a wonderful treat. It may not be as expensive or exquisite as other Michelin-starred Tokyo sushi bars, but it is a cozy, warm and delicious sushi lunch.
What is your favorite Tokyo sushi bar?
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