In Tokyo, it’s no secret that Ginza is lined with famous restaurants, and one of the most renowned sushi restaurants is Sushi Saeki. Chef Hiroshi Saeki had aspired to be a sushi chef from the age of 17, first training at a kappo restaurant and Sushi Noguchi in Osaka before becoming independent.
At 36, he opened Sushi Saeki in Kitashinchi; with its distinct style of hospitality and food, the restaurant was said to be the most popular in the Kansai area. Afterwards, he moved to Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, finally arriving in Tokyo at the age of 48. Finally, he opened the long-awaited Sushi Saeki in Ginza.
"If I was going to move into Tokyo, I wanted to compete in the middle of famous restaurants," he says. Rather than settling for top honours in Kansai, Saeki decided to compete with the nation’s top Edomae-style sushi restaurants. As well as sushi, his approach of pairing side dishes with the best sake has been fundamental since the restaurant opened. Unsurprisingly, side dishes crafted with seasonal ingredients are a major draw at the restaurant.
For the vinegared rice, red vinegar is favoured; meanwhile, top-of-the-line, always the choice for Edomae-style sushi, is purchased from Toyosu Market after being directly delivered from Awaji City in Hyogo Prefecture and fishing ports in the Sanin region. The flexibility of Chef Saeki’s hand and the beauty of its consistency are something that regular guests appreciate and return for. These regulars also know to let the chef recommend sake for their meal.
Inside the restaurant, eight seats at a spacious, plain wood counter await sushi connoisseurs. In addition, details are everywhere; earthen walls made by Awaji plasterer Naoki Kusumi catch the eye, while dinnerware ranges from the historic (such as Wajima-nuri lacquerware from the mid-Edo period) to those designed by modern artists.
A perfect fit for Ginza, Chef Saeki has dedicated himself to nigiri sushi and side dishes; something that sushi devotees anywhere will be able to appreciate.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 3-minute walk from Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)