Big Sushi, Big Taste :: Sushi Dai, Tsukiji Fish Market

Hi everyone,

Have you ever waited in line for five hours to get into a much hyped-up restaurant? I have and I’m not ashamed of it.

tokyo tsukiji sushi dai signtokyo tsukiji sushi dai sushi bartokyo tsukiji sushi dai chef

In spite of the maitre’d telling us it was an approximate two to three hour wait from where we were standing, we were pretty confident to think that it couldn’t possibly take that long with only 30 something people ahead of us. Oh how wrong we can be. With each hour crawling to the next, a three-hour wait slowly turned into four. Thankful for how warm I dressed that day and the hot tea being passed around by the waitress, now that I think back, it wasn’t that bad (the Renée in line would beg to differ).  Luckily, four groups of people in front decided to give up and leave, so by the time we entered Sushi Dai to sit at the sushi bar, it was just shy of five hours. We crazy foodies.

tokyo tsukiji sushi dai torotokyo tsukiji sushi dai grouper

tokyo tsukiji sushi dai snapper

Sushi Dai is just as favoured by the locals, customers from France, Germany, Shanghai, and Hong Kong also came to try this much raved about place. And as I looked around, I thought how funny it worked out to have the people who waited near us (and got to knowing) ended up eating around the same time.  One minute we were complaining together how long the wait was and how slow people were eating inside, the next minute we were all sitting together enjoying our meal. All that hanger (hungry + anger) we felt mere minutes before was left at the door. We’re just relieved to be able to finally sit down in the cozy restaurant.

tokyo tsukiji sushi dai unitokyo tsukiji sushi dai tunatokyo tsukiji sushi dai spanish mackerel

While I can rave how good the sushi was, I really just want to point out Sushi Dai’s amazing service. And I mean superb. I only say this because two days prior to coming here, we tried another well-recommended sushi bar two doors away: Daiwa Sushi. Because Daiwa was our first experience at Tsukiji Fish Market, we loved it. We were a little taken aback by the lack of plating and the super quick serving of sushi, but it tasted amazing nonetheless. Nothing we’ve had before. However, to get a good idea of which restaurant was better, we had to try both places so we can compare and tell our friends. So without expecting much difference for our second trip, we were blown away by the hospitality and the sushi presentation at Sushi Dai. Not only were the chefs attentive to what I didn’t like and liked, the chefs would clean the bar before placing another beautiful sushi on the bar, ready to be indulged by me.

tokyo tsukiji sushi dai raw red clamtokyo tsukiji sushi dai yellowtailtokyo tsukiji sushi dai salmon-roe

Highlights included the fish miso soup (taking it to a whole new level of miso soup!), never-ending supply of ginger, and the thoughtfully prepped fresh sushi accompanied with special sauces and garnishes.

tokyo tsukiji sushi dai horse mackereltokyo tsukiji sushi dai sea eeltokyo tsukiji sushi dai kawahagi

Toro, Grouper, Snapper, Uni (replaced mine with a Tuna), Spanish Mackerel, Clam, Yellowtail, Salmon Roe, Horse Mackerel, Sea Eel, Kawahagi. 
pink-location-iconLocation :: tsukiji fish market, Chuo, Tokyo

Was it worth the five-hour wait? Maybe not. Two to three hours for sure though. Once you sit down and taste the sushi, you immediately forget the gruesome hours of standing outside in the cold. Plus, the head chef apologized wholeheartedly and said how grateful he was for us to wait so long for this meal. How can you not forgive him. Would I go again?  Honestly, after not being satisfied by the sushi in my city, it’s a definite yes. No doubt about that. But to tell you the truth, I still stand strong by the idea that all the fish from Tsukiji tastes just as good because it’s fresh and it’s from the same sea. So if you don’t have the stomach to wait in, head over to the other sushi restaurants because you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re willing to stick it out like the rest of us foodies, Sushi Dai will give you a rewarding experience. Trust me.

Thanks for reading!

Till next time,

coral signature :: tse parfait

Sushi Dai (map here)
5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Tsukuji Market, Tsukiji Oroshiuri Shijyo, 6 Gohkan
t. 3547-6797
Opened Monday to Saturday: 5 AM-2 PM
¥3,900 for 10 sushi/set + 1 extra sushi of your choice (Hot tamago + fish miso soup included)

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8 comments

  1. Oh wow, 5 hours! Like you, Daiwa Sushi was my first (and only) sushi experience at Tsukiji. And yes, I went there because the lines at Sushi Dai were too long! Not sure if my palate is sophisticated enough to tell the difference between the fish at the two restaurants but if the line at Sushi Dai isn’t TOO long the next time I’m at Tsukiji, I’ll definitely wait it out.

    1. Highly recommend you to go try Sushi Dai next time. Like you, I’m not sure if I could tell the difference between the two places in terms of taste, but the overall experience was much better and much more worth the wait than Daiwa Sushi. Let me know what you think when you get the chance to go to Tsukiji again! 🙂

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