I love sushi, and I always wondered what the Michelin Star Sushi experience is like. I got that chance when I went to くわ野 Sushi Kuwano in Ginza on my trip to Tokyo.
On one of the sidestreets next to the Toy Park in Ginza, Kuwano is located there, and as it is in Japan a lot of times, difficult to find.
The place is small, it only seats 8, but they are so warm and inviting. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by name and sat down.
The master Sushi Chef Kuwano-san introduced himself, asked if I wanted Omakase and if there was anything I did not eat. All in broken english – good enough to communicate, but not great.
The table setting contains a blue plate, which is for the appetizer section of the omakase, and contains two towels. One for the hands and face, while the one on top is for your fingers, so that you can eat your sushi by hand.
Here we go!
We started off with some Tuna, braised for awhile and the smoked.
This is a Ginger Bulb, cut up, with some fresh wasabi. Kuwano-san uses only fresh wasabi which he grates off to the side. Next were some Mountain Greens served with a smoke bonito on top. Some sashimi to follow, in this case it’s Buri. Kuwano-san is working away. You can see the fresh wasabi on the working table.A fresh oyster from Kyushu poached in an oyster broth with Japanese pepper. Some Aji. And then freshly steamed Abalone from Hokkaido with Salt, Citrus Peel and Japanese lime. Kuwano-san explained this as Green-Eyed fish, a deep sea fish. This is deep fried. It is a nice meaty fish, which melts in your mouth. And closing out the appetizer section is some Tako.9 courses to start, and then here comes the sushi!
First up was Hirame. Kuwano-san will tell you how to eat it, whether or not to dip it in Soy Sauce or not.
Next is Kohada. Chutoro. Yum. Otoro. Yummier! This one I was not sure about. It’s something wrapped in a leaf. Kurama Ebi. It was quite flavorful, poached to perfection. Uni. Fresh from Hokkaido he said. Akagai, or Red Clam. Kuwano-san explained that it was in season now, so the meat was at it’s sweetest. And yes it was! Ikura.A short stop with some pickled radish and citrus zest. This was unexpectedly awesome to me. Balancing out all the flavors. This set it up for Baby Snapper wrapped with radish. Anago. He grilled this on the spot and served it up. Ika. He explained that Ika should only be eaten with Salt and Japanese Lime as to bring out the taste of the Squid. It should never be dipped in Soy Sauce.Tarako, which is Cod Roe, rolled into a roll with cucumber and sesame. And some Tamago to finish it off. This Tamago was almost custardy, unlike some that I have had which is airy and eggy. This was more of a cake. 24 courses total. At this point Kuwano-san asked if I wanted anything more. In his display case there were items which I didn’t eat yet, so I asked him to give me some of it.
To round it out, some Miso Soup with Clams. What an outstanding meal. Not only that, but inside the others sitting were also talking with each other, helping out with Japanese and English. It was really just a great time sitting and talking with the other diners and Kuwano-san. In the end, he gave a small gift for coming.I am going to remember this one for a long time. It was just a great and fantastic experience, made better by a great conversation with Kuwano-san and others. The price is up there, 30,000 Yen for the Omakase, but, it’s worth the experience and adventure. Do it!