Japan’s most infamous cuisine takes on a different meaning at Shinodazushi. Its history begins in 1877, where the specialty of Inari sushi, (thin pouch of marinated and deep fried tofu stuffed with all kinds of seasoned rice) became popular. Their take-out sushi has become a staple of theatre fanatics, who eat the Japanese delicacies while watching their dramas.

Upon entering Shinodazushi, I felt an immediate sense of relief, elation and awe all in one. With rampant globalization, the term “sushi” has come to take on new meaning in the West, a meaning this foodie is not particularly fond of. What was once a traditional, classic culinary art form in Japan has in other nations been turned into a mockery of slapping anything under the sun on top of any type of Japanese rice and passing it off as sushi. Thus it was to my great joy to encounter a quiet peace of Japanese history and culinary tradition in Shinodazushi where from one generation of sushi master to the next, the high art of making sushi rice has been passed down with little fanfare but true passion and brilliance.

Any truly great sushi must begin with perfect rice and here, the sushi sensei are adept at seasoning the freshly cooked rice at just the right temperature and using the wooden paddle to mix with the right technique instead of roughly pushing the rice together, which creates a harsh texture. All types of fish and seafood are cleaned and expertly sliced before delicately placed on the sushi rice. One bite and it’s so obvious the fish was caught just that morning if not minutes ago.

Aside from Inari sushi, Shinodazushi also offers many types of norimaki, the more familiar sushi rolls with a variety of seafood and vegetables rolled in rice and seaweed as well as my personal favorite, Oshi sushi, different kinds of fish or pickled vegetables pressed into sushi rice, usually in the shape of balls or triangles. Whatever your favorite is, Shinodazushi is true Edo-style sushi- one of the world’s classic masterpieces.

2-10-10 Ningyocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo