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The Liste, a guide to the best places to eat drawn up by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lists the world’s 10 best restaurants. Ginza Kyubey ranks seventh.
Here, in one of newest areas in Tokyo, you can enjoy one of the most enjoyable culinary experiences that you could wish for. The Kyubey sushi restaurant was opened in 1936 by the father of the current chef, Iosuke Imada, and now has a world reputation. It is mentioned in the best guides and has featured in television programmes several times.
The experience starts with a bell ringing when chef Imada greets you in person with distinctive Japanese ceremony. From this moment, there’s a time for everything, broken into steps that have to be respected. First, the waiting area is a room containing the exhibits, memories and awards that have accrued over time. Then you are assigned a room, or rather a floor because the restaurant is on five floors. After you have been seated and have washed your hands with a wet cotton towel, the presentation of the chef follows, who will serve no more than 3-4 people and will share the counter with another chef.
The atmosphere is cosy and welcoming, the quality and freshness of the sushi are excellent (they serve 40 types of fresh fish, selected according to the best quality, the perfect cut, cleaning and filleting techniques), the attentive service, the indisputable professionalism. We should say a word here about the training that the chefs receive who work at Kyubey. Each budding sushi chef has to learn his craft for at least ten years by working “back stage”: washing the rice, cleaning the fish, chopping the vegetables. That’s until Mr Imada is sure that he is able to serve sushi according to the highest standards required of him and at the same time anticipate all the customer’s wishes, who must always feel at home and on terms of perfect familiarity with the chef.
Address: 8-7-6 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
Stilleben travel is a photographic collection of places we saw and we liked, in which we found ourselves or which inspired us.