Jiro Dreams of Sushi
I was browsing for sites and places to see in Tokyo when I stumbled upon what Japan considered as a National Treasure, but this treasure is a live one, and his name is Jiro Ono, this chap has been dishing out sushi all his life and now there is a documentary on him alone, I am glad that I have come to know about this person, I hope to get a glimpse of him when I am there, also did you know he was the the only Sushi chef to have gotten a 3 Michelin Star for his humble little restaurant, and by “Little” I mean it can only seat 10 at one go! That’s how small it is and yes Reservations I heard must be at least 1 year in advance.. wait for it …
you no speak Japanese sorry they don’t take your reservations, so doing more research I found out that they currently do take Gaijins reservation.
Japanese chef Jiro Ono is considered by many to be the greatest sushi chef in the world. Customers pay top dollar and make reservations for his three–Michelin star Tokyo restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, up to a year in advance. Now the sushi master is profiled in David Gelb’s mouthwatering documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
The story of Ono’s rise to the top of his profession is as compelling as his sushi is delicious. His father, an alcoholic who worked in a military factory, abandoned the family when Ono was just 7 years old. He left home at age 9 and was told, “You have no home to come back to.” He started apprenticing at a sushi shop and has been working the same job for 76 years. Ono also currently holds the distinction of being the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s oldest three–Michelin star chef.
Despite his advancing age, Ono still takes the subway to work every morning and oversees nearly every facet of his restaurant—from planning the seating arrangements to the menu. According to Ono’s 51-year-old son and heir apparent, Yoshikazu, the chef takes off only for national holidays or funerals. But Ono has cut back in recent years: at age 70, he had a heart attack and decided to give up not only smoking, but also purchasing high-quality fish every morning at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo—“the top seafood market in the world,” according to acclaimed sushi chef Masaharu Morimoto. Yoshikazu now makes the daily bicycle ride. In addition to the best fish, Ono also has a special rice dealer who only sells his best grains to him because he believes he’s the only chef in the world who can properly cook his rice (the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, a five-star hotel, tried to retain his services, but he turned them down flat).
Only six people work at Ono’s establishment: Yoshikazu; another shokunin, or sushi chef; three apprentices, who must train with Ono for a decade to attain the status of shokunin; a woman who handles all the accounting and the cash register (the place takes cash only); and a woman who cleans the restaurant.
“You must dedicate your life to mastering this skill,” Ono says in the film. “This is the key to success.”
Ok wait .. you gotta have deep pockets to dine in his establishment as he charges ¥30000, yup 4 zeros back .. dont worry I did the exchange for you and its USD$365 a pop to eat a fixed menu of 20 pieces of sushi—the restaurant serves only sushi. Diners talk of being intimidated by Ono, who stands behind the sushi bar with a stony-faced look while customers indulge in his minimalist creations. He ages his tuna for up to 10 days, and apprentices massage the octopus’s by hand for 50 minutes before preparing it. The octogenarian is such a perfectionist that he’ll even make his sushi different sizes for different customers, so that an entire party finishes the food at the same time.
If you are heading to Tokyo and feeling rich do try this National Treasure. Address is as below4-2-15 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture 104-0061, Japan and website http://www.sushi-jiro.jp/ Enjoy the Documentary trailer.