Endorsed by some of Japan’s top sushi masters, Sushi Takeru is the newest addition to the finest sushi experience Ginza can offer. For Takeru Watanabe, a former Kyubey apprentice, his approach is simply to focus on craftsmanship and quality. Like many of his dedicated gourmet fans, be blown away by the profound flavors of his sushi.
After receiving his training at Japan's top sushi bars, Takeru Watanabe proudly opened his restaurant in 2022 in the heart of Tokyo’s most sophisticated sushi district. Despite his young age, he comes with the best training a sushi apprentice could wish for, learning at Ginza Kyubey and Sushi Arai. At Sushi Arai, he was entrusted with the private room where he garnered many gourmet fans.
Located on the second floor of a Ginza 7-chome building, the restaurant has a warm and inviting feel, set with traditional mud walls and an arched ceiling. In fact, the interior itself is a reflection of Watanabe’s past achievements, made up of gifts from former colleagues, mentees and guests.
The beautiful L-shaped counter, made of yakusugi or Japanese cedar, was a gift from Yuichi Arai, the head chef of Sushi Arai. The stunning set of crockery and knives came from Sushi Ryujiro’s owner. Sushi Sugaya’s head chef gifted the fridge.
The beautiful calligraphy of the restaurant’s name, which takes a character from Watanabe’s father, was also a gift from a dedicated customer. You may also notice a row of shining Baccarat lucky cats, presents guests have left wishing for good fortunes.
Baton from the fisherman to his guests.
Watanabe crafts his sushi with a wish to offer his guests a deeply moving experience. He believes his mission is to pass on the baton from the fisherman to his guests.
“I want to make the fish even better,” he explains. “So they score 11 out of 10, not just 10 out of 10.”
Centered around the highest-quality fish, the omakase menu takes you through 8 small plates, 11 nigiris and a roll to finish. At a glance, the dishes may appear simple but you will realize the level of craftsmanship that goes into them with your first bite.
The starting plate of the day is bite-size sashimi of botan shrimp and red sea bream. The gem-like piece of shrimp is sweet and moist, frozen for a day to bring out its flavor. The sea bream is sprinkled with salt and left to rest for half a day.
Slices of bonito are served with a flavorful mix of condiments. The mountain wasabi, leek, and bonito flakes add layers of different flavors. Adding a hint of green onions to the soy sauce is the secret ingredient.
The rich and creamy monkfish liver is perfectly flavored, using the technique he learned at Sushi Arai. The watermelon narazuke pickle on the side is a refreshing bite.
The chef cares deeply about the sushi rice or shari. Using a variety grown in his home region of Aizu, he flavors the grains with a blend of three vinegars, while making sure that the red vinegar doesn’t overpower. The rice has a lovely mild finish. Be mesmerized watching Watanabe put together a piece of nigiri in his big yet delicate hands. His sushi is round and small in shape, perfectly sized for a mouthful of pleasure. For the nikiri or brush-on soy sauce, he mixes Higeta soy sauce, tamari, sake and mirin.
The multiple courses of tuna each offer a unique and delicious experience. Taken from the same 150kg bluefin tuna caught off the coast of Shimoda, Watanabe first serves the akami followed by chutoro fatty tuna from the back and sunazuri otoro from the belly.
The glistening piece of gizzard shad offers a sharper flavor. The chef prepares the fish carefully so it’s not over fermented, with just the right finish. Conger eel is cooked to perfection - soft and fluffy. The thick and sticky tsume sauce, made from the eel’s dashi, slowly melts with the warmth of the cooked fish. To complement the variety of flavors, Watanabe stocks a selection of local sake, including vintages such as Sharaku and Hiroki from his home of Fukushima.
Every ingredient is carefully selected from the best sources across Japan. The rice comes from the aged koshihikari variety grown in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture. The fish comes straight from the best vendors at Toyosu market thanks to all the relationships he’s built over the years. The top-of-the-line tuna is sourced by the Yamayuki group. The vinegar mixes three varieties made by Yokoi Vinegar, while the fresh wasabi comes from Gotemba in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The pieces of impressive calligraphy that hang on the walls are gifts from Toru Kenjo, president of publisher Gentosha, who is also famous for his culinary obsession. Kenjo used to visit Watanabe every month during the seven years he worked at Sushi Arai, and greatly favored the young chef for his talent.
When he heard that Watanabe was preparing to open his own restaurant, he came up with this prose, and had the calligrapher, Sekijo Kaneda, write them down as a gift. “My life is up in heaven; my heart is in Takeru’s sushi.” Kenjo was of course among the guests on the opening night of Sushi Takeru. Watanabe continues to cherish and grow from the warm and dedicated support of his mentors.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000