When you talk about sushi in Japan, nigirizushi (sushi rolled by hand) will likely come up as the most popular type. However, kaisendon, a rice bowl made with sushi rice and fresh seafood, is also famous thanks to its colorful brilliance. Here are five of the most recommended restaurants in Tokyo where you can eat delicious kaisendon.
Tsujihan is a restaurant located in Nihonbashi that has a constant queue of customers hoping to partake of its Zeitakudon, a luxurious kaisendon known for its mound of fresh seafood. It is common to wait in line for an hour here, but it will be all worth it when you get a taste of their kaisendon. The only dish on the menu is the Zeitakudon, but that comes in four grades: Ume (plum), Take (bamboo), Matsu (pine) and Tokujo (extra special) (prices range from 990 JPY to 2,980 JPY). The higher the grade of the Zeitakudon you order, the more extravagant it becomes as crab, salmon roe, and other seafood ingredients are added to the mix. According to the owner of the restaurant, the delicious way to eat it is to leave the two slices of sea bream sashimi dipped in sesame sauce and eat the kaisendon first. When you finish it, you can add the sea bream sashimi (you can add more rice if desired), then ask for soup stock to make sea bream chazuke (rice with tea or both poured over it). This chazuke is also a superb dish. Tsujihan is a restaurant where you can enjoy two flavors – kaisendon and sea bream chazuke – in one sitting.
2. Sashimi BAR Kashigashira
Sashimi BAR Kashigashira is a restaurant where you can avail of kaisendon that comes with a lavish serving of seafood chosen connoisseurs trained at Tsukiji. If you come here, try their specialty Tsukiji Jogai-don (3,000 JPY) that comes with two massive layers of 20 carefully selected toppings. The kaisendon boasts of extraordinary freshness. When you eat the chirashi-zushi (sushi rice with strips of egg, raw fish, and vegetables on top) on the bottom layer, there is sushi vinegar jelly inside the bamboo in the middle, so mix that with the rice before you eat. This place is great for lunch, and you can enjoy a luxurious kaisendon while playing with your food.
3. Maguro Donburi Segawa
Maguro Donburi Segawa is a restaurant located along the street where you can feel the bustle from the Tsukiji Outer Market specializing in Maguro-don (tuna rice bowl) made with Pacific bluefin tuna. Here, the Pacific bluefin tuna, which is not often seen in ordinary supermarkets, is carefully dipped in sauce, one slice at a time, and then put on top of rice. The secret soy sauce that draws out the taste of the tuna and the vinegared rice go really well together. If you go there and they have the Ima Dake Donburi (1,600 JPY), a dish that only appears when the restaurant has a fresh delivery of good quality medium-fatty tuna, then by all means order that! This is a donburi with medium-fatty tuna that has just the right amount of fat that you can only expect to find in specialty restaurants.
※Business hours: 7:30 am - 12:30 pm (take notice of its closing time)
※Photo is for illustration purposes
4. Kappou Wachi
Kappou Wachi may only serve Tekkadon (tuna rice bowl) during lunch, but it still sees a never-ending queue of customers outside its doors. Even if the line is long, however, it moves fast, so the queue moves along surprisingly quick. When you get to your seat, you will be asked about the volume of rice that you want, so tell the server if you prefer “oomori" (large serving), “chuu-mori" (medium serving), “futsuu" (regular), or “sukuname" (small serving). The price of the rice bowl does not vary depending on the amount of rice you order. In a single glance, you will see a heap of fresh-looking tuna piled up on the massive serving of Tekkadon. Another reason for its popularity is its reasonable price of 1,100 JPY. The rule here is when it is crowded, you have to go up to the second floor through the elevator at the back of its signage and then take the stairs when going down and leaving.
5. Noguchi Sengyoten
Noguchi Sengyoten is a restaurant that serves luxurious kaisendon that is so voluminous its toppings almost spill over from the bowl. When you look at the photos on its menu, you might not believe that they serve so much, but when your order comes, you'll see that the fresh toppings are actually heaped to a level that looks like more than what is shown in the pictures! The Jo-Kaisen Chirashi is reasonably priced at just 1,430 JPY. You do not have to go to Tsukiji anymore, as this restaurant offers many donburi dishes that have toppings that seem to be overflowing in volume. Noguchi Sengyoten, which is filled with a working class atmosphere, is located close to such sightseeing spots as Asakusa and Skytree, so how about dropping in while you travel?
※Photo is for illustration purposes
Kaisendon, which offers a large serving of toppings in a single bowl, will let you enjoy more seafood at a great value compared to nigirizushi. So, even if you have to wait in line, make sure to try these popular kaisendon dishes with elaborately chosen fresh toppings.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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