Have you ever seen the documentary film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi? I saw it last year and I fell in LOVE. Even if you’re not a sushi fanatic like me, you have to see this beautiful film about Jiro Ono who owns a 3 michelin-star sushi restaurant that’s located in a Toyko subway station. The film is about his quest to perfect the art of sushi. The cinematography is breathtaking.
One of his apprentices in the movie, Daisuke Nakazawa, is shown making the same egg sushi over and over again, about 200 times in fact until it is to Jiro’s liking. One pivotal scene was when Nakazawa is describing the pure elation when Jiro finally said his egg sushi was perfect and the moment brought him to tears. It was inspiring to watch someone striving for perfection even through countless attempts and failures. When I heard this same man was opening his own sushi restaurant in the city, I knew I had to go and I had to try this egg sushi.
My girlfriend and I had 5pm reservations at the sushi bar which is where you want to be to witness the sushi-making magic of Nakazawa. When I walked into the restaurant, it was so stark in its black and white decor with bold clean lines everywhere. I felt like I had to sit a little straighter and be on my best behavior. My first impression of the place was nothing like the laid back atmosphere that we experienced during the dinner. When Nakazawa arrived at the sushi bar, He greeted each of the diners and asked if we were excited and ready which we all replied with a resounding yes!
Two hours and 21 pieces of exquisite sushi that was nothing like any other sushi I have ever tasted. Forget about dunking your sushi in soy sauce because there was none, the sushi rice was room temperature and each piece of sushi was served at different temperatures. The meal pretty much debunked what I knew about sushi until then. Nakazawa also turned out to be a goof ball. He showed us photos of the fish he was serving on his ipad mini and played with the prawns he was about to behead with his hands. When it came time to prepare the sushi he was focused and worked seamlessly with his sous chefs without exchanging many words.
When it was finally time to have the 21st piece, the egg omlette, it felt like the end to a long journey that started last year when I saw the film. It was everything I thought it would be, fluffy and subtly sweet. The best part of the whole Sushi Nakazawa experience was watching a man who spent years perfecting an art to finally achieving his ultimate dream, his own sushi restaurant.