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Jiro may dream of sushi, but the rest of us dream of being able to get into a high-end sushi bar without the fuss of a weeks-ahead reservation, and not pay an emperor’s ransom for it. Sushi Rinda is one such sushi-ya, with the bonus of an engaging itamae (chef) who converses in English; Yuta Kono worked in New York for a few years. Just order the chef’s selection (omakase) and settle in for the rapidfire selection of nibbles.
Besides the familiar tuna cuts and salmon roe, you’ll find seafood you rarely see outside Japan: tachiuo (cutlass fish), mirugai (giant clam), shirako (soft, sperm-filled milt sacs), hot slivers of abalone. Their signature shari (rice) is cooked in a special steaming pot, which is rarely seen in sushi restaurants and ensures a perfect fluffiness. The small counter allows you a front-row view of the chef’s masterful knife skills and the attention to detail in everything from the freshly hand-grated wasabi to nibbles seared to order on the glowing hibachi grill. Some sushi is placed on the counter before you; some is passed from the chef’s hand straight to yours, like a love letter.
Rinda (a variant Japanese spelling of ‘Linda’, named after the owner’s daughter) is a little bit pricier than you’d expect for the neighbourhood, but an English-speaking itamae is a huge bonus if you’re curious about what, exactly, you’re eating.
2-24-12 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku
|Transport:||Meguro Station (Yamanote, Namboku, Mita, Meguro lines); Fudomae Station (Meguro line)|
|Opening hours:||6pm-11pm / closed Wed and the 3rd Tue of every month|