Japan, with all its deeply enchanting lore, traditional and contemporary culture, as well as awe-inspiring natural splendour, is one of the most alluring destinations in Asia to visit. And that’s not including its universally beloved Japanese cuisine.
From the warm embrace of a hot bowl of ramen to the unbeatable freshness of sushi, you can definitely find Japanese food anywhere in the world. Sushi, in particular, is a uniquely Japanese dish that has received worldwide acclaim, elevated to international acceptance not unlike other popular national dishes such as Britain’s fish and chips, and the good ol’ American cheeseburger.
The basis of this acclaimed Japanese cuisine revolves around a harmonious melding of vinegar, sushi rice, and raw fish which often comes together in a single bite-sized serving. Some forms of traditional Japanese sushi dishes include salmon sushi, ebi, unagi, sushi rolls, the list goes on. And that’s merely scratching the surface of the sushi world.
Of course, the best place to eat sushi is in Japan itself, but with a sushi joint to be found literally on every corner, how do you know where you should go for good sushi?
Here’s a tip: look for long queues that form outside the doors, which sometimes start even before daybreak; such is the case with with Sushi Dai, one of the most popular (and affordable) sushi restaurants in Japan.
Sushi Dai: A Nearly Hidden Sushi Affair
A truly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair, the tiny and unassuming Sushi Dai was formerly located in the world-famous Tsukiji Market. But it has since moved its operations to Toyosu Fish Market in Koto City following the closure of Tsukiji’s inner market in 2018.
If it weren’t for the massive crowd queuing outside, oblivious pedestrians wouldn’t even give the restaurant a second look.
Sushi Dai opens early in the wee hours of the morning and closes around 2.00 pm. But don’t let the long hours fool you though. The tiny restaurant attracts crowds of sushi lovers, local and international alike, to its doors on a daily basis. This means a terribly long line to the restaurant is bound to form even hours before the restaurant opens its doors.
We suggest arriving as early as 3 am to snag your spot in the queue. Even then, you should be prepared for a two to five-hour wait which can be long, boring, and cold. But hold out to the bitter end and you’ll be rewarded with a taste of among the best sushi in Japan.
And if you’re thinking of visiting during the low season, we’re sorry to say that Sushi Dai is full to the brim all year round.
A Traditional Sushi Dining Experience
View this post on Instagram
Sushi dai 寿司大🤤🍣🥢one of the best sushi establishments from the old Tsukiji fish market, is now located in Toyosu the new complex. . The short video at the end of this post will show you what a long queue which took us approximately 1 hour before we could be seated for around 10 nice pieces served with great delicacy by the sushi master 🙌🏼 . I immensely enjoy how Japanese chefs always communicate with customers at their bars 💯 If you wanna know how, come to Japan, or watch Shinya Shokudō 深夜食堂 aka Midnight Diner, available on Netflix 🍙 . . . . . . . . . . . . #sushidai #寿司大 #Toyosu #toyosumarket #sushi #foodies #instafood #foodstagram #sushilovers #Japan #日本 #wheninjapan #wheninjapan🇯🇵 #japan2019 #summer #tasteintravel #keepexploring #travel #travelgram #traveler #traveldiary #photooftheday #japantourism #travelsinjapan #beautifulasia #roamtheworld #typicaltourist
The dining experience at Sushi Dai is a one-of-a-kind affair. With Sushi Dai’s wooden counters offering minimal seating space, only around 10 diners are served at a time. Though the upside of this is that these lucky (or shall we say, persistent) customers get to have a first-hand experience of the high-class sushi artisans at work.
View this post on Instagram
We had an amazing experience at Sushi Dai. Our chef asked us where we were from and when we said “San Francisco” he replies with gusto “#WARRIORS” and gave a thumbs up upon saying “Steph Curry!”, again with fuerte. That made our mind blowing sushi experience even better. Fish so fresh it melted in my mouth like butter. My first time trying uni was so fragrant. Not fishy at all. Worth the two hour wait. #sushi #sushidai #寿司大 #tokyo #japan
Speaking of, the chefs here are not shy in the slightest when it comes to interacting with the diners, which makes for a casual and friendly atmosphere. But despite its popularity, dining at Sushi Dai is not intimidating at all.
Yet, Sushi Dai’s reputation goes beyond its humble demeanour.
You’ll find some of the cheapest sushi on offer not only in Tokyo but also the entire nation here. While its affordability is a plus, it is the quality of the ingredients and perfect sushi craftsmanship that draws the unimaginable crowds.
But one shouldn’t be too surprised by its fresh offerings when the restaurant is within earshot of Toyosu Fish Market, right?
Sushi Dai’s Menu
View this post on Instagram
I have visited Tokyo for about five times and I always unable to try the Sushi Dai becos of the super long Q. This time I don’t care, I just wanted to have their sushi. Sushi Dai has already moved to Toyosu Market. I woke up at 330am just to catch the first train to go to Toyosu Market. When I reached there, it was 530am but I still need to wait for about 2 hours to get in. I was having their Omakase Set (4500 yen) come with 9 + 1 pieces of nigiri sushi. Omakase means the Chef will select the best choices of the day. Additionally, you can choose one extra nigiri item whatever you want. My Omakase set comes with toro, sea bass, red snapper, sea urchin, horse mackerel, yellow tail, cutlassfish, surf clam, sea eel and I have chose my favourite fatty tuna for my extra nigiri. I also order additional white bait sushi (430yen) and it was Super fresh and good. The chef added some egg yolk on top of the white bait and make the white bait sushi tasted even better. All the sushi was so fresh and yummy. I will definitely go back again. . . . . . . . #foodporn #foodphotography #foodcoma #dailypost #foodie #foodiesg #foodieemilly #igfood #igfoodie #instafood #instafoodsg #foodstagram #foodstagramsg #foodblogger #sgfoodblogger #yummilicious #yummiliciousfood #fatdieme #foodlover #ilovetoeat #sg #singapore #exploresg #sgfood #吃貨 #相機食先 #sushi #japanesefood #emillytokyo #寿司大
There are two ways to dine at Sushi Dai: Ordering the Omakase set or ordering à la carte. We’d definitely suggest the former.
The Omakase set (around JPY 4,500) offers a simple lineup of 10 pieces of nigiri, a sushi roll, Tamago, and miso soup. And true to the Omakase concept’s core value, the chef will be the one who decides what to serve you — depending on the freshest catch of the day. Of course, you may also tell the host about your dislikes (like urchins and octopus, for example) so that they may accommodate your dining experience better.
View this post on Instagram
✔︎体重測定初日から-??kg（前日比-??kg） ✔︎2月walk0km（計16.32km） ✔︎2月run8.40km（計44.66km） ✔︎2月swim0m（計7000m） ✔︎2月bike0km（計23.8km） ・ 昨日はまじで贅沢なデブ活。昼にデザートに夜に贅沢すぎる時間過ごした。 ・ 今朝は体重測りたくないーって思ってたら、体重測りそびれて、あんぱん買って食べてしまった。笑 ・ ✔︎昼→寿司大（豊洲） ✔︎デザート→METoA Cafe&Kitchen（銀座） ✔︎夜→トラットリア ラ マルゲリータ（雑色） ・ 寿司大は築地市場内で超行列をなしている人気店。豊洲に移転して初訪問でした！！ ・ 高級店へ行けば、数万円するであろうレベルのお寿司は店長おまかせセットで4500円。ここを食べたら、高級店に行けない… ・ 握りに入るまでにはつまみ系をいくつか出してもらったのですが、これがまた全てうまい。 ・ まず握りまでに… ✔︎お通しのたこ ✔︎カワハギのお造り ✔︎白子ポン酢 ✔︎のどぐろポン酢 ✔︎はまぐりの酒蒸し ✔︎玉 ✔︎イカの味噌漬け焼き ✔︎子持ちイカのつまみ 結構食べたなwお腹空きすぎててありがたくペロリといただきました。どれも美味しかったんだけど、カワハギは肝を身で巻いてて、マジやばい。のどぐろポン酢もあっさりこってりなのどぐろとポン酢がイイ！瓶ビールから途中で冷酒へ。くいくいっとお酒がすすむよー。 ・ ここからおまかせ握りへ。 ✔︎トロ ✔︎真鯛 ✔︎金目鯛の昆布締め ✔︎雲丹 ✔︎鯵 ✔︎赤貝 ✔︎太刀魚 ✔︎本鮪のヅケ ✔︎巻物（中落ち、明太） ✔︎汁物 ✔︎穴子 最後のお好きな1品 ✔︎車海老 ・ 追加（みんなで） 平貝、ツブ貝、トロ、白魚、ぶり、いくら ・ もうどれもほんと美味しかった！最後に好きな1品を選べるんですが…超悩む。トロはやはり文句なしで美味しいし、キンメもやばい。雲丹は口の中でとろけ、鯵は身が豊潤。太刀魚も握りで食べるって珍しいし、穴子は驚くほどふっくら！ ・ そんなときに大将が活き車海老があるよーと。ほかのメンバーがそれを選び始めて、私も便乗。握られてでてきたときにはまだ尾っぽがピクピクしてる。新鮮が故のぷりぷり感。そして車海老の頭は焼いてつまみ的にだしてくれる。頭の中のミソが濃厚。２度楽しめた車海老にして正解✨ ・ あぁ、早くまた行きたい。。個人的にプチ贅沢寿司に行くなら、寿司大かまつ本しか考えられない。。。 ・ #東京グルメ #豊洲グルメ #市場前グルメ #モーニング #築地市場 #寿司大 #人気店 #行列店 #寿司 #鮨 #カウンター #飯テロ #食べスタグラム #コスパ #コスパ最高 #のどぐろ #トロ #雲丹 #いくら #ダイエット記録 #レコーディングダイエット #あすけん放棄 #ランニング女子 #トレーニング女子 #グルメ好きな人と繋がりたい #故障明け #仙台ハーフマラソン
Otherwise, the more affordable standard menu costs around JPY 2,600 and includes six pieces of nigiri, sushi rolls, and miso soup. Aside from the set menu, diners are also more than welcome to order up a storm when they dine here. After all, you may as well make the most out of your feast after hours and hours of waiting in line.
Sushi Dai 6 Chome-5-1 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan Opening Hours 5.30 am to 2.00 pm daily, closed on Sundays.