Nigiri no Tokube in Takayama

Due to my (small) addiction to UFO catchers, I was very happy to find out that there was a SEGA Game Centre in Takayama. Spoiler alert: we spent a lot of yen and walked away with nothing. However, we when we left it was nearly dinner time and when we looked across the parking lot, we saw a large building across the street.

Nigiri no Tokube Takayama
INSIDE THE RESTAURANT

Nigiri no Tokube is a revolving sushi place! You can find their website here.

We have tried both high end sushi and cheap sushi in Vancouver yet we never eat at a revolving sushi restaurant! They’re just not popular in Vancouver for whatever reason. Needless to say, we were quite excited to be able to try this out.

The restaurant doesn’t look very tourist friendly from the outside. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the main tourist part of Takayama. We approached the front counter and asked for an English menu. The hostess happily pulled one out for us to look at. Although it was only 5:30pm on a Saturday, there were some people waiting already. Noticing that we were looking at those people, the hostess pointed to the counter seating and asked if it was OK. We said yes and she lead us over. There is table seating in the restaurant as well and we think that’s what the queue was for.

Nigiri no Tokube Takayama Counter
GETTING STARTED

Upon sitting down at your counter space, the above picture is what it’ll look like. You have some condiments in front of you, and each person has a small tablet in front of them. This is the main way of ordering. The device is set to the Japanese language by default. However, there’s an option to change it to English, Chinese or Korean. There’s also a hot water spout in front of you and green tea powder on the side. This is for you to make your own tea.

You choose what you want to order from the little tablet. You confirm your order and the food will be handed over to you by the sushi chef that’s standing in the middle. We waited a few minutes before we started receiving our food. All the food comes out when it’s ready. If you want to order more food, you just order more from the tablet.

Tokube no Nigiri – Seared salmon
THE FOOD

We wanted to try this because we love seared sushi. The salmon was tender however we were slightly disappointed that there was no charcoal aroma that we have come to love and expect of aburi sushi. As well, personally Howie was not a fan that the glaze was vinegary rather than savoury/sweet.

Nigiri no Tokube Tamago

I don’t care that it’s one of the most basic sushi ever, I frigging love tamago sushi. When you order, you can ask for regular amount of rice or little. I chose the latter and it was the perfect choice because I got big mouthfuls of the tamago instead of rice. It didn’t blow my mind but the portion was big and still tasty.

Nigiri no Tokube – Ikura

They could have put more eggs into this serving. They skimped out a bit and the eggs were too salty for our liking.

Nigiri no Tokube – Medium Fatty Bluefin Tuna

This was 480 yen for two pieces and Howie said that it would be the steal of a century if this was good quality. He knew it was a gamble because it would be either very good or very bad. Luckily, when it arrived he was relieved to see all the marbling in the tuna. This is an indication of its quality. He said it melted in his mouth. They served a nice thick portion of tuna. Howie went and ordered another serving because it was so good.

Nigiri no Tokube – Tuna Roll

Compared to the excellent value of the medium fatty tuna, this tuna roll fell flat. There’s a decent enough of tuna given in these rolls but the tuna itself wasn’t very fatty.

Nigiri no Tokube – Eel

This was delicious! To save you the suspense, we ordered another serving of this immediately after we inhaled this. The fish was still warm when served to us. The texture was so soft and the sauce was not overwhelming. We were blown away by the quality and wish we could have had more.

CONCLUSION

Nigiri no Tokube is a bright, clean restaurant that is popular with locals. The quality was inconsistent. We found standouts like the blue fin tuna and the eel to be a much better deal than what we’d find in Vancouver. However, the other pieces were just average. You have to put a bit of trial and error into finding what’s worth eating here and what isn’t. However, if you order the right things to eat, it’s worth visiting!

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