Nakata in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo

May 31, 2010

The evening of April 25, 2010, we were not feeling very ambitious as we had a busy day and excellent big dinners for the previous five nights. So Nakata in the Imperial Hotel, where we were staying, seemed like a good idea. Like many of the restaurants in the hotel, it is a branch of a well-known restaurant with the same name.

I ordered the “Houryo” menu and a bottle of sake.

Linda was not very hungry and just ordered a tekkamaki and a kappamaki.

My first course was tuna and nori.

Good.

Then a cup of wakame, a sea vegetable, and sesame.

Very good.

Sashimi: squid, salmon and sea bream, each with its own green.

Okay.

It is interesting that the clientele seems mostly not to be hotel guests, but there were two Americans being entertained, seperately, by English-speaking Japanese people.

Grilled fish and a ginger pickled radish.

Very good.

This was the sushi plate. It was okay, with the usual suspects. I thought that the rice was quite sticky and uninteresting.

Good pickles; I didn’t need rice to finish after the sushi.

A nice piece of melon to finish.


The Imperial Hotel’s website and the brochures in the rooms say: “Sushi gourmets claim Nakata‘s creations are the finest of traditional Tokyo-style sushi.” Well, that is what they would say. My meal was really quite good, except for the sashimi and sushi, which seemed very ordinary, even by New York standards.  My menu was ¥11,550, or about US$125. This is not expensive by Tokyo standards. Our sensational sashimi and sushi meal at Harutaka three nights before cost over twice that per person. I guess the lesson is that if you want to take advantage of what Tokyo has to offer, you have to do your homework, get out and about and be willing to pay for the best, which we usually did.

 

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