Much is made of Tokyo’s Michelin stars, particularly the sushi kind—thanks to mass media reviews and documentaries such as “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Just about every raw fish fan around the globe is familiar with such big-name sushi eateries as Jiro Sukiyabashi and Sushi Mizutani. While they unquestionably deserve every bit of their legendary reputations (both in terms of quality and degree of wallet busting), there are other, lesser-known temples of ichythiodian idol worship that are equally deserving of such lavish attention. They offer very similar levels of gastronomic bliss but at less exorbitant prices.
One of these unsung heroes is Sushi Yuu, located on a quiet backstreet of the fashionable Nishi-Azabu neighborhood. The owner-chef, Daisuke (who at 40 is positively a youngster in a food genre dominated by old men), is fluent in English and Russian and is a master at his craft—he expertly prepares his creations with an admirable diligence while engaging customers in lively conversation across three languages. One of the specialties at Sushi Yuu is tuna—it is generously served in every conceivable form, from melt-in-your-mouth otoro (fatty tuna) to filet seared with a blowtorch (aburitoro). It also has an extensive wine list, which is a relative rarity among Tokyo sushi places. Incidentally, you may find yourself sitting next to the likes of Hollywood celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Lady Gaga, who love to discreetly pop in for some tender morsels when they’re in town.