Chef Kimura is the undisputed master of “jukusei” - the process of aging neta via different methods to draw out the best possible flavors and textures out of each ingredient.
Why age fish for sushi, you ask? Check out my article “Fresh is not always better”, which I wrote in February 2016, for a primer on the subject.
Sushi Kimura features only nine seats and has a strong following of regular customers, making it a notoriously difficult shop to book. No tuna is served; Kimura-san prefers to focus on other types of fish. Most (but not all) neta served at Kimura is aged, aging periods can be anywhere from a day to over two months. The shop is located in the Southwest suburbs of Tokyo, approximately an hour away from central Tokyo by train. Kimura-san uses a blend of akasu vinegars, including the premium, and very expensive Iio Jozo Fujitsu vinegar, to season the shari.
My meal at Kimura was remarkable. It was one of the best culinary experiences I have ever experienced, and I’d rank it up there as one of my top 5 best ever. I loved his shari (on the firm side, well-seasoned and sour but not overpowering in any way), I loved his nigiri, but most of all, I loved his absolutely unique tasting otsumami. They are like nothing else out there and utterly delicious.
Kimura-san is a culinary genius, and his food is one of a kind.
Below are photos of most (but not all) items served the evening of my visit, along with some additional tasting notes.
Above are four of the mind-blowing otsumami. From upper left, clockwise: kuro awabi (abalone) risotto, uni soba, watari kani (blue crab) marinated in brandy, tamago kake gohan. Bold flavors all around, very unique and ridiculously tasty.
Shiro ika aged 8 days.
Various shiromi (white fish), all aged for a week or more. All delicious.
Sakura masu, aged 20 days.
Awabi (abalone) - so delicate and yet full of flavor and umami.
The piece de resistance: makajiki (swordfish) aged 50 days. This is a rare yet classic Edomae neta, and only Kimura-san is able to age it for this length of time. Simply superb! Some lovely blue cheese flavors in there, and a complete umami bomb.
Kimura-san signing a sushi magazine for a customer at the end of the dinner service.
Kimura - 3-21-8 Tamagawa Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan