Sate your hunger in this Aoyama hideaway
offering prime quality sushi and tsumami
made by an up-and-coming sushi chef.
Rei Masuda learned the ropes of outstanding seasoning from chef Jiro Ono at the famous Sukiyabashi Jiro, and in January 2014, he opened his own sushi restaurant - Sushi Masuda.
The elevator doors open, and guests see only six counter seats and a private room with seating for another six.
Masuda originally thought about making an L-shaped counter, but settled for only six seats when he realized that he would be able to serve each guest one-to-one and eye-to-eye.
The menu is offered in two courses only - sushi and tsumami (a type of side dish.)
The sushi is a thorough recreation of those flavours Masuda learned at Sukiyabashi Jiro, but the other dishes show how he is developing the work of others as he seeks out his own unique culinary style.
He has had a great amount of experience with making tsumami in his time at other Japanese restaurants, and they too are perfect examples of the stylish but unique beauty and flavours of Japanese cuisine.
He doesn't rely on a specific region for his fish - he goes to Tsukiji Fish Market every day and chooses the best fish of that day through consultation with the fish sellers. He says that he wants to "give customers exactly what they want to eat whenever possible."
Masuda never grills a dish until customers arrive for their reservation - in this and many other ways he puts his whole heart into making things perfect for each guest.
It has been open for only a year, but it stands out from the rest of the many sushi restaurants in Tokyo for that reason - Masuda's hospitality and incredible skill.
The restaurant features a bar counter, something rare for a sushi restaurant.
Masuda explained that when he was looking for a location, he wanted "somewhere other than Ginza."
Once he found a location in Aoyama, a place known for its night life, he wanted to reproduce that atmosphere within his restaurant and had the bar installed. The array of glasses along the wall produce a luxurious atmosphere, but also keep it simple.
Masuda has succeeded in creating the "treasured hideaway" he was aiming for.