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Melbourne, VIC

D A I S A N  H A R U M I

Les Petites Choses



When we were planning for our trip to Japan, the key thing that we had in mind was food. Where were we going to get some great food and how do we get it. That was the key question. Me and Janice are sushi lovers so naturally, when we were planning to go to Japan, we were at a loss as to which sushi-ya to try. While we would have loved to give Saito, Sawada, Mizutani or Jiro a try, we could only afford to eat at that level so many times before we went way over our budget. We read about Daisan Harumi as a cheaper and easier to book alternative so we thought we would give it a try. This place was no slouch either, being ranked the 19th best sushi restaurant in Tokyo by Tabelog (Japanese review site) in October 2013.

Daisan Harumi
Tokyo, Minato-ku, Shinbashi 1-17-7

This was our first taste of Japan as we arrived in Narita at 5pm and our reservation was at 7:30pm – let’s just say it was a mad rush to get there on time. We did not even have the time to go to the hotel to drop our bags off so unfortunately we carried our two big luggages with us into the restaurant – they were nice enough to accommodate though I would not recommend doing that (restaurants in Japan are typically very, very small). We went with the omakase (chef’s specialty/choice) as we often do at any good sushi restaurant. We started with sashimi which included Ika, Red Snapper, and Flounder. We then feasted on an assortment of nigiri to get an idea of the amazing variety that Japan is privy to. One of my favourite dishes surprisingly was the grilled unagi however. Small bite size pieces which just melted in your mouth. The smokiness from the grilled char marks was delicious! Daisan Harumi is a fairly foreigner friendly intro to high end sushi – the chef’s assistant even brought out cards which explained the types of fish that we were eating in English! The chef himself though, did not speak very much English at all so conversation during the meal was a bit difficult.

The meal was a good one to get us started in our culinary journey in Japan but over the course of our trip, we started to realize that we did not enjoy Daisan Harumi as much as we did other restaurants. The price per person was about $185 USD and for that amount, while we were relatively full, we did not get blown away by the food. Perhaps we are sushi snobs and had very high expectations and therefore we left a bit underwhelmed. Still, compared to Shiro’s in Seattle and Sushi Sam’s in San Francisco, Daisan Harumi ranks right up there with the two of them. Sushi Yasuda in New York served sushi that was more to our liking however. We went to five different sushi restaurants on our trip and here’s how I would rank them:

1. Sushi Iwa (by a country mile)
2. Sushi Dai
3. Daisan Harumi
4. Sushi Midori
5. Sushi Zanmai