I had already been in Japan for quite a while and had never felt the urge or need to go to Jiro’s even after the big Netflix hype.
But when a dear friend of mine invited me to go, I couldn’t say no, DUH!
OOOh how naive I was, thinking that I could score a reservation for us if I called a couple of months ahead: It is a 3 star michelin restaurant after all.
When they said scoring a reservation at Jiro is quite the mission impossible, they were not kidding.
First of all, you need to have a Japanese person call for your reservation. No matter how good your Japanese is, if they feel a slight accent, you’re out.
Racism I hear? Well in Japan, it is known as soft-racism that basically gives them the right to express their reluctance to interact with foreigners by saying: “You can’t understand us because you are not Japanese”.
No worries, you get used to it pretty quickly.
Secondly, they only take phone reservations. So forget about the walk in to grab a seat or reserve for future dates.
Lastly and most importantly, the reservation call can only be made the first day of the month, prior to the actual month you want to go. Treasure map much?
Anyway, my partner made the call for us and he was asked if there would be any Japanese person chaperoning our Foreign group. Again, no matter how good of a Japanese speaker you may be, you will still need a foreign-sitter to make sure you behave yourself during dinner time.
Cancelation was out of the question, we were told that we would be charged a fee of Y10,000 per head for any cancelation made. By the way, the course costs roughly Y30,000.
We were lucky to get a reservation. Unlucky we couldn’t get one at the actual main branch but we scored one at the next best thing: the son’s branch.
We were asked to arrive 5 minutes before the reservation time.
We get there, and it is exactly like in the documentary. We got seated at the counter and were asked to NOT take any pictures (got a carte blanche when he heard me speak Japanese, yeeha!).
So how does it feel to eat at Jiro’s? like being in a library. Seriously, so quiet we felt we needed to whisper to each other. It was just us and another group of 4. V.I.P vib for sure, but it only lasted for 30 minutes. Yup, that is how long the course is at Jiro’s.
Sushi started coming out. And yes, it was just as good as you could have imagined. The sushi rice was delish, and unlike any other I had before. We were told that their “signature” was to use more vinegar to compliment the cuts of fish.
I will not even attempt to describe each piece of sushi. Why? Because a picture is worth a thousand words and here are eleven of them.
Local Tip: Do not, I repeat, Do not attempt any joke with the chef: The group we were with joked about being allergic to rice, and… let’s just say the chef was this close to chopping their heads off.
Address: Minato-Ku Roppongi 6-12-2
4-2-15 Ginza, Chuo
Opening hours: You will know when it’s time.