My first meal in Japan started with a bang! I went straight to the top! That’s how you should do it. Immediately after dropping my bags off at the hotel, we went to Ginza, the glittering fancy area of Tokyo. I had arranged ahead for a lunch at Ginza Kyubey. This is one of the meals that I am most looking forward to. I have heard so much about Kyubey and wanted to give it a try when I am finally here. I had omakase once in my life in Singapore and it was life-changing. Now, I would like to try once at where it all first started. Sushi is something fancy in Japan and not a typical meal that the locals have from day to day. It is also considered one of the more pricey food items in Japan. That is if you take out those 100 yen conveyor belt sushi chains. Ginza Kyubey is one of the most famous and impressive sushi restaurants in Tokyo, it is said that almost all sushi chefs in Tokyo will have passed by here at some point in their careers. It has a history leading back to 1935. It can be said as the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo without a Michelin star. But despite so, it is still extremely popular due to the friendly service and vibes as well as affordable pricing. Staff speaks relatively good English and they are also foreigner-friendly. This is a very approachable restaurant for tourists. Some places might be intimidating for tourists.



Kyubey has a 1-day cancellation policy and they only accept reservations via hotel concierge as with other fine dining restaurants in Japan. You can also use those third-party concierges although you will incur additional admin fees. Lunch reservations are accepted only for 11.30am. It is possible to walk in if you do not mind dining later on. A tip will be to come at 11.30 and leave your name before returning at a later time.



I arrived right on the dot and there was already a short queue outside the restaurant. I had a reservation at the main outlet. It is located in a quiet alley in Ginza off the main street. Restaurants in Japan tend to be hidden and understated. The same goes for Kyubey, if I would have walked past randomly, I will not have realised that this is a fancy fine dining outlet. The host came out right on time to greet the guests and goes down by line to reconfirm reservations. I was immediately addressed by name politely. Japanese hospitality is top-notch. The staff are dressed in Japanese traditional costumes. I was led right into the main restaurant and my coat was taken by the staff. The restaurant was chic and decked out in classic Japanese decor.


Everyone greeted you as you entered including the Head Chef, Mr Futaba that will be serving me. The restaurant is considered huge by Japanese omakase restaurant standards.


As a matter to note, Mr Futaba served two groups at the same time including mine. A total of 4 guests. The customers in Kyubey were pretty diverse, from the typical tourists like me, we also had local guests sitting right beside me. Both the wait staff and chef speak English and we had no issues with communication. I also inquired Mr Futaba if we could take pictures and there is no issue. We were then offered a hotel towel to wipe our hands and freshen up.



The waitress offered us the menu which outlined various options and also the drinks. All of the prices for lunch are 2,200 yen off as a token of our thanks from Kyubey commemorating the foundation anniversary. Service charges are also only applicable for private rooms. You can find the menus below.


You can choose from a Nigiri-only course which means purely sushi or a Kaiseki which has a mixture of sashimi and grilled items. There are three sizes for each. I went with the Karatsu Nigiri Omakase course that comes with a Chawanmushi, 11 pieces of sushi, a roll, soup and dessert. It comes up to a total of 19 courses including the amuse-bouche, tamagoyaki and the prawn head.


I went with one of the sake that the staff recommend to me. The Yamadori Jumaigingo cost 2750 Yen. I enjoyed it. It tasted very clean and dry which is what I love. It is from the Akita region.


Karatsu Nigiri Omakase

As mentioned above, I went for the Karatsu course which is the middle one. I figure that since I am here, I shouldn’t go for the basic one. I am also afraid that the largest course might be too filling for me. I will simply just least out the courses and post the pictures. Do note that the change daily as it depends on what is available and in season. That is the fun part about having an omakase as it all depends on the chef. No two meals will be the same. I appreciate Mr Futaba attentiveness as he always checks on us to monitor the pacing between courses and also the amount of rice. You can always opt for lesser rice if you are too full. Do inform the chef if you do not want wasabi in your sushi.


Amuse Bouche




11 Nigiri ( In order)
















Miso Soup


Some sort of pickle


Dessert with a choice of Japanese Fruit or pudding. We got one each to share. This was served with hot tea.




I had a very good experience and a great meal. The omakase is a great way to kick-start my culinary experience in Japan. There is more food than you expect and despite it being only a piece or one item for each course, when you add them all up, expect to be stuffed. I do not know how Japanese can eat so much! Mr Futaba is such a gem, he is very welcoming and also spends time engaging with us. We had a nice banter over the rice. Amazing chef! If you can, get your concierge to reserve seats that will be served by Mr Futaba, the head chef. He is usually at the main store. I would love to be back once again in the future. Make sure to reserve ahead. It is not hard to get reservations here but do plan ahead for your ideal date and time.

P.S. Once you try Omakase, it is hard to get back to your usual sushi chains in Singapore!