Japan Eats: Kyotatsu @ Tokyo Narita Airport

On the way back to Boston from Singapore, J and I had to make a pitstop at Tokyo Narita. Yay! It was the only good thing, travel-related, to happen to us that trip. *phew* Tokyo Narita is my favorite airport to transfer at because of Kyotatsu. I’ve always had something to eat from Kyotatsu every time I have time to walk past it. Sometimes, I only have time to buy the pre-packed bento boxes in between running for planes, but I try my best to make it happen.

I was very surprised when J wanted to eat sushi at the airport. When we first met, the thought of eating raw fish was repulsive to him, so I’ve always had to find friends to eat sushi with, because I love raw fish. Over the years, he went from slowly eating cooked maki rolls to raw maki rolls, and now he likes raw fish! Yay! Imagine my surprise! So, we stopped at Kyotatsu for 2nd lunch and ordered some of the can’t-get-it-wrong basics.

Things move very quickly at Kyotatsu. You walk in, you sit down, you’re handed nice hot towels to clean your hands (and face?) and you order. A few minutes later, your food is served. Then you eat, you pay and you leave. We were there for about 30 minutes total, but felt like we were the slow farts in the restaurant. People were just in and out in a snap, so don’t try to linger.

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Mixed Nigiri Set – ¥2200 (USD18-ish): For one of the cheapest sets on the menu, you get a pretty good variety. There’s a tuna nigiri, a  yellowtail nigiri, salmon nigiri, squid nigiri, cooked shrimp (ebi) nigiri, salmon egg (ikura) nigiri and tamago (sweet egg) nigiri. That’s seven pieces and a teeny tuna maki, which is good enough for a snack. I had some of this, and while I don’t think it’s the best sushi I’ve ever had, it is definitely the best airport sushi I have ever had. The fish was fresh and surprisingly, tasted different from what I am used to in the US. It had depth of flavor, which for lack of better words, I find difficult to describe. My favorite was the salmon nigiri – the fish was so tender, yet had a good bite to it. My least favorite was the ebi nigiri, because I in general dislike ebi. Sure, it was better than the other cooked shrimps I’ve had, but it’s still cooked shrimp. Aside from my bias, my least favorite was the tamago nigiri. I’ve just had better, more congealed, softer, more flavorful tamago, that’s all. BUT, for airport food and USD$18, this is a winner.

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Mixed Chirashi Bowl – ¥2400 (USD20-ish): Chirashi here is my favorite! It is unlike most chirashis I know. Instead of giving you slices of fish, here, they have lots of different bits of fish pre-tossed in soy and on the rice. It reminds me of poke (Hawaiian fish salad made of raw yellowfin tuna, onions, seaweed etc. and tossed in soy sauce) and I LOVE POKE. Although the fish bits are all chopped up, it was very very delicious and in no way lower quality than in the sushi. You get chunks, not tiny, asymmetrical end-bits. Everything is properly cubed! It had a large variety too – squid, salmon, tuna, yellow tail, gizzard shad (I think), scallops, salmon eggs (ikura), crab stick (the nice Japanese kind, not the hard Singapore kind) and tamago. I just love this bowl of chirashi. It is what I have every time I get a chance to have a sit down meal at Kyotatsu!20150108_135638

We also got to sit at the bar and watch the sushi chefs at work. I love watching people make food. It’s something I’ve loved doing since my youth. You learn so much from just watching.

*update 05/15/15*

Camera 360

Here’s their pre-packaged to-go bento boxes. 1800 yen = USD15.

Sushi Kyotatsu

Address: Tokyo Narita Airport
Terminal 1
Near Gate 34
Tokyo, Japan

 

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