If there was an award for most beautiful, delicate and exquisite Barachirashi Don, I would give it to the one from Sushi Sho in Tokyo, Japan.
On a recent holiday to Tokyo, I decided to run around on my own looking for delicious food in the city, after having done some research online.
One of my lunches on this trip was the Barachirashi Don (2,000 yen / approximately S$23) from Sushi Sho.
Sushi Sho is ranked the 19th best sushi restaurant in Tokyo, by Tabelog (like our Hungrygowhere) users.
Getting to the restaurant and getting seated was in itself an experience. It was at the end of a small street in Yotsuya, within a small low rise called Yamaji Building.
With a rather unassuming shopfront and no particularly eye catching signs with its name, it was slightly hard to find – I asked around, then knocked gently and tried to poke my head into the closed door of what I guessed was the restaurant.
Having arrived at around 12.15pm, 45 minutes past their opening time, I was a little worried that their limited daily sets of barachirashi dons would have already run out by then. But lucky me, I think I got one of the last few bowls, as towards the end of my meal people were turned away at the door.
As there was only one item on the menu for lunch, there was thankfully no need for me to order. I was probably the only non-Japanese speaking person there, feeling a bit like a bull in a china shop!
While sitting at the counter waiting for my meal, I was able to watch the chefs silently and deftly place the ingredients into each bowl, arranging them carefully as if they were precious jewels.
And well, why not, they were all pretty darn amazing morsels. They piled each bowl full of small, nicely cut slices of fish, some prawn, some squid, even a piece of abalone, fresh fish roe, sea urchin, fish stomach, scallop and tamago, and interspersed the seafood with some cucumber, wasabi and these sprigs I forget the name of, to balance the flavours.
But before I even got a taste of the beauty that was unfolding right in front of me, I was greeted with the most fragrant clam soup I had ever smelled in my life. Actually, it was the most tasty, too.
The fragrance was slightly sweet and fresh – clear but not overbearing, much like the soup itself. A light, delightful start and accompaniment to the seafood bowl which was to come.
And then my glorious Barachirashi Don arrived, and I forgot all about the clam soup. It was quite a sight to behold, with the dazzling medley of colours. I thoroughly enjoyed this bowl of goodness and savoured every bite, which was full of flavour, crunch and fresh sweetness.
Most of the pieces were slightly glazed with soy sauce for taste, but I think the chef preferred to let the ingredients carry the dish and so did not add much sauce or seasoning to the bowl in general. And it was pleasant, the overall clean flavour of it.
I thought the rice could have been a little bit moister, but that might just be a preference.
If you are visiting Tokyo and looking for somewhere to go for lunch (it’s not too far from Shinjuku), I would definitely recommend that you pop into Sushi Sho for a bowl of their delightful Barachirashi Don!
Yorindo Building, 1F
1-11 Yotsuya Shinjuku-ku
Tel: +81 3 3351 6387
Directions: Take Exit 1 from the Yotsuya Metro Station and head West, cross Sotobori Dori. Turn left and almost immediately you will see a tiny side street, turn right into it and walk down. It is at the end of the first junction of this street.