At its very finest, sushi can be an art form – and a pricey one at that. Here are eight of the most expensive sushi restaurants around the world.
1. Koy Shunka,
Chef Hideki Matsuhisa certainly deserves his Michelin star for creating one of the best sushi restaurants in Barcelona. He trained in Tokyo at his father’s restaurant before opening his own place in Spain, Shunka. Koy Shunka is his second venture and is designed to be a more refined version of Shunka.
Two tasting menus are available, each with its own blend of flavors. Everyone at the table must choose from the same menu to ensure a quality experience. The lighter menu, Koy, features fish and seafood with just a touch of Wagyu beef near the end of the meal. The (G)astro menu is a bit more exotic, including caviar, truffles and lobster.
With crisp lighting and an open view of the kitchen, the atmosphere is a mix of modern Spanish and Japanese. You can expect to shell out between $118 and $170 for your meal.
2. Alex Sushi,
It’s not surprising that there is a high-quality sushi restaurant in Oslo, given the abundance of fresh seafood. What is surprising is that none of the main people involved is Japanese – or even Norwegian. Alex Cabiao is Filipino and ran a successful Japanese restaurant in Manila. The head chef, Hirzem Kuchi, is from the Republic of Macedonia, and the manger is German. Together they create an atmosphere that is a mix of tradition, innovation and quality.
Lunchtime diners can buy individual sushi and rolls, but the evening meal is strictly omakase, designed to suit the availability of components and the whims of the chef. Three or four different omakase menus are available, each with a different price. Cheapskates can get away with a $75 meal, but if you are trying to impress a date, plan for at least $175 per person.
3. Tojo’s Restaurant,
Chef Hidekazu Tojo, the owner of the restaurant bearing his name, apprenticed at Ohnoya restaurant in Osaka, Japan, spending 16 hours a day learning the details of preparing traditional Japanese cuisine. As he developed the skills that distinguish a fine, traditional chef, he recognized his desire to create his own style of cooking and relocated to North America, where traditions were not as strictly enforced.
In Vancouver, Tojo set up shop and began blending traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi with local products to create dishes more suitable to western tastes. He began using cooked crab meat to address concerns about eating raw fish, and added sliced avocado to complement the taste. These few simple changes to traditional sushi became known as a ‘California Roll’ and is the only ‘sushi’ that many North Americans will eat.
The restaurant offers complete meals, as well as a delicious assortment of sushi, sashimi and tempura. A single roll is as much as $25, while the six course omakase for around $120. Add some wagyu beef and a little sake, and dinner for two can ring in at over $500.
4. Kyubey, Ginza,
Considered by many to be the best sushi in Tokyo, Kyubey is the epitome of the Japanese sushi experience. Owner Yousuke Imada carefully chooses each chef and maintains the highest quality in taste, selection and presentation. Dishes are prepared using only Japanese fish, with the assortment changing with the seasons.
As with most traditional Japanese restaurants, omakase is the best thing to order. Your sushi will be made one piece at a time and placed in front of you like a piece of art. Your personal chef will adjust each subsequent piece according to your taste so each bite is a unique experience that’s designed just for your pleasure.
Omakase can easily set you back $100 each, but remember that the food is completely individualized. Set course meals with sushi, sashimi and grilled fish range from $170 to $350 per person.
5. Sukyabashi Jiro, Ginza,
Sushi master Jiro Ono takes great pride in the fact that his restaurant has earned three Michelin stars – and he intends to maintain them. Not only does Jiro insist on the freshest fish possible, he even has the vinegar made to his exact specifications. Nothing is made in advance and there is no menu. Dinner is always the “Chef’s Recommended Special Course” and it is served one piece at a time.
There are only 10 seats and the price of missing your reservation, which must be made months in advance, is hefty. Your meal of 15-20 pieces of sushi begins with a cup of tea to cleanse the palate, followed by the more delicately flavored fish dishes. Each subsequent piece is increasingly complex in flavour. The meal ends with some time to reflect on the experience and a bit of fruit to aid in digestion.
Omakase is the only option, and your dinner of delights will come in at around $325.
6. Urasawa, Beverly Hills,
Los Angeles, USA
Possibly the second-most expensive restaurant in the United States, Urasawa chef-owner Hiroyuki Urasawa trained at the most expensive restaurant in the U.S. With seating for only 10 people per night, the space is limited and demand is high. The menu is strictly omakase.
Enjoy the just-for-you feeling of dinner as the owner himself prepares your individual courses and presents them with artistic flare. Up to 30 different preparations of sushi can be put before you on a single night, but there are no prices on the menu. Well, there is no menu; your enjoyment is up to the chef. And the price? As with many ultra-expensive things, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
The cost of your meal will vary depending on what you are served, however don’t be surprised if dinner for you and your date is over $1,000.
New York City, USA
Masa Takayama trained in Tokyo at the legendary Ginza Sushi-ko, working his way from dishwasher to sushi chef. He spent 20 years in Los Angeles perfecting his technique before relocating to New York and opening Masa. Michelin fully endorses his talents, awarding him three-star status.
Missing your reservation will cost you $222, but why would you risk missing a chance to dine at the most expensive restaurant in the U.S? From the moment you walk through the door, the atmosphere is meant to bring you peace and prepare you for a sushi performance.
Chef Masa himself orchestrates your meal, preparing beautiful appetizers, delectable entrees and a light desert that perfectly finishes the meal. Each dish is served alone, allowing diners the opportunity to appreciate the elegance of the presentation, as well as the delicious melting of flavours on the tongue.
As the meal features exotic seafood flown in from Japan, the price and menu will vary depending on availability and season. Expect your authentic Japanese experience to set you back $500 to $700 each.
8. Only On Demand By Chef Angelito Araneta Jr,
Chef Angelito Araneta Jr has earned his place in the Guinness Book of World Records for his astonishingly expensive sushi. Going by the name of “Karat Chef”, Araneta prides himself on creating edible works of art. He has previously presented a “carat cake” coated in gold and topped with diamonds.
For his sushi dishes, each piece is wrapped in gold leaf instead of seaweed, and nestled among the pearls of caviar are three real Mikimoto pearls. A small diamond finishes the look and bumps the price. At $2,300 for five pieces, this sushi is better suited for a gift of art than a meal.