One of my favourite things about Japan is the concept of omakase. The idea of omakase is simple – you go to a restaurant, and the chef decides what you eat. Sometimes they have price menus for you to choose from – for example, when I went to Tsukiji market they had a menu that ranged from 4,000yen, 6,000yen and 8,000yen.
An amazing omakase I had was at a place called Sushi Asaba, but it completely broke the bank. I paid 150 USD for lunch – while it was insanely delicious, it was also not very sustainable.
If you’re looking for a more affordable omakase place, Sushi Junta might be a place to consider. It is a cute little shop on Honan Dori, and my boyfriend and I discovered it as would walk pass it every day to work.
If you don’t speak Japanese, I think Sushi Junta is a great place to go because Chef Junta speaks English. He’s worked in Los Angeles and Panama, so he’s very used to dealing with customers of different cultures. He’s a very friendly guy with a ready smile – and we discovered he had only just opened his restaurant 8 months ago! He also told us he used to work in the Imperial Hotel.
The shop is not very big – I would say by Japanese standards, it is averagely sized. We sat by the countertop, but there are a few tables to accommodate families. It’s brightly lit and feels more like a family restaurant than a date-y kind of restaurant – just to give you a feeling of the ambience!
When we saw omakase on the menu, we were very happy to try it because we were just too tired to decide what we wanted to eat.
What came was an appetizer, 9 pieces of sashimi, 5 pieces of sushi, mackerel and chicken. The sashimi was fresh – he goes every morning to the Tsukiji fish market to buy his fish!
My opinion – the food was nice, but not mindblowing. We paid 7,500yen per pax, which translates to around 60 USD. Now, here’s where it gets contentious – my boyfriend and I initially found it expensive, but our Japanese friends told us that it was considered cheap for omakase. Also, we did have a lot of sushi and were pretty much stuffed after the meal.
However, if you’re a tourist and looking for an English speaking place to have omakase – I think you should give Sushi Junta a try. When I first came to Japan, I really couldn’t tell the difference between sushi I bought from the convenience store and sushi from a really expensive restaurant. I think as the months pass, I’m beginning to develop a better idea and taste for sushi. Also, it may not be completely fair of me to compare it to Sushi Asaba, which was double the price.
Check Sushi Junta out here!