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Toro-go-round

toro.jpg (10580 bytes)

Toro is the tastiest part of maguro (tuna) - the fatty part of the tuna belly, prized for its melt-in-the-mouth texture and subtle flavor. Not being excessively fishy, it's a great choice for the sushi novice. In the Kanto area there are four types of tuna: minami maguro, kuromaguro, mebachi maguro and binnaga maguro. Kuromaguro is usually the most expensive and said to be superior, while the flesh of binnaga maguro seems white compared to its red and pink cousins. One way to sample toro without spending a small fortune (it is, naturally, one of the more expensive cuts) is at kaiten-zushi (literally: revolving sushi) restaurants. Maki Nibayashi

Sushi Daidokoya
A kaiten-zushi shop in the middle of Shibuya that caters mostly to an over-thirty crowd. The fish is bought every morning in Tsukiji, assuring freshness. The portions are thicker than in many other places so you can really sink your teeth into them. The price for two pieces is JY300.
Open 11am-11pm daily. 2-15-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku (03-3476-4066). Nearest stn: Shibuya.

Kaiten-zushi Ikkan
The owner boasts of having his own fishing boat and warehouse in Kesennuma, Sendai City, from where he ships the morning catch straight to Tokyo every day. Ikkan means one piece of sushi, and that's what you get (most other places serve nikan - two pieces). Although there's only one piece, they use twice the amount of rice and the sashimi on top is enormous. The toro here melts in your mouth, though at JY240 per plate you might be left hungry for more.
Open 4:30pm-4am daily. Sunrise Bldg 1F, 2-10-8 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku (03-3232-3004). Nearest stn: Shinjuku east exit.

Tora-chan
Tora-chan's been serving up sushi in Shibuya for the past 45 years. Its maguro is flown in directly from Rebunto, Hokkaido. The best thing about it is that you get three pieces on one plate for only JY200.
Open 11am-10pm daily. 24-10 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku (03-3461-4076). Nearest stn: Shibuya, near Seibu Loft.

Oo-Edo Ikebukuro Higashiguchi Branch
Everything is JY130 and when you order toro you can get both binnaga maguro and mebachi maguro. The whiter one is binnaga. Although this toro won't exactly melt in your mouth, it's a good buy at only JY130 per plate.
Open 11am-11:30pm daily. 1-40-10 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku (03-3980-7973). Nearest stn: Ikebukuro, east exit.

Musashino
In Kanda there are over 70 sushi restaurants but Musashino stands out in a class of its own. Every day at lunch a line of over ten people forms, and for very good reason: toro and everything else is only JY120 (usually JY300).
Open 11am-11:30pm daily (lunch 11am-2pm). Takahashi Bldg 1F, 3-6-14 Uchikanda, Chiyoda-ku (03-3256-5650). Nearest stn: Kanda.


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