I’m a relative newbie in the Michelin star chasing game – tho what would be a better place to start then Tokyo, the city with the most Michelin stars than any other city in the world.
Not a total n00b by far – I’ve been to Sixteen** in Chicago. I’ve also been to original Din Tai Fung in Taipei, but apparently that wasn’t even the one that was awarded the Michelin star. Also, went to the L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Taipei, which, also doesn’t have a Michelin Star. But, Joël Robuchon does have 20+ stars…so, that’s something right?
So 2. I’m starting with 2. But my short little stint in Tokyo has tripled that, so I’m welllll (not really) on my way!
When I read that Nakajima was one of the most affordable Michelin star restaurants in the world – it was a done deal. Made my way there my second day in the city! I got there at around 12:00p and there was already a line but by the time I was done at 1:30p there was definitely a way longer line. So, ya know, plan accordingly.
When you go at lunch there are a bunch of Kansai-style fish lunch sets you can choose from at¥800. It’s all sardine dishes – so you better like sardines. Which, ain’t that hard to do. All salty and oily. Also, when I got there, they were already out of the Nizakana – sardine in soy sauce. Which, was what I wanted. So, again, plan accordingly.
They’ve got 4 lunch sets:
They’ve got an english menu with photo sets but I wish I would’ve seen the Japanese one before hand. The english one doesn’t give you the option of adding a portion of sashimi for ¥350. Which, I can (barely) make out with my kanji (adopted logographic Chinese characters used in the modern Japanese writing system) because god knows, I’ve completely forgotten my hiragana and katakana.
If I would’ve known the add on, I would’ve definitely gotten one of the cooked fish sets and the add-on sashimi instead of just the sashimi set. You can also get a second bowl of rice for free. But the third bowl is 100¥. So, consider this knowledge dropped.
From left to right:  Sashimi: raw sardine  Furai: fried sardine  Nizakana: sardine in soy sauce
 no longer available  Yanagawanabe: sardine cooked with egg.
So, with getting stuck with the english menu, I ended up getting the sashimi set:
The set comes with rice, pickles, green tea, and miso soup. You can also have second bowl of rice for free. Never had sardine sashimi before, but this preparation was so good! I also sat at the bar so I got to see the chef prepare, mixed with seaweed, green onion, sesame seeds, and ginger, and sliced, with utmost care, the sashimi.
¥800 = 1 Michelin star. Which, is an amazing deal. 800¥ is an amazing deal just by Tokyo standards. Delicious, well prepared food for pennies! Most definitely go to Nakajima when you have a lunch slot open in Tokyo. It’s kinda hidden down stairs in a small alley.
I still have to hit up Tim Ho Wan next time I’m in HK. Have no clue why I haven’t been there yet.
Total star count: 3
Address: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−32−5 日原ビル | 〒160-0022 東京都新宿区新宿3-32-5日原ビルB1
Lunch: 11:30a – 2:00p