Irifune Sushi, Tokyo

13.5/20 What does it all mean?

 Food Icon 8 | Service Icon 2.5 | Ambience Icon 1.5 | Value Icon 1.5


Thumbs up

  • The best way to consume large amounts of tuna
  • One of the few sushi restaurants where you can sample all the different cuts of tuna (including toro from several parts of the tuna)

Thumbs down

  • Rice is gluey and lacks temperature control

Recommended dish(es)

  • Maguro Zukushi Don
  • Aburi-toro Nigiri
  • Kama-toro Nigiri

TL;DR – Irifune is a sushi restaurant that specialises in tuna. If you’re new to sushi omakasae and/or just love really love tuna, then it would be a wasted oppor-tuna-ty to not make a visit to Irifune.


Alright, I hear you.

It’s your first time in Japan and all the unfamiliar fish in a sushi omakase intimidates you. Or maybe your love for tuna is as great as your dislike of all fish that isn’t.

Irifune Tuna Maguro

The OG

Whatever it is, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay – I was much the same at one point in time. Omakase used to be a series of average sushi, followed by amazing chutoro and otoro, followed by more average sushi. Tuna was king and everything else was merely a distraction.

But the more sushi experiences I had, the more I started appreciating the complexities, textures and personalities of each and every fish – each experience revealing new seafood epiphanies. These days, tuna isn’t even my favourite piece of nigiri anymore (for the record, currently it’s anago buri nodoguro). A sushi omakase with only tuna is akin to the Mona Lisa painted with just one colour, though an admittedly delicious colour at that.

But walk before you run, right.

Irifune Chef Honda-san

Chef Honda-san

Irifune Sushi is one of few sushiyas in Tokyo that specialise exclusively in tuna. There are stories that when chef Honda-san places an order at the most famous Tsukiji intermediate wholesaler, the “best” maguro goes to Irifune. Honda-san also reportedly invented aburi toro (grilled fatty tuna), a technique which is now enjoyed around the world.

Unfortunately, reports of Irifune having the best tuna in the world are simply not true (that’s likely at Kiyota, Arai or Sawada), and the rice is gluey and lacks temperature control. But the great thing about Irifune is that it allows you to experience a true tuna omakase. Not only can you try tuna prepared in a myriad of different techniques, but you can try almost every conceivable part of the tuna.

Irifiune Tuna Maguro

That marbling!

Though you won’t find the best tuna here, Irifune is great for those who are taking their first baby steps into the world of sushi omakase, or just really really love tuna. And after you fall deep into the wonderful world of sushi, maybe someday I’ll see you – on the beautiful hinoki counter at Hashiguchi – fervently discussing our new favourite piece of nigiri.

Irifune Sushi/Irifunezushi (入船寿司)
3-31-7 Okusawa, Setagaya, Tokyo (map)
+81 3-3720-1212
Reservations recommended, book a few weeks in advance.

irifune_maguro_3

The tuna range

The best way to eat a lot of tuna at Irifune is to order the Maguro Zukushi Don (various cuts of tuna with rice), instead of the omakase sushi set. The Don includes otoro from various parts of the tuna, chutoro, akami and aburi-toro.

Irifune Maguro Zukushi Don

Maguro Zukushi Don (various cuts of tuna with rice) – ¥11,880 (8/10)

irifune_don_2

Just a close up, just incase you can’t see the delicious tuna.

If you’re still hungry after that, you can order nigiri on top of the bowl. Noteworthy pieces included below.

Irifinue Otoro no Shoyu Zuke Nigiri

Otoro no Shoyu Zuke (Otoro with garlic marinated in soy sauce) – 7.5/10

Irifune Kama-toro Nigiri

Kama-toro Nigiri (From the collar/jaw area. One of the rarest and fattiest parts of tuna) – 8/10

Irifune Sushi Restaurant

Irifune Restaurant

Irifune Sushi/Irifunezushi (入船寿司)
3-31-7 Okusawa, Setagaya, Tokyo (map)
+81 3-3720-1212
Reservations recommended, book a few weeks in advance.

So fellow foodies, what’s your favourite piece of nigiri?

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