Why did we eat this mountain? Because it was there.
Mr. Sato had a problem.
Recently, we had heard that a certain restaurant chain based in the Osaka area had started opening branches in Tokyo. This chain is famous for its delicious tuna sashimiand therefore naturally our great reporter, Mr Satovolunteered to eat some, as he is far too diligent to entrust such a difficult task to another member of our team.
Unfortunately, when he showed up at the restaurant, they were mysteriously closed. He then went to another branch elsewhere in Tokyo and was told that they had still not received their shipment of fish and therefore had no customers.
So, as we said, Mr. Sato had a problem. His plan to eat tuna sashimi had hit a brick wall. Fortunately, however, a solution presented itself and he was able to eat a mountain.
A mountain of sashimi.
Although it was not the restaurant he had originally planned to visit that day, a combination of fate, Mr. Sato’s gurgling stomach and wandering feet led him to the entrance of Maguro Soma Suisana restaurant at The Ginza district in Tokyo. The most important geographical detail, however, is that Maguro Soma Suisan is directly run by a wholesaler at Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Marketthe successor to Tsukiji that now serves as Japan’s premier port of entry for high-quality seafood, and especially delicious sashimi.
Even better, Maguro Soma Suisan specializes in Maguro (tuna), which is exactly what Mr. Sato had his heart set on eating. Honestly, even if he hadn’t already fancied maguro, he would have been unable to think of anything else after seeing the sign in front of Maguro Soma Suisan filled with pictures of their maguro mountain bowls.
Seriously – they have names like “Fujisan” (Mt. Fuji), “Qomolangma” (aka Mt. Everest), and “Big mountain.”
Now completely convinced it was fate, Mr. Sato walked in, quickly ignored other menu items like grilled salmon and sea bream, and immediately ordered the Big Mountain.
While he waited, however, Mr. Sato tried to keep his expectations from getting too high. After all, restaurants sometimes have great photos of dishes on their menus, only for the real thing to fall short. He was happy to learn, however, that Maguro Soma Suisan is very honest about what you get.
If anything, the real Big Mountain is even bigger than the one shown in the photo!
Also the Big Mountain in the picture didn’t have the fireworks that the real one did.
Mr. Sato felt a bit embarrassed by the sparklers, but let’s be honest here. With or without pyrotechnics, the Big Mountain is so huge that it is impossible not to catch the attention of your guests when the waiter brings it to your table. You might as well put on a show for everyone.
Let’s take a moment to admire the gastronomic geography of the Grande Montagne. At the top you have a leaf of shiso (Japanese basil) and a sprinkle of ikura (salmon roe) like snowfall on top of a dollop of negitoro (diced tuna).
Below you have an arrow of stacked slices of Akami (lean tuna) and chutoro (extra fatty tuna).
Then where the base widens you have more ikura and tuna, so much so that it completely obscures the rim of the bowl.
Unlike climbing a mountain, eating the Big Mountain means starting at the top. From the first bite, Mr. Sato’s palate was rewarded with thick, high-quality cuts of fishworthy of Maguro Soma Suisan’s affiliation with a wholesaler in the world’s most discerning sashimi market.
The chutoro was rich and delicious, and so soft it practically melted in your mouth.
Because of the way it’s structured, you practically have to eat the Big Mountain from top to bottom. That doesn’t mean, however, that the good bits of fish are only found at the top, and they top things off with lower quality maguro as you descend. On the contrary, not only is the flavor great throughout, but the tuna cuts get thicker the further you go downbecause they are load-bearing slices of sashimi that must ensure the stability of whatever is piled on top of them.
It was around this time that Mr. Sato started asking questions: Does the Big Mountain have rice?
He hadn’t seen one before, and while he wasn’t complaining about having so much maguro, a bite of rice would make a great addition to all the sashimi decadence right now.
A quick expedition of excavations, however, confirmed that yes, there is indeed rice under all this tuna.
Now Mr. Sato could get bites of tuna and rice in the same bite, that looked like small pieces of maguro nigiri sushi.
Finally, using a spoon, he was able to scoop up the rest of the ikura, because you don’t order something that huge without wanting to eat as much as possible.
At 5,390 yen (US$39.95), the Big Mountain isn’t cheap, but considering there’s enough tuna to satisfy multiple maguro meals and the quality of the fish, you can’t say let it be a bad deal. . Maguro Soma Suisan also offers more rationally sized lunch sets for just 1,300 yen, so if your friends don’t have the same shark appetite for maguro as you do, they can always find something that fits their stomach better. . And if somehow you’re still hungry after eating the Big Mountain, maybe this honey toast with two liters of ice cream is what you need for dessert.
Maguro Soma Suisan (Ginza Branch)/まぐろ相馬水産（銀座店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 7-2-saki, Ginza Korido 1st floor
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.