When someone mentions ‘sushi,’ images of a wholesome meal, comprising vinegar rice and raw fish, is sure to crop up in our minds. However, the simple Japanese dish has now been revolutionised. And so much so that upscale sushi restaurants are serving sushi meals that are not just exquisite and loaded with flavours and variations but extremely costly too. So, if you wish to know more about these, we are here to take you through some of the most expensive sushi meals served by various high-end places across the world.
While most expensive sushi meals are part of Omakase menus (specially curated meals by expert chefs on requests) at expensive sushi restaurants and require prior reservations, some are available round the clock for sushi lovers.
Going back to history, sushi originated in China in the third and fifth centuries (BC) and came to Japan only in the eighth century. Known as Narezushi earlier, it was a way of preserving rice and fish for a long time and was modernised much later.
Want to know more about the best sushi meals from around the world? We have you covered.
Check out some of the best places serving the most expensive sushi meals
Sushi Kirimon, Osaka
On 8 August 2023, Japanese restaurant Sushi Kirimon entered the Guinness World Records list for the world’s most expensive sushi. The price? USD 2,475 for 20 pieces of sushi.
The course, named Kiwami Omakase, mostly consists of pieces of nigiri — thinly sliced raw fish placed on a ball of rice. Sashimi, or raw fish without rice, and maki, or sliced sushi roll, are also served as part of the course. A sprinkling of gold leaf is added, too.
There are 20 pieces in the dish. These include white tilefish and beluga caviar, Pacific bluefin tuna, chum salmon, steamed abalone, Japanese tiger prawn and six types of tuna belly.
Guinness said that the restaurant created the dish to promote traditional Japanese cuisine known as Washoku. It uses traditional techniques and most ingredients come from across Japan, with a few coming from China, Italy and the North Atlantic Ocean.
The restaurant broke the previous record set by Filipino chef Angelito Araneta Jr in 2010 which cost USD 1,978. The dish consisted of five nigiri pieces garnished with diamonds. These were wrapped in 24-carat gold leaf.
Masa, New York
Not just the most expensive sushi restaurant in the US, but one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, Masa is known to serve one of the costliest sushi meals, exquisitely crafted by chef Masayoshi Takayama.
Their unique Hinoki (Japanese cypress) counter experience lets one sit at their beautiful sushi counter and savour one of their signature dishes which is served with Wagyu Ohmi Beef Tataki, a unique beef preparation with precise cuts. It costs a whopping USD 950 per person now from USD 800 previously.
As per a March 2022 report by Eater, New York, Masa raised their bar higher by pricing one of their finest meals, which includes wagyu beef, caviar-crowned toro and white truffle ice cream. It now costs around USD 1,000 per person, including taxes.
And why not? Not only do they prioritise perfection in creating exquisite meals, but they also request guests to limit their perfume usage so as not to disturb the aromatic experience of other guests while they are sampling their meals.
Sushi Ginza Onodera, New York
The high-end restaurant in New York City follows the traditional method of preparing their sushi meals. Their Chef’s Selection Course called Kiwami is priced at around USD 450 and includes eight appetisers, nine pieces of seasonal Nigiri (similar to sushi but made with only rice and raw fish and no other extra flavouring) and homemade Tamago (Japanese omelette), miso soup (bean soup) and a dessert.
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo
When a restaurant has only one meal on its menu, it has to be special at any cost. The three Michelin star restaurant’s specific menu titled ‘Sukiyabashi Jiro’s Random Sushi Course’ is sure to transport you to a whole new world. Priced at USD 400, the credit for the experience goes to chef Jiro Ono, whose love for authenticity has been wonderfully filmed in a documentary titled Jiro Dreams of Sushi, as per a report by Eater.
The restaurant sources fresh seafood every day from the Tsukiji market in Chuo City and is particular about arrival timings and perfume usage; so one should adhere to them for the best experience.
To know more about their dining experience, visit their official website.
Kurumazushi, New York
There may be numerous sushi outlets in Manhattan, New York, but founder and head chef Toshihiro Uezu specialises in presenting sushi connoisseurs with authentic textures and flavours. Their Omakase course of ‘Chef’s Selection of Sushi and Sashimi’ starts from USD 300 and their regular sushi meal begins from USD 150 onwards and includes nine pieces and a sushi roll.
To know more about their dining experience, visit their official website.
NAOE Miami, Florida
Listed among the top 40 restaurants in the US in 2019, NAOE Miami has been awarded five stars by Forbes Travel Guide too. Specialising in natural Japanese cuisine at NAOE, chef Kevin Cory creates a distinctive Chef’s choice menu priced at USD 280 per person exclusive of taxes. Special requests need to be made at least 10 days in advance as the meal is cooked fresh every day.
O Ya, Boston
Other than sumptuous dishes, O Ya has a special Omakase menu that includes one of the most expensive sushi meals priced at around USD 250 per person, excluding taxes. And with an additional USD 150 per person, one can add beverages to the 20-course menu. Additionally, Chefs Tim and Nancy Cushman take the luxurious dining experience a notch higher with their hospitality.
Nobu is one such name that has spread its wings across continents and countries, including the US, Europe and the Middle East, with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa as the head. The one in Miami has sushi meal options as part of its Omakase menu, which is priced at around USD 200. However, it has an array of delectable dishes as a part of its exquisite Japanese menu.
Sushi Hashiri, California (Honourary mention)
Known majorly for its Omakase menus, Michelin-starred restaurant Sushi Hashiri served one of the most expensive meals as part of its Omakase menu called ‘Omakase at Chef’s Table.’ It required a two-week prior reservation and cost around USD 500. Its official website describes the experience as a “curated chef’s culinary journey through Kaiseki & Edomae Sushi, offered in our private dining room with a private sushi chef.” Other meals — Edomae Sushi — are priced between USD 200-250, depending on the course and inclusions.
However, according to a Facebook post made by the restaurant in 2020, it is temporarily closed until further notice owing to the COVID-19 situation that year. But, sushi connoisseurs can still enjoy a ‘Hashiri Special’ meal from the comfort of their homes with Hashiri’s ‘Catering at Residence’ option wherein Kaiseki chef Shinichi Aoki, sushi chef Tokunori Mekaru and its manager create culinary magic to satiate your sushi cravings.
Priced at USD 700 for a ‘12 Course Kaiseki & Omakase Edomae Sushi dining experience,’ this menu can be taken a notch higher with an additional charge for special requests.
(Main and Featured Image Credit: Jakub Dziubak/Unsplash)
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur