Guess not that often one can get the old man out to serve even at the honten, let alone a piece of uni sushi directly from his hand at one’s table, it was indeed a once in a blue moon experience. Just like visiting ‘Jiro-san’, paying respect to a real ‘Takumi’ who has devoted his life to uphold the name of this traditional edomae dish called sushi is really all this is about. Calling it Chef’s table, it was basically limited seatings in a private room with sushi being served in batches on one’s table rather than the usual piece by piece hand to mouth counter experience. That said, one can see the Master, now in his 70s, still giving his very best, upholding the ‘ichigo ichie’ spirit no less. It was basically a 12-hour non stop standing day for him here while he’s in town, with time-pressured preparation of the goodies jet freshed from Japan in between meal times. Needless to say, he had already brought along all the ingredients he needed besides the fish, down to having his own water and condiments, all straight from Japan. Yet, he actually had to give an urgent call to ask for reinforcement after the first day as he underestimated the workload doing all these abroad in an unfamiliar kitchen, despite bringing along a sous chef and a head waitress already. The next morning, voila, he found one of his top chefs from Japan already waiting for him in the kitchen! For frequent goers, one could see that it was the signature routine of Kyubey all along. While I still prefer one of his top protégés Kotaka-san’s work back at the Keio Plaza branch, it was no doubt the spirit that counts for this encounter. Gochisousamadeshita!