This article has partner links that I may receive compensation from at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site by using them!

One visit to Japan, and you’ll realize just what you’ve been missing out on regarding sushi. The fish is fresher, the preparation is of higher quality, and the cost is less. Even sushi from the cheapest conveyor belt restaurants is better than most sushi you’ll find elsewhere in the world, even if you go to some high-end places that might charge hundreds of dollars. However, as much sushi as I’d eaten on my trips to Japan, I’d never had a proper omakase sushi experience before. Omakase is when you leave your ordering decisions up to the chef. It’s a showcase for the chef & the restaurant to show off their skills & quality of ingredients. But just how good can a sushi meal be in Japan when you spend a bit more? For my first omakase in Japan, I chose to go to Manten Sushi Marunouchi in Tokyo.

manten sushi marunouchi 700x525

Getting a Reservation at Manten Sushi

As with anywhere in the world, omakase sushi can be as expensive as you want. There are restaurants run by legendary sushi chefs that charge the equivalent of hundreds of dollars. Many times, these small sushi restaurants require reservations that can only be made in Japanese & by calling.

I decided to go to Manten Sushi Marunouchi for two reasons. The first was that Manten Sushi has a reputation for having perhaps the best value for omakase in Tokyo. There are some cheaper omakase spots where you leave hungry, but for just 7000 yen or so, Manten Sushi provides a full meal that fills your belly. I had no problem splurging for a nice meal, but I didn’t want to have to find something else to eat afterward.

manten sushi marunouchi entrance 700x525

Second, reservations for either Manten Sushi location can be made online. This allowed me to use Google Translate to be able to figure out what exactly I was doing, while easily finding availability when I wanted it. There were still reservations available a few days beforehand, so it’s not necessarily a place you need to book months in advance.

There are three Manten Sushi locations: Marunouchi, Nihonbashi, & Hibiya Okuroji. The Marunouchi & Nihonbashi locations are within walking distance of Tokyo Station. The Marunouchi location is in a basement of a shopping & office complex. The outside courtyard reminded me of London.

Book your hotel in Tokyo now!

marunouchi 700x525

My Manten Sushi Marunouchi Omakase Experience in Tokyo

Since I knew I would be jet-lagged upon arriving in Japan Japan, I booked the earliest reservation that I could. The restaurant opened promptly at 5. I was seated, then offered a drink. I went with sake, of course. The sake was from Niigata, a region I would visit later on my trip, where I went sake tasting in Yuzawa.

manten sushi marunouchi sake 700x933

The counter seats just 14 people, but a couple of tables are also available for larger groups. I love watching everything be prepared in front of me.

manten sushi marunouchi counter 700x525

The chef asked me if I was okay with everything. Sure, why not? There might be some varieties of fish or seafood that I’m less excited about, but I’m at least willing to try them, especially in an omakase setting where they’re trying to show off the best they can offer.

Then, the courses began! The chef did tell me what each item was in English, though this did limit the descriptions somewhat. I’ve included most, but not all of the dishes here.

First, there was a small crab soup.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase crab soup 700x525
Next was some amberjack.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase amberjack 700x525

This was followed by seaweed salad. It was unlike any other that I’d ever had. It was slimy, in a good way, which resulted in an expert-level chopstick challenge.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase seaweed salad 700x525

Then it was time for some octopus, which was lightly salted & excellent.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase octopus 700x525

That was followed by bonito, which melted in my mouth.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase bonito 700x525

Even the pickled ginger was fantastic. It has a lightly sweet flavor with a nice crunch – none of that rubbery pink junk you find at most sushi restaurants.

manten sushi 700x525

The mackerel was also delicious.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase mackerel 700x933

And then it happened. An absolute curveball. The next dish was a tomato.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase tomato 700x525

Tomatoes are my nemesis. I detest their texture. I generally refuse to order or eat whole tomatoes. It had never occurred to me that when the chef asked me if I was okay with everything, I might need to consider tomatoes. But here I was, with a giant chunk of tomato presented to me as part of my omakase at Manten Sushi Marunouchi. I contemplated “accidentally” dropping it on the floor & blaming a lack of chopstick expertise.

But then I figured I would power through and give it a shot. I’m glad I did.

The texture wasn’t bad, thanks to this tomato being mostly solid. It was still soft, but it wasn’t oozing. The flavor was absolutely stunning. Dare I say, I liked it a lot. And if other tomatoes were anything like this one, I might actually eat them every now and then.

After the tomato, it was time for some abalone. It wasn’t my favorite item, but it was fine.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase abalone 700x525

Next, a bit of a break from the sushi with some chawanmushi (egg custard with crab meat).

manten sushi marunouchi omakase chawanmushi 700x933

Followed by sea bass (suzuki).

manten sushi marunouchi omakase suzuki 700x525

Then there was wasabi leaf.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase wasabi leaf 700x525

Next up was tuna.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase tuna 700x525

Then, it was time for some boiled peanuts. They were much better than the ones that someone had once brought me from Georgia, perhaps because they didn’t have a musty flavor from being in a plastic bag for who knows how long.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase boiled peanuts 700x933

Then it was time for more tuna – this time otoro along with grilled toro.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase otoro tuna 700x525

This was followed by a special tofu. It was so soft & creamy, like no tofu I’d ever had before.

After that, there was some white shrimp.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase white shrimp 700x525

Things got fun after that. The chef asked me to put my hand out. He laid a sheet of seaweed on top of it. This was then topped with rice & uni. He told me to roll it. This was one of my favorite dishes of the meal, thanks especially to my expert preparation.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase uni roll 700x933

Baby sardines were the next dish. I can’t say they were something I’d go out of my way to have again, but they were certainly different.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase baby sardines 700x525

The sardines were followed by salmon roe over rice. This required more expert-level chopsticking, but it was totally worth the effort.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase salmon roe 700x525

Then it was time for miso soup. The bowl was filled with tiny clams.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase clam miso soup 700x933

The final few plates began with radish, along with sea eel.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase sea eel 700x525

Followed by a tuna hand roll.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase tuna hand roll 700x933

To finish, there was some dried cucumber.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase dried cucumber 700x525

For dessert, I was given two large Japanese grapes. After so many dishes, they’re the perfect way to end a meal.

manten sushi marunouchi omakase grapes 700x525

I didn’t go in starving due to having gone to Hokkaido Food Fair in Tokyo earlier in the day, but I was still hungry enough. Manten Sushi really gives you a great amount of food as part of their omakase.  It’s definitely not one of those places where you find yourself having to fill your stomach afterward. I was taking notes as I went so I could remember it all later, and it’s only now, when I’m writing everything up, that I’m truly realizing just how many courses there were in this omakase.

Manten Sushi is a great option if you want a nice omakase meal in Tokyo, but not break-the-bank nice. While someday I’d love to have a Michelin-starred, hundreds-of-dollars omakase experience, for now, Manten Sushi will do just fine.

Like this post? Pin it for later!

eating omakase at manten sushi marunouchi in tokyo japan 667x1000

What do you think? Add a comment!


  1. What great value and everything looks delicious! Do you happen to remember how long the dining experience was. I’m wondering if I’ve got some time afterwards to take in the night scenery at Sensoji afterwards so whether the meal takes 2 or 3 hours will help me decide when to make my reservation.