Uramakiya
Akabanebashi: Sushi
Uramakiya (Akabanebashi: Sushi)
Uramakiya
Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
no smoking: No smoking

Although you may occasionally run across a California roll in a Tokyo sushi shop as a novelty item, other types of American-style sushi (aka inside-out rolls) are pretty much unheard of. That's why this small local sushi counter is so unusual - they offer American classics like Caterpillar Rolls and Volcano Rolls, deluxe items like Spider Rolls, and oddities like four-cheese sushi - some fifty varieties in all. They also serve izakaya-style small dishes, plus wine and small-brewery craft sake to drink.

Part of the fun of a large and varied menu like this is taking the time to explore the many options and finding your favorites. We especially enjoyed the combinations of complementary ingredients in rolls like the Yebisu (snapper, baby scallops, chili and lemon sauce) and the Spicy YT (yellowtail with crunchy cucumber, flying-fish roe, scallions and chili mayonnaise). The Salmon Skin Roll incorporates burdock root to add an appealing crunchiness, and the salmon in the Philadelphia Roll is nicely set off by the silky, creamy combo of ripe avocado and cream cheese

The spicier rolls here like Cajun Tuna, Spicy Tuna and Volcano are well balanced in flavor, and perhaps more subtly spiced than the original America versions. Much more demonstrative is the Quattro Cheese - a deep-fried roll with mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola and cream cheese. This rather adventurous idea is very well executed and turned out to be one of our favorites, although admitedly it pushes the boundaries of the definition of sushi.

Side dishes cover a wide range, from standard izakaya fare (satsuma age, vegetable tempura) to more entertaining items (popcorn shrimp with spicy mayonnaise). The creme brulee-style kani-miso is a unique treatment of this distinctively flavored ingredient, and worth a try if you happen to be a fan of crab guts. Korean-style sesame-dressed salmon yukke is more conventional, but the use of salmon instead of the usual tuna makes a nice change.

The wine list features around a dozen still and sparkling wines by the glass, among them three different California Chardonnays. The smaller sake list has around half a dozen labels from small breweries around the country.

The dining area is fairly compact - just a counter and one table in front, and two more small tables in a back room. At lunchtime you can feast on three inside-out rolls plus a side dish, soup and salad for Y1080. Budget around Y2500-3500 at dinnertime. Take-out is available at both lunch and dinnertime.



Akabanebashi
Minato-ku, Higashi-Azabu 2-4-7.
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Explore the hidden side of Tokyo dining
Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended