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Tenzushi: The Sushi God of the South

February 14, 2018

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We’ve been working on this video for a goooood long while, and finally we’re ready to share with you our video on Isao Amano: Tenzushi – The Sushi God of the South.

Right from the get go you’ll notice a very different vibe in this video compared to our Sushi Saito video. This has more of a hip hop feel, and I hope you’re getting Samurai Champloo vibes because that was a big inspiration for this edit. Why did we go this route, though, rather than something solemn and reflective? We think it fits, because Tenzushi is very, very different than a traditional Edo style sushi. It’s very untraditional and bucks the norm. You won’t find the traditionally used sauce spread on every piece here. Instead, he uses a citrus called Kabosu, which is just wild. And instead of serving ginger as a palette cleanser, he uses cucumber and salt. He doesn’t serve sake, only green tea, which actually changes to match the progression of the meal.

Instead of starting off his omakase (which means the course of sushi he serves, rather than a-la carte pick and choose sushi menu) with some smaller bites like many places, he just comes right out with the tuna. Instead of stripping down sushi to its essence like you see with traditional sushi style places, Amano-san creates amazing flavour profiles that feel like you’re getting punched in the mouth with love. One bite of sushi has flavours that change and grow as you chew it and as you discover the tiny dash of grated ginger he placed under the fish. The small nutty crunch of a well placed toasted sesame seed suddenly appears on your tongue as you continue to chew. It’s very against the grain, very surprising in what it does and what it brings to the sushi world and so we thought this musical vibe in the edit would suit it more.

Some people don’t seem to believe us when we say that places like Saito or Tenzushi are so highly respected in the chef and sushi world. From another perspective, our friend Jun (from Rachel and Jun) is a big foodie. Jun cooks on his Jun’s Kitchen channel and he reads lots of books about cooking and sushi. When I told him we’re going to Tenzushi for a shoot (maaaany months ago), he was shocked, because Amano-san is at the very front of one of his books on sushi. Tenzushi’s sushi is very respected in Japan, and is often at the top of the Tabelog Lists for sushi which is the local Japanese food ranking website. What we’re trying to explain is that this isn’t just our personal opinion, this is also the opinion of many Japanese people who have experienced his sushi.

It’s an amazing experience, and we’re honoured that he let us shoot with him. We’ve been twice and just lost our minds both times. Unfortunately, Amano-san is taking a break from making sushi at the moment until Spring 2018. We hope all is well and that he’ll be able to keep making quite possibly the most amazingly unique sushi on the planet.

If you’d like to go, please ask your hotel concierge to make a reservation for you as there is no other way to get a seat. Be warned, it’ll take some months in advance planning to get a seat, but you will be delighted.

Here are some more pictures if you feel like seeing amazing sushi. Holy guacamole.

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Tenzushi: The Sushi God of the South

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  1. So smart to have Dan do the macro shots, it was probably a very drooly job- LOL! Dan, you need to move the cucumbers from time to time…..;) Hmmm, how to say this. I think that this video was a great mix of several of your styles: the high-quality aesthetic shots and interview, the lovely food closeups with text (like the Rome video), the Simon and Martina banter and food eating experience, the personal touch of the chef outside the restaurant and cool segueys and intermixes in between. The music was nicely chosen, I like it when you hiphop vibe it and the chill funk vibe in the eating and chef shots was so energizing was well. I think you guys went above and beyond to describe the tastes/textures of the food this time around, so thank you, it made my vicarious experience that much more mouth-watering and jealousy-inducing ;). The subtitles were much better this time, smaller, lighter bar, with smudged edges and keeping them in the same location and size each frame helped them fade from overtaking the shots. On the other hand, I find this style of sushi very exciting. I hadn’t heard of it until now, but it’s nice to see someone evolving the art. Sure, minimalism has its appeal, but it can be monotonous if eaten often. This chef seems like he likes adventure too and his meals bring you with him on a journey of deliciousness, it can’t get more awesome than that. Having a sweet at the end of the meal is a smart move, with actual science behind it (the sweet adds to your feeling of satisfaction and happiness) and that egg is more of a match for sushi than anything else (cake or ice cream would seem weird). I don’t know if the sweet tamago at the end is a Kyushu thing or not, but it really reminded me of the manga “Mixed Vegetables”. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend it (Girl with patisserie family that just wants to make sushi meets boy from sushi family that just wants to make cakes – fun times!). I had to go back and see if this was the same as your previous sushi experience (Sushisho masa) because your experience seemed similar but I see now that it’s not the same and just how far your camera workz and editing have come :). Have your attitudes towards sushi changed since back then? That might be something interesting to so a TL;DR about since you have lots of experience with sushi by now.

    10 months ago
  2. I loooooved the vibe of the video guys!!! Its amazing!!! My mouth is not stopping from watering…. I want to try all the amazing sushi you have had, soo jealous!!! Anyway amazed by your video like always, just one question! What song is that at the beginning??? It has an amazing vibe, i just wanna listen to it all day!

    10 months ago
  3. Amano-san looks like a Sushi Wizard. You have really conveyed his love for his craft and his town in the city which I think is really amazing and sweet. Hopefully one day I can make my way down to Tenzushi – and hopefully Amano-san is well and making sushi again.

    Ps. Poor Dan in the back doing all those macro shots.

    10 months ago
  4. Such a beautifully crafted video! I love what you guys did at the beginning of the video especially. I’m glad that you guys enjoyed the sushi so much and that you guys are open to trying different styles of sushi. Makes me want to go to Japan and try different styles as well :) Amano-san has such a great mindset about his cooking and creativity! When did you guys go to eat at Tenzushi? I noticed that Simon’s hair wasn’t shaved in the video, haha!

    10 months ago