Sankame at Ginza Tokyo has been established since 1946 and has a following among famous authors and politicians. It serves Kansai-styled Japanese food using the catch of the day, so the menu changes regularly. Lunch set menus are about ¥2K and dinner at ¥10K-15K. In 2009, it received a Michelin star, but when I search the recent Michelin Guide Tokyo, it is no longer there.
I vividly remember my first visit to Sankame at Ginza Tokyo in 2012. They open at noon and we peeked in at 11.50am. They were having their lunch, sitting around a table, chatting, laughing like a family. They spotted us and asked us in. We said we would wait until noon, but no, they would have nothing of that. They insisted we come in.
We proceeded to have the most homely meal, enjoying the best of Japanese hospitality. It was magical. The tuna sashimi was pristine, and the fried salmon, doused in soya sauce, was soft and fresh. How did they ever keep the surface of the salmon so crispy in sauce?
Recently, when I returned to Tokyo, I told Mr Fitness he must try Sankame. This time, we went in at an appropriate time, 1.30pm.
The English menu states that there are 3 bento sets for lunch: ¥1350 (1 dish), ¥2000 (2 dishes), and ¥2650 (3 dishes). Rice can be refilled. Everyone should just order all 3 dishes. But we had been eating so much, and we were stuffed ALL THE TIME. The feeling was terrible. #FirstWorldProblems. So we wanted to order 2 dishes each. Unfortunately, communication was difficult and the orders were mixed up although the server was very polite and patient.
The food is also not as good as I remember. The sashimi is tasteless, probably not aged enough. The pan-fried mackerel, covered in a thick salty brown gravy, is ok but there is no WOW factor like the salmon I had on my first visit.
It isn’t as good as my first visit but it is by all means still a good experience. The meal, service, and decor feel very homely, and I enjoy the feeling.
KN Building 1F, 6-4-13 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
M-F 12pm-2pm, 5pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-2pm, 5pm-9pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.