I enjoy travelling through Haneda Airport. It has the right size and atmosphere to not get lost in but enough size and atmosphere to feel like you are somewhere.
One of the somewhere's that I had been looking forward to finding myself at was Ariso Sushi, the only counter sushi bar in Haneda Airport.
I didn't have much time though to be there due to my impending flight but with some leftover yen in my pocket I stepped in to what was a busy but elegantly appearing sushi bar.
I went quickly went over the menu and chose golden eye snapper (kinmedai), flounder (engawa), red meat tuna ( akami maguro) and mantis shrimp (shako). To my misfortune they were out of black throat seaperch (nodoguro), a sushi topping that I had so far been unable to try this trip.
Now, given what I had heard about Ariso Sushi, I was expecting something to justify the prices being charged. However, the first plate served to me, the golden eye snapper, looked dry and, well, dead. There was some of the flavour that the topping is known for but not enough to leave me satisfied.
The next plate was the flounder, one of my go to sushi toppings. A noticeable oil content combined with a delicate crunch and the flounder is a decently popular piece of sushi. Ariso Sushi's had some oil and some crunch but again, there was that feeling of lifelessness. Acceptable for 100-yen sushi bars but not when you are paying four times the price...
Next was the red meat tuna. This piece was not so bad but with the deadpan flavour and textures of the previous two pieces, perhaps it was me merely being desperate to enjoy what I was paying for.
Finally, the mantis shrimp. Of all the plates that I ordered, this one was by far the best. There was a noticeable crunch that I associate with this sushi and while it was not the best mantis shrimp that I have had, it certainly wasn't the worst.
It would be fair to say that I was disappointed with the sushi at Ariso Sushi. I had expected something commensurate with the stylish atmosphere, the elegant surroundings and the brand name pricing.
What I got, instead, was an empty wallet. Ouch.