The story is woven in a dreamlike fashion with close-up shots of freshly made fish, shots inside the kitchen and the infamous fish market. The simple, small restaurant – as modest as Jiro himself – has been awarded 3 Michelin stars, despite offering only 8 seats and an outside toilet.
…no starters, no desserts. Just sushi, starting at 30,000 yen!
Jiro’s adherence to repetition, even in his daily life outside the restaurant (which is minimal), contributes to a somewhat less absorbing character study. We see the preparation methods and the philosophy behind Jiro’s methods: valuing the purity of simplicity in technique and presentation. One customer comes in asking if he can book a table, only to discover there are no starters, no desserts. Just sushi, starting at 30,000 yen! The camera lingers over the many hours of preparation of an assiduously crafted 20 piece menu, that only takes seconds to eat.
Anthony Bourdain vividly describes the best sushi experience he has ever had at Sukiyabashi Jiro in his book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Jiro’s eldest son, now aged 60, will inherit the restaurant when Jiro passes on – but the spirit of the sushi master will surely watch over this modest little kitchen.