With only ten seats and located in a nook in a Tokyo subway station, Sukiyabashi Jiro doesn't look like much to the untrained eye. But, as David Gelb's documentary reveals, this restaurant is home to perhaps the world's greatest sushi chef.
"I'd wake up in the middle of the night... with grand visions of sushi!” The title’s no joke. Poked away in a Tokyo mall, Jiro Ono’s sushi restaurant has ten seats, three Michelin stars and charges $300 for a 15-minute meal — where Ono eyeballs his diners with such unrelaxing vigilance he even makes food critics quake. David Gelb’s graceful documentary marinates you in his scrupulous world, capturing not only the process but Ono’s regulated mania for impossible perfection. Engaging and trancey, it’s one of the most incisive gastro-docs in recent memory. Viewer caution: contains mild scenes of octopus massage.
Treating his seafood substantially better than Oldboy, Jiro is a miracle of perfectionism married to expertise. The same can said for Gelb's loving documentary.
Reviewed by Simon Crook