Lileo is known for it’s honest reviews.
When we find something that is unpleasant, we go ahead and state our opinions.
This incident did not happen on official Lileo business. In fact, most of Lileo’s visits are unsponsored, we go unannounced. This one in particular was just me going on a casual sushi dinner with my bestie. ***We do not have photos of this restaurant, and the featured image has nothing to do with this restaurant!! But I am confident this article is interesting, even without photos!!
The sushi restaurant is located in Nishi Azabu, a well known area in Tokyo for adults to hang out at night (lot’s of classy bars and restaurants). We made a last minute reservation the day before, as none of our top choices were open. Sadly, there was a reason why there was an opening.
At first, there was nothing wrong with the restaurant
The restaurant welcomed us politely, when I noticed two young (early 20’s) girls fixing their make up on the sushi counter.
What a weird scene… At a edo-mae (traditional) sushi restaurant, where courses are from 150 USD and above, it is always a silent, relaxing atmosphere. People enjoy conversations quietly, enjoy the top class seafood the restaurant has to offer.
Applying makeup is not even an option…
“So, I guess this is not a classy restaurant..” I said to my friend.
But we ignored it as it wasn’t causing us any trouble.
Lights, Camera, Action!
The two girls then started busting out their mini lights to take photos, videos, and stories for Instagram. Laughing, taking each other’s pics, being a bit loud.
Moving around like little children, they placed their meals in front of their faces, tilting, making their “usual duck faces”.
At the same time, we had a lot to discuss. We thought they were being just “young” and ignored it.
The staff at the restaurant didn’t seem to care, so we did not. Then, we noticed that the staff was being overly accommodating to the girls.
The staff allowed them to take anything from the bar, have seconds of whatever they wanted to eat, encouraging them to eat as much good food they can eat.
And then my friend and I realized that they were there to promote the restaurant on Instagram. This happens everywhere, and we were just hearing them talk so loud where the whole restaurant could hear both the girls and the staff.
I did feel a bit bad for the guys sitting next to us, who were ordering expensive Japanese Sake, enjoying their meals but hearing the staff offer free drinks to the girls.
By no means the staff was unfriendly to the other customers, so we ignored it. Again.
Foreigners are not welcome?
Guys, this is where it gets more uncomfortable.
A group of foreign customers entered the restaurant. The restaurant staff welcomed them. After a while, one staff started to get a little irritated by the foreigners because they asked for “shichimi” (red pepper flakes) for their meal. Knowing that they can’t speak Japanese, he said “Nobody puts that shit on sushi. They’re crazy” In Japanese, in a very nasty tone.
My friend and I are native English speakers. We prefer to speak English. But we are both raised in Japan, so our Japanese is also “native”. We were talking mostly in English, but we ordered our drinks in perfect Japanese. The guy had to know we and the other customers including the instagrammers could hear what he just said.
Not much later, the same staff walked out of the foreign customer’s room and told all the staff that the lady in the room has too much lipstick on and is ruining all the glasses. WTF???
First of all, lipstick comes off with dish soap.
Second of all, the girls next to us are “applying” makeup on the sushi counter.
Third, do you have to talk crap about other customers in front of other customers?? Really???
But again, it was not really our business. We went on with our conversations.
Then, it became OUR BUSINESS
My friend and I got so full from the course meal. We wanted a cigarette break. We asked if there were any smoking areas and the staff (not the racist one) and told us we’d have to go downstairs.
We took our jackets and as we reached for our bags, the staff (racist one) told the other staff that we should pay first because we may run off…. OMG
He said that to the other staff as if he was whispering. God, he was loud! lol
Of course, I did not ignore this. I told him that I can hear every word you just said and we are not going to run off. We booked using an app that requires our name and phone number, and you can track us down because you know our faces. And thanks for accusing us of doing something so low. With absolutely no apologies, we just walked out for a cigarette and came back as if nothing happened (yes, we took the high road).
What happened after that?
Well, we just finished off our meal, chatted minding our own business, had a great conversation with the staff who was NOT racist nor accusing us of being potential criminals.
The “instagrammers” were still getting their worship especially from the racist staff.
What I want to tell by this experience is that restaurants that prioritize imstagrammers, influencers, and even celebrities are fine.
Being there as “just a customer”, my friend and I had no problem with that.
But a classy, legitimate restaurant would not do that and make it so obvious that influencers are getting the “special treatment”. Not cool.
Restaurants that are legitimate do not talk crap about customers in front of other customers. Period.
Restaurants that are legitimate do not accuse customers who are willing to pay $200 a course to walk out without paying in front of their face. Worse, trying to say that to a colleague thinking that we can’t hear, and get heard. Dumbass. Sorry, not sorry.
Lastly, sushi was not good I have had much better sushi for less, with impeccable hospitality.
For example, the best sushi restaurants that I have been to are
- Sushi Saito (Roppongi)
- Sushi Tomita (Aoyama)
- Hinokizaka (Ritz Tokyo)
- Sushi Asano (Hiroo)
Go to any of the above, and you will get top class sushi with top class service.
I am not just saying that the sushi was bad because the service was bad. Honestly, I have had amazing food with not so good service. But I state the truth.
A little advice to the restaurant:
If you are offering special treatment to influencers to promote your store, do not make it so obvious to the rest of the customers. Luckily, I review restaurants for a living, but you did not know that. This showed me a lot without any explanation. Some people who review do not go for the free food and special treatment. We go unannounced, because this is what we like to see.
On top of that, thank you for accusing us that we may run out of the restaurant without paying. This also shows how you view your customers. And you should stop talking crap about the group of foreigners coming into Japan to enjoy real Japanese sushi and hospitality. I feel very bad for them that they did not get the real experience. I will give them MY list of sushi restaurants so that they can go next time.
Name : Sushi Mizuki
Budget (How much we spent) : ¥20,000 per person
Phone # : 03-6434-7918
Website : No official website in English
Closest Station: Will not list because you probably will not go after reading this post..
4:00PMM～12:00 AM（Last Order 11:00 PM）
Closed on: Open all year round
Diaper Changing Space: None
Nursing Rooms: None (Can use the private room)
Stroller Friendly?: 0/5
Baby Friendly?: 0/5
Toddler Friendly?: 0/5
Child Friendly? : 0/5
Family Friendly? : 0/5
People Friendly?: 0/5 (Sorry, I had to add this!)
Foreign Language Assistance?: Not much, and very racist.
Smoking : Non Smoking (If you smoke outside, make sure you tell them you are not running off without paying!)
Kids Menu : None