This show is more than just an old man making sushi. If you assume so, you would be missing some of the greatest lessons imparted by a wise man that has dedicated his entire life to honing his craft.
There are so many quotable quotes in there. The documentary moves along swiftly, touching base on Jiro’s background and what keeps him coming back, day in day out, to his little 3-Michelin-star place that sits 10. He never considers it work, he said, he’s doing something he loves. I can imagine from the tough beginnings he’s had, it’s a humbling journey to building an global audience that many have recognised as the best sushi place in the world. Money is not what he’s after. Fame is never in his mind. All he want, really, is to improve on his skills.
The smallest attention to detail never escapes him. From the angle of the cutleries, to the thoughtful placement of food for left-handers, it really is a testament to the meticulous sense of perfection. He makes sushi slightly smaller for females so they would enjoy the meal at the same speed as their male counterparts. He agonises over the placement of the mats at the countertop. He memories the reservation list and how they should be seated.
The late Robert Ebert said “this documentary is about a man whose relationship with sushi wavers between love and madness”…“This is a portrait of tunnel vision. Jiro exists to make sushi. Sushi exists to be made by Jiro.”
The master may not be around forever, and his committed and competent son will one day inherit the place. But as with all things, there will inevitably be comparisons. These are unfair judgements but it will take a lot to fill Jiro’s shoes.
Though I’m never a fan of sashimi, I really wanted to make a reservation right away. Undeterred by the premium pricing, my partner and myself felt that it’s once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. It’s the kind of meal that will hopefully, stay with us for a long time. We habour the hope that Jiro will be there, observing us with his watchful eyes.