I lined up for close to an hour for sushi at Tsukiji, and as soon as I put the first piece in my mouth, it all made sense. At Umegaoka I lined up for some serious amount of time and when I took the first bite, I felt cheated.
I got the “ninki number 1” lunch set (most popular one, 2100 yen), which consisted of ten pieces plus a hand roll. Some of the pieces screamed luxury, such as the shrimp tail with caviar or the crab leg. But, I found the seafood to be of average quality.
What you get at Umegaoka is the following: Decent sushi in larger-than-normal portions (for a cheap place) at a reasonable price.
If the lineup is manageable or you have nothing else to do, this is not a bad place. But don’t the let wait raise your hopes too much, or else you’ll end up disappointed.
I first visited Midori last Sunday around 3:30pm and the whole bench outside was full. The line moved remarkably fast however, and my party of two was inside and ordering within about 20 minutes or less.
The sushi was really quite good for the price. I highly recommend Midori.
The English menu however is severely lacking compared to the Japanese. Being able to read hiragana/katakana is a definite bonus if you want anything other than the norm. Aburi-engawa, etc...
On a Friday morning, we arrived at this Mark City restaurant at 11am. However, it wasn't early enough, despite the 11:30am open. An already cultist queue had quickly formed outside on the bench, with mostly the elderly, retirees, housewives, office lady-types, and romantic couples. We estimate the queue was approximately 15yards or 45 feet, and luckily got the last 2 seats on the bench. Fear not, because once inside the restaurant, there was actually more seating capacity even having seated the first "wave".
The sushi here is made fresh to order. I was astonished because every restaurant in Tokyo knows that the sooner they prepare the food in their "factory", the faster people eat and leave. In the investment world, this is called turnover (the more times, the better efficiency the restaurant operates at). Clearly, this restaurant loves to have the "disco line" outside because it attracts other train station traffic to take notice of this well-regarded sushi landmark.
We watched to our delight the sushi chef preparing our Omakase lunch (2,100yen). Generous portions are the norm - several pieces of sushi fish were stretched 3-4x the size of the rice below. Each morsel was orgasmic. Very little discussion occurred. Just some quick eye contact and an occasional nod was the only positive feedback necessary.
Conclusion: Sushi Midori attracts the mass crowd at an ideal price point. Be prepared to be patient for mid-high end quality sushi because the queue never dies outside.