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Japanese unusual food

I will be going to Tokyo in March 2007 (12 to 16 March) to attend Hoteres and Foodex Exhibition. In between I will have time to have good meals...I would like to know if anyone in Tokyo area willing to show me where I can have unusual meals. Example....I tried baby conger eel on a kaiten sushi restaurant. I want to try live sashimi, grilled Ayu, fresh Akagai, Kuruma Ebi and Otoro. Also Fugu sashimi. Anyone free to join me? Pls. email to ausmikelim@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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  1. I went to Japan for vacation 2 months ago, and I had some unusual food in Ikebukuro. I had pork meat, pork heart, pork tongue and pork liver...(all sashimi)

    3 Replies
    1. re: capriana94555

      GREAT !! Thank for this infor. I am keen to try this ...and I must agree it's unusual...I suppose you don't have the address or telephone no.?. If not, I hv to research base on the front door signage.

      1. re: Mwee

        It's a chain restaurant of yaki-niku and hormone-yaki called "Nihonbashi Beniton". This one's the Ikebukuro East exit shop. Some nice reviews- http://www.toshimaku-town.com/review/... . Seems the liver sashimi gets a lot of high marks. Here's the map- http://www.toshimaku-town.com/map/ts0... .

        1. re: Silverjay

          Thanks for this...I will make every effort to go and try this.

    2. Go to one of the small sushi bars in the Tsukiji fish market (generally an early morning visit, since that's when the fish market is active). They serve a wide variety of ultra-fresh seafoods you will not necessarily see elsewhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AtetotheBar

        Yes...I've tried this...especially good is the Tempura. Sometimes, I just buy the sashimi and bring to my hotel room to enjoy with a beer!. Thanks for infor.

      2. oh, I forgot to mention that I also had horse meat meal in Shinjuku.
        taste great as well....
        good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: capriana94555

          Yep...I've tried a sample of this at last year's Foodex show at Makuhari and it was really good. The horses are bred specifically for this purpose so, they are not your normal farm or race horses. I've not tried it at a restaurant yet. Hope I could find time and someone to come along for this.

          Thanks for this and I'll check the link.

        2. You can have horse meat in almost any izakaya in Tokyo. Even the chains like Kachikachi-yama and Watami serve it. Hormone and raw pork liver can be had in just about any yaki-niku/Korean BBQ joint. Whale can be had in the right season in many izakaya.

          If you have a JP guide (or speak and read Japanese), try the sake joints around Asakusa. Have your guide order sake and the traditional sake snack foods.

          It might be a little early in the season, but there's a restaurant in Ginza called Sakura that serves, yep, a great sakura-based menu.

          Definitely eat under the tracks in Yurakucho, there are a lot of great places there that serve grilled meats and other snacks and you can drink with the businessmen. Eat fruit on the street in Ameyokucho in Ueno.

          Decent sashimi can be had around Tsukiji. The earlier the better. Drink all night in Roppongi before you head to sashimi breakfast there. The markets are closed to single tourists now, but I think you can still take part with a tour group.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tokyorosa

            Speaking of Asakusa, you could try dojo (Japanese or Oriental weatherfish) there. There are a dozen restaurants there that serve dojo. I tried it once, but it's bony and I didn't like it.

            Have you ever tried Shirako (milt)? It's served at Izakaya-type of places, but only in the winter. I once found it at a sushi place in SoCal (which closed a couple of years ago). Obviously, it's available in NYC.

            1. re: kuidaore

              Thanks for this information...I leave for Japan in 5 hours time, so, reading this is just timely. I think I would like to try the Dojo..sounds interesting. No I have not tried Shirako...not sure if its easily available.

              Best Regards.

          2. Thank you Tokyorosa,

            Sorry for late reply...I was away travelling and just got back. Will be off again tomorrow, then back wed. and then off thursday again to Singapore, then Japan.
            I will try as much of these unusual stuff as I can.
            Thanks for the infor.

            1. If I go to Japan, I'd try to find a place that serves whale meat. It may cost a bit $$

              6 Replies
              1. re: Scotty

                Actually it wasn't that expensive. Granted, I only had a bit of whale sashimi in an izakaya, but it was no more expensive than any other dish.

                1. re: Scotty

                  Whale meat was apparently the staple of school lunches in Japan for a while. Maybe that was in certain regions of Japan, but I know people who feel they suffered through these school lunches with their whale meat and wouldn't care to taste it again. It's not such a rarity or that weird, or even expensive. From my experiences with whale meat in nabemono in a ryokan, and an yakitori/izakaya, the meat can be pretty chewy and gamey with a real liver-y quality.

                  1. re: E Eto

                    Whale meat used to be commonly sold for 100yen/100g at ichiba when I was a kid (30+ years ago) before it disappeared from the market. My favorite was tempura and sauteed with tonkatsu sauce (home cooked). I loved it and miss it. It probably was the staple of school lunches before my generation (those in their 50's now?)

                    1. re: kuidaore

                      The ones I know who suffered through those lunches are in their late 20s and early 30s.

                    2. re: E Eto

                      Whale bacon is readily available at supermarkets and on izakaya menus. Sashimi is not too uncommon. I used enjoy getting whale burgers at a local store. I did this pretty much on a weekly basis for a while. They were good. I've also had good "kara age". Some places would offer it very discreetly, in which cases I assumed it was caught under dubious circumstances. The bacon, I could do without, but the other dishes I enjoyed a lot. I general, I have found the consistency somewhere between beef and swordfish, no fishy taste, and a flavor not unlike beef. I'm assuming that there is a variety of types and cuts that give us these opposing impressions.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        My mother remembers eating whale when she was child, and I'd always been interested in trying it. There's a whale shop in Asakusa, in the arcade near Sensoji, that I finally got around to visiting this past December (it's supposedly run by the government -- gotta do something with the spoils of "research"!). There's various packaged whale products for sale in the front (bacon, jerky, canned, etc.), and a restaurant in the back. The menu had several different preparations, and since I was there at lunch time, they had more casual dishes available, like kujira katsu or curry, both of which sounded interesting. However, I figured that either of those preparations could potentially mask the flavor of the whale, which was what I wanted to experience, so I went with a simple donburi preparation (a couple of friends had tried whale sashimi, and nobody seemed too crazy about it, so I wanted something cooked).

                        The whale was thinly sliced and grilled. Whatever cut it was sliced from was very lean. Texture-wise, I would say it was close to minute steak; taste-wise I would agree with the beef comparison. It didn't have a fishy aftertaste, but there was a dimension to the flavor that I would link with the sea ... I did enjoy it, and I now know that it would stand up quite nicely to a katsu or curry preparation. Next time, I think I'll try the katsu.

                        They served a clear soup with the donburi, which I assume used some sort of whale broth. I have to say, I wasn't crazy for the soup. It looked innocuous, but had a very strong, gamey taste. There was a white, fatty-looking blob of meat at the bottom of the bowl, which was tough and tasted like the broth. I thought it might be a small piece of blubber, but since I'd never had it before, I can't be sure.