HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
What's your latest food quest?
TELL US

Ebisuya Japanese Market in Medford

r
robertlf Aug 16, 2009 02:43 PM

Stopped by the "Kotobukiya" replacement store today in Medford. They are FAR from open. They have a few shelves in the store and it looks like months of work to me before they can open. The good news though is that the space is really large. There is on-street parking as well as a parking garage.

Ebisuya
65 Riverside Ave.
Medford, MA

  1. opinionatedchef Aug 16, 2009 10:43 PM

    th so much for the report.

    1. c
      Chobi Aug 18, 2009 11:36 AM

      Please keep us posted on the progress made and perhaps the opening day!

      1. a
        Afar Sep 11, 2009 11:45 AM

        Once open, a square foot by square foot description (or perhaps aisle by aisle) would be appreciated. Many thanks!

        1. r
          robertlf Oct 7, 2009 07:09 PM

          Construction seems to be at a standstill at Ebisuya. That's a shame because the space is rather large. Perhaps the new yet smaller market in Brookline Village may have thrown them off course but I really don't know the story. See attached photos.

           
           
           
          5 Replies
          1. re: robertlf
            galleygirl Oct 8, 2009 08:47 AM

            Why, are they owned by the same people?

            1. re: galleygirl
              r
              robertlf Oct 8, 2009 06:56 PM

              No. Different owners but between a bad economy, competition from HMart and another smaller but decent Japanese market, it must be hard to raise capital and thrive. Again, I don't know the facts, just speculation.

              1. re: robertlf
                galleygirl Oct 8, 2009 07:06 PM

                I kind of think they're far enough apart that there are different markets....

                1. re: galleygirl
                  r
                  robertlf Oct 9, 2009 10:13 PM

                  Perhaps but I think it's more of different location but same target market. Remember that Brookline used to have a Japanese market near the VW dealer on Rt 9. That went under. Yoshinoya went under. If it weren't for Lesley College's president and Kotobukiya's owner's desire to retire, Kotobukiya was doing well. I don't think the current market climate can support it but will keep hoping....

            2. re: robertlf
              c
              chowmouse Oct 14, 2009 10:17 PM

              Looking at those pics (thanks for uploading those btw!), it looks the exact same as when I passed by about 2months ago. At this point, I can only speculate that they've had second thoughts. This Ebisuya idea... I just didn't see it working. Downtown Medford is far from any T-stop, and far from where most Japanese people live. The nearest college (Tufts) is at least a mile away. Plus there's Reliable nearby and H-Mart two towns over.

              I really don't see any exclusively Japanese store being viable in Boston unless it's strategically placed near other related things. Kotobukiya was a success because the Japanese businesses in Porter Exchange fed off each other and it anchored a great little Japanese center in a location that was T-accessible and student-filled. So I still think the best option would be if someone decided to lease a smaller space within Porter Exchange and opened a smaller Japanese store.

            3. a
              Afar Oct 17, 2009 02:39 PM

              Mouse makes good points. Girl seems to hit the nail. I don't know about HMart, so can you give a brief description robert? The Porter Sq. operation made little from students. The shoppers that made Kotobukiya succeed came from all around. For instance, we made the trip from Cape Cod every two months to stock up. Yoshinoya was just down the street, so to speak. It cost less and did draw the Japanese student and local Cambridge community. And both thrived. We always shopped at both although the employee smoking at Y was a turn-off for us. Reliable has an insufficient inventory of Japanese foods to please. We really miss the bukiya and hope financial problems have not ended the Ebisuya effort. Robert, the photo update is much appreciated. Ebisuya is a long way from the Cape but open and we'll go!

              1. a
                Afar Nov 24, 2009 11:10 AM

                A phone number is now listed for Ebisuya Market: 781.391.0012. You will get a recording saying the Ebisuya will open "sometime in December". Presumably that means the end of the month. I hope the inventories are as much or more than the Kotobukiya Market. Friends were visiting the old Cambridge location and reported the bookstore is open and all the remaining, mostly Japanese establishments, continue doing a brisk business.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Afar
                  Aromatherapy Nov 25, 2009 04:20 AM

                  Fellow building businesses have reported active and noisy construction lately.

                  1. re: Afar
                    steinpilz Nov 25, 2009 01:26 PM

                    Good news! I went to the Japanese Village Market in Brookline Village last weekend, had to get my kimchi, it still doesn't have a great fish or vegetable selection - sigh, but it is convenient..

                    1. re: steinpilz
                      c
                      chowmouse Nov 25, 2009 08:26 PM

                      Yeah I'm a little disappointed with Japan Village Mart. I mean I'm glad it's there, but to be honest I haven't felt the need to go there in the last couple months. For me, that store doesn't add much to Boston's Japanese grocery scene. Both Reliable and Kan Man are much cheaper and have almost as much variety of Japanese goods. Of course there're certain things you may not find at Reliable or Kan Man, but Cherry Mart is just as likely to have stuff like that as is Japan Village Mart. And Village Mart is about the same price on the whole as Cherry Mart. For prepared Japanese food, they don't offer a whole lot and sushis are better at (dare I say) Whole Foods anyways. For produce and fish, H-Mart or even Reliable are much better options. If you live in Brookline or Longwood area, the Village Mart is probably an asset. Otherwise, I don't find it being all that useful. And we buy tons of Japanese food all the time. I'm just really looking forward to seeing how Ebisuya turns out.

                      1. re: chowmouse
                        a
                        Afar Nov 29, 2009 05:42 PM

                        Yes cmouse, if I got you right, I agree. Since the closing of Yoshinoya & Kotobukiya in Cambridge those that NEED a significant presentation of Japanese grocery products are out of luck. We will drive from Cape Cod to Ebisuya soon. Reliable and KanMan are great but lack depth in the Japan foods area. Fingers crossed.

                        1. re: Afar
                          p
                          pemma Nov 30, 2009 04:59 AM

                          Chatter on the Medford list-serve indicated that Ebisuya was held up by some permitting issues, but those have been resolved and work has started again.

                  2. g
                    grant.cook Nov 30, 2009 06:01 AM

                    I got the benefit in the past few months of hitting Mitsuwa markets in NJ and in the Bay Area (and hittig the NJ one right as they were marking down that day's prepared sushi to sell - yes!), as well as walking around the Japan Towns in SF and San Jose... and all I can say is we need more of that here..

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: grant.cook
                      c
                      chowmouse Nov 30, 2009 03:56 PM

                      Yeah that'd be really nice. I've been to every single Mitsuwa location except the ones in Chicago and San Gabriel Valley. In my opinion, the New Jersey location is the best (and busiest and priciest).
                      I've heard various times that large Japanese supermarkets like Marukai and Mitsuwa are only sustenable in markets with large Japanese corporate presence. But I still wonder if that's only true to some extent only. At Mitsuwa in NJ, for instance, less than half of the shoppers are Japanese as far as I can remember from all my visits there. I think that a semi-large Japanese store like a Nijiya could succeed in Boston if they locate themselves well. Hopefully this new Ebisuya will succeed, although I wonder about the Medford Square location.

                      1. re: chowmouse
                        r
                        robertlf Nov 30, 2009 08:12 PM

                        I've only been to the Mitsuwa NJ location. Over the past year, the economy has had an impact on that market. They no longer carry Kobe beef - the real stuff - pink and marbled. Instead, they carry American Kobe beef called Wagyushu. Tis not the same. I think a Mitsuwa is sustainable as H-Mart. I would love to see them open here. I also wonder about the Medford location for Ebisuya. The Japanese library and school in Medford will provide them some steady business so it may work. However, Kotobukiya had that plus a string of restaurants/shops all near a MBTA and parking.

                        1. re: robertlf
                          a
                          Afar Dec 2, 2009 05:19 PM

                          We were at Mitsuwa on opening day in Arlington Heights, Illinois (note it was originally another name that escapes me and Mitsuwa took over). We made the one hour drive one way every three week for the better part of a quarter century. I doubt this market could survive without ethnic Japanese support. So, as pointed out above, lets hope the Medford Square location does have the necessary demographics to make it work. Bless all of you Hounds for keeping the information current on Ebisuya Market.

                          1. re: Afar
                            c
                            chowmouse Dec 2, 2009 08:56 PM

                            Was it called Yaohan? Some of the present Mitsuwa's in LA used to be called Yaohan (before Yaohan went out of business).
                            The Japanese store I really love is the Daido in White Plains, NY. The place is always crowded (most shoppers there are Japanese), but always fully stocked. It's not a big store at all, but they manage to cram in a little choux-cream section, a bakery section, and a sushi corner.
                            Well, I'll definitely have to support Ebisuya although it's pretty out of the way... as long the price is good and the selection is decent. Btw, I thought the Japanese school was only on Saturday mornings.

                            1. re: chowmouse
                              a
                              Afar Dec 3, 2009 07:02 AM

                              Score one for cmouse! Ah, good memory, ya Yaohan is it. An hour after getting into bed last night I jumped up and scribbled Yohan on a piece of paper. First thing this a.m. my stronger half says: "you spelled it wrong". In Arlington Heights, IL it was a seamless transition to Mitsuwa. Product selection is critical to Japanese - a particular brand of rice, fish salted to an exact taste, thick European style breads and rolls, fresh fruits & veggies that never age in the store, and magazines, books and tapes are a bonus. We hate the idea of an all day event to get to Medford and back but we miss Kotobukiya enough that we'll work on ways to have fun on the day of the trip, hopefully soon.

                              1. re: Afar
                                r
                                robertlf Dec 12, 2009 06:07 PM

                                Have they opened yet? Any status??

                                1. re: robertlf
                                  b
                                  buffet king Dec 13, 2009 12:21 PM

                                  I drove by Ebisuya this morning and they are not open. The store is still under construction.

                                  1. re: buffet king
                                    g
                                    grant.cook Dec 13, 2009 05:36 PM

                                    Are the fixtures in place and they are dealing with the finishing, or is this place a long way away still?

                                    1. re: grant.cook
                                      a
                                      Afar Dec 14, 2009 08:20 AM

                                      grant, see my Nov. 24 post for phone number and you will get a recorded message with some information about the opening.

                                      1. re: grant.cook
                                        b
                                        buffet king Dec 14, 2009 09:14 AM

                                        I drove by again today. Some walls are still not finished. They are still under construction and it should take some time until they are ready to open.

                                2. re: chowmouse
                                  h
                                  hazelrah6 Dec 30, 2009 04:02 PM

                                  I grew up on the great food from the Nippon Daido in White Plains. I've been in Boston for the past 20 years and have lamented the lack of anything nearly as good. Yoshinoya was OK then closed. Kotobukiya was OK then closed. Where is a Nissei to get her FRESH mochi this New Year's?? Am tempted to drive to White Plains! Also, thinking of buying my own mochi machine...

                                  1. re: hazelrah6
                                    c
                                    chowmouse Dec 30, 2009 06:35 PM

                                    Yeah Daido is a gem. It's really the closest great Japanese store from Boston. You can drive down to WP, make the Daido-Nijiya-Parisienne round, and be back in Boston, all within 7hours. I've done that and it's worth the drive, although very tiring. When I'm at Daido, I really feel like I'm in Japan... in some ways, more so than when I'm at Mitsuwa.

                                    Anybody who's opening a new Japanese grocery store should visit Daido and emulate their model of success. They're always well-stocked and price their items competitively. They have a bakery, sushi stand and cream puff stand all in that small space. They have an area for Japanese community posting and provide free Japanese recipes and stuff. With everything they provide and the vibrant atmosphere they create, they've managed to turn themselves into somewhat of a destination market for Japanese and Japanophiles as far as central CT and Hudson Valley, and so they even provide free ice bags during the summer for folks coming from faraway. Mind you, it certainly helps that Westchester has a large Japanese population. I hope Ebisuya would turn into New England version of Daido.

                                    1. re: hazelrah6
                                      a
                                      Afar Dec 31, 2009 08:48 AM

                                      Ah hazelrah, mention your desires to your older Japanese friends and the Post Office will deliver your homemade mochi. My wife's friends always leave us well stocked at this time of year. Perhaps we are lucky about mochi. See this Chow link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/380928

                          2. a
                            Afar Dec 24, 2009 09:27 AM

                            I asked via email about Ebisuya opening day and got this reply: "We hope to open in January 2nd or 3rd." We plan to reduce their available nventories.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Afar
                              b
                              buffet king Dec 25, 2009 03:23 AM

                              I drove by Ebisuya yesterday afternoon. The walls are up and painted and it looks like they will be opening up soon.

                              1. re: Afar
                                steinpilz Dec 25, 2009 06:37 AM

                                Great news, I can't wait. It's been almost exactly a year now.

                              2. a
                                Afar Dec 27, 2009 03:26 PM

                                Received an email from Ebisuya just now that said the opening remains uncertain. Accordingly, the earlier notice that they might open January 2 or 3 is void. The message says construction continues. However, osechi, the food assortment popular as a gift at the new year or to enjoy at the new year, is being sold on their web site in three price levels: $35, $50 & $60 (photo's itemizing the items are shown). Osechi are prepared foods commonly packed in a lacquered box known as jubako. You may know this practice as osechi-ryori, the special foods to celebrate New Year's Day. Ebisuya can be emailed at evisuyamarket@gmail.com or via their web site: www.ebisuyamarket.com. Again, the phone # 781.391.8808. The wait for the opening continues.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Afar
                                  c
                                  chowmouse Dec 27, 2009 07:18 PM

                                  Thanks for the update, Afar! So they have a website already. Looks like they're advertising themselves as planning to deal with fish and meat (in addition to regular goods, sushi, household items, stationary, health/beauty items and some appliances). That's a good sign.

                                2. r
                                  robertlf Jan 2, 2010 01:36 PM

                                  Stopped by today (Jan 2nd). Looks like a few weeks or more before they open. See attached photos.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  17 Replies
                                  1. re: robertlf
                                    a
                                    azra Jan 2, 2010 05:33 PM

                                    Yes, and they are still projecting an opening some time in January.

                                    1. re: azra
                                      r
                                      robertlf Jan 4, 2010 06:12 PM

                                      It would have to be late January IMHO.

                                      1. re: robertlf
                                        m
                                        MedChow Jan 14, 2010 03:32 PM

                                        I just got an email from them saying they've finalized their open date!

                                        January 22, at 6pm!!

                                        1. re: MedChow
                                          a
                                          Afar Jan 14, 2010 05:27 PM

                                          Confirmed! That's a Friday night. Long range weather forecast is good.

                                          1. re: Afar
                                            k
                                            kenmedford Jan 19, 2010 08:31 AM

                                            Yes, the opening is this Friday, Jan. 22. Check out the store's new website here: http://ebisuyamarket.com/

                                            1. re: kenmedford
                                              p
                                              pemma Jan 19, 2010 09:08 AM

                                              Their web site mentions seafood. I'm hoping they have a good selection of fish. Medford really needs a good fish store since Moulton's has basically become much more of a restaurant than a fish market.

                                              1. re: pemma
                                                a
                                                another_adam Jan 19, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                I'm desparately hoping that they'll have the same kinds of fish cakes (goboten, etc.) that they used to sell in Kotobukiya! I don't know if they made them in-house or what- they were usually frozen when they were put out, but they were on styrofoam trays. Never seen the same kind (or quality) anywhere else in Boston. Would definitely find a way to get there by bus if I could stock up on fishcakes for the lunchbox :)

                                              2. re: kenmedford
                                                e
                                                elcaminogirl Jan 21, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                I see that the opening is Friday 6pm-8pm. Sounds like a party...

                                                1. re: elcaminogirl
                                                  a
                                                  Afar Jan 22, 2010 06:36 PM

                                                  Looking forward to reading comments and opinions now that they are open, especially how they contrast and compare with the old Kotobukiya. Thanks to all that keep us informed. Appreciate it.

                                            2. re: MedChow
                                              c
                                              Chobi Jan 23, 2010 05:07 AM

                                              Did anyone go to the opening? How was it???

                                              1. re: Chobi
                                                r
                                                robertlf Jan 23, 2010 06:49 AM

                                                I went but missed the actual opening because of traffic. I don't know if they had anything special or not. The market is large with a great selection -- better than Kotobukiya. I think they will do well afterall. The magazines are not in yet. They had fresh fish, sashimi, onigiri, etc... No sushi but they said they'll have that today.

                                                 
                                                1. re: robertlf
                                                  a
                                                  Afar Jan 23, 2010 09:44 AM

                                                  Thank you robert. We'll fill the van with local Japanese and make the all day trip next week, Trader Joe's coolers in tow. And, a million times over thank you for starting this board.

                                                  1. re: Afar
                                                    r
                                                    robertlf Jan 23, 2010 04:02 PM

                                                    Well that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me today! Thank you.

                                                  2. re: robertlf
                                                    yumyum Jan 23, 2010 04:15 PM

                                                    Ooooh, I'm so excited robertlf! Thanks for posting. I'll be having sashimi for lunch tomorrow.

                                                2. re: MedChow
                                                  a
                                                  ahipoke Jan 24, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                  Not sure if this link will work but Ebisuya posted interior photos!

                                                  http://picasaweb.google.com/ebisuyama...

                                                  1. re: ahipoke
                                                    a
                                                    another_adam Jan 24, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                    awesome! this directly confirms that they do have the same selection of oden that they used to carry at kotobukiya! the brookline village market was sorely lacking on this count...

                                                    1. re: another_adam
                                                      m
                                                      MedChow Jan 24, 2010 04:40 PM

                                                      I went to the opening but it was nothing special.
                                                      They're pretty much identical to Kotobukiya but the space is larger.
                                                      The store still looks like a work in progress but they definitely have the Japanese essentials! The prices on some items are much higher than H-mart, but since I live 5min away from Ebisuya I know I will frequent this store (much more than I probably should).

                                          2. c
                                            chowmouse Jan 24, 2010 04:42 PM

                                            Well we went and I do see a lot of potential for this place, although 1).too early to assess since the store isn't still operating at its full capacity; 2).little disappointed in the price.

                                            First, the store is much bigger than Japan Village Mart, maybe about twice as big. Maybe close to the size of Daido in White Plains. And there was a fair number of customers already, much more than I ever saw at Japan Village Mart. There's a fish section, which still hasn't yet opened. But there was that same pony-tailed guy who manned the fish section at Kotobukiya, setting up things. There's still a lot of unused space. But they already did have a pretty good selection of snacks and condiments and toiletries and beauty items. They even had Parisienne (Fort Lee, NJ) bakery items although only like three different breads.

                                            Little disappointed with the prices, as I hoped things would be a little cheaper than at Kotobukiya. Overall, the prices are about the same as Kotobukiya. Quite a bit pricier than HMart, little cheaper than Japan Village Mart. For example, 2L bottled teas were all $5.50 (mostly $4-$5 at HMart) and S&B spaghetti flavoring mix was almost $5 ($4 at HMart). Seeing as so many of their items overlap with HMart's Japanese selection, I don't know how they're going to compete. Ebisuya definitely has more Japanese snacks and instant ramen and toiletry items than HMart, but the selection of Japanese condiments is about the same. And HMart has more variety of natto.

                                            Anyways, too early to assess this place until they fill out their space. I'll probably go back in a month to check back again. I do see a lot of potential for this place, in spite of the out-of-way location. The free parking in the back is a big plus, and they have a large space that, if they plan right, can be turned into something really special like Daido in White Plains.

                                            To get there via I-93 northbound, get off at exit 31 (Mystic Valley Pkwy Rt.16). Further down the exit 31 off-ramp, there's a sub-exit ("Medford Sqr") off to the right. Get off there and you'll hit the cross-street at the end of the exit. Turn right, and then take the first right (Ring Rd). Immediately you'll see a large parking lot on your left. Pull into that lot and park anywhere. The lot is on the back of the building housing bunch of stores including CVS and Ebisuya (Ebisuya had no signs yet). I passed through to the front side of that building (Riverside Ave side) by going through CVS' back entrance, but there has to be a better way.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: chowmouse
                                              g
                                              grant.cook Jan 25, 2010 10:43 AM

                                              The onigiri were $1.30 which is very reasonable.. produce was prettty sparse, but I tied that to it being their 2nd day open.. as they get a feel for volumes, I am sure inventory levels will settle out. Overall, a nice market with room to grow.

                                              1. re: grant.cook
                                                r
                                                robertlf Jan 25, 2010 07:30 PM

                                                It would be nice to have some tables to sit down and eat. Maybe from the sushi bar. Not sure if there is enough extra space for this or what the permitting issues may be. Maybe some Japanese restaurant will open nearby... Here's hoping!

                                            2. a
                                              Afar Jan 26, 2010 07:25 AM

                                              We plan to make the trip from Cape Cod next week. We'll stop in Quincy, pick up another shopper, and have dim sum at China Pearl. We expect to shop at Ebisuya until the dinner hour. Suggestions would be appreciated on what good choices are in the Ebisuya area. The group is Japanese so any sushi bar possibilities would be seriously considered. Thanks.

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: Afar
                                                g
                                                grant.cook Jan 26, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                Toraya, nearby in Arlington, gets good reviews.. I think I've heard some rumblings that Sei Bar in Medford is good as well..

                                                1. re: Afar
                                                  itaunas Jan 26, 2010 07:44 AM

                                                  Sushi Island in Wakefield is one option that isn't too far and not so crowded. Toraya in Arlington is possibly closer (except at school pickup hours) and a good Ebisuya + lunch option, but can have a wait evenings especially on weekends. Chung Ki Wa (Korean) has good quality sashimi (korean cut) and is just a few doors down from Ebisuya but is not Japanese, others can speak to the pan-asian Sei Bar (there are several others in the area in the same vein) on Main Street, and the Taiwanese owners of the sushi place at the Meadowglen Mall lived in Japan for about 10 years and cut sushi more like a Japanese restaurant, but unfortunately the quality is not great and very limited (microwaved) other options.

                                                  1. re: Afar
                                                    g
                                                    grant.cook Jan 26, 2010 08:26 AM

                                                    Just as an aside, Ebisuya isn't massive.. this isn't like H-mart or that place in Quincy that has aisles and aisles of stuff..

                                                    1. re: grant.cook
                                                      c
                                                      chowmouse Jan 26, 2010 12:58 PM

                                                      Yeah if you're coming all the way up from Cape Cod, you might as well go to HMart, as well. In fact, go to HMart first since most overlapping items are cheaper there. And then stop off at Ebisuya to get whatever items of interest that weren't available at HMart.
                                                      Feel a little bad to say this, as this doesn't do service to Ebisuya's business. But strictly from consumer's standpoint, I think that's what I'd do if there were no time constraints.

                                                      1. re: chowmouse
                                                        g
                                                        grant.cook Jan 26, 2010 03:32 PM

                                                        Ebisuya's new, and they'll specialize.. they knew H-Mart was going to be here, probably even before they first hatched their plans. The competition would have been there whether they were in Porter or Medford...

                                                        Its not all David vs. Goliath.. they are easier to access that H-Mart for people coming out of Boston proper, and they can focus more on sushi/sashimi-type fish and other sushi fixin', which I don't quite know if I'd trust at H-Mart.. .. so they'll hopefully do fine. Probably the only big downside is probably doesn't have the same Japanese population that could easily access Porter Exchange..

                                                        1. re: grant.cook
                                                          itaunas Jan 26, 2010 03:50 PM

                                                          There is though the Japanese Language School split between Medford High School (Saturdays) and Arlington, so its an attractive area for Japanese families.

                                                          1. re: itaunas
                                                            a
                                                            Afar Jan 26, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                            Ebisuya hopefully will have the same draw as Kotobukiya; that is, particular brand names (really important for a product like rice or gyoza that's not just any gyoza), certain seasonings mostly used by the Japanese, bread with precisely the right butter content and cut to a perfect thickness, the ability to provide information and answer questions in the Japanese language, certain Japanese language magazine titles, gold star freshness in their ethnic vegies, fresh/frozen fish in the Japanese style. We make a regular trip to KamMan, also Reliable but, since Kotobukiya and Yoshinoya closed we have greatly missed certain products. I have to guess because I have not yet been to H-Mart, but I'd expect the same problem exists as they are not as narrowly defined as Kotobukiya was. I'm Irish. I just do the driving and observe. But, after 45 years I think I have it figured out.

                                                            1. re: Afar
                                                              opinionatedchef Jan 27, 2010 11:12 PM

                                                              Afar, if you do a CH search for Sushi Island,you will see that it is a very special place. The chef/owner nihonjin des.And a very serious and picky nihonjin at that.If you drive the short cuts from ebisuya to sushi island, it should take about 25 min. The traditional sushi reward that awaits you is far greater than that of toraya or any other sushi place in the boston area.

                                                              the route i would suggest would be ebisuya to rt 93 north to montvale ave exit to main st stoneham to salem st, cutting through stoneham into wakefield, then over to main st. wakefield. this saves you having to go 93 to 128 . let us know if you go.

                                                              -----
                                                              Sushi Island
                                                              397 Main St, Wakefield, MA 01880

                                                              1. re: Afar
                                                                c
                                                                chowmouse Jan 28, 2010 10:43 AM

                                                                Afar, you're absolutely right about everything you say there. Places like Kotobukiya and Daido are Japanese through and through, with 95% Japanese products, Japanese vibe, fresh reliable products (no expired items), reliable cuts of fish. Super 88 and Kan Man are like landmines of expired products, their stock of Japanese items is unpredictable and changes each time you visit, their produces can be sketchy.

                                                                But for me personally, if I can frequently find the same packaged Japanese food items at KanMan/HMart that is not expired, and find it for 15% less than at Ebisuya/Kotobukiya, then it makes it worthwhile to try those places first. And I think you'll find HMart to be different than KanMan... it's much cleaner with impressive produce section, and it has a better assortment of Japanese items (although I think KanMan has more variety of Japanese snacks and beauty items).

                                                                But I think you and grant.cook are right that Ebisuya can and will find the way to specialize. I also hope they'll find the way to come down on the prices a little bit.

                                                          2. re: chowmouse
                                                            c
                                                            ceb Jan 28, 2010 11:18 AM

                                                            Strictly from a consumer's standpoint, vote with your dollars. If Ebisuya is special enough to you to warrant a drive from the Cape and you would be disappointed if they close, then support the store and buy everything at Ebisuya.

                                                            For locals that are happy to see Ebisuya open but have other options if the store doesn't survive, then price shop and only buy the Japanese products not carried by Kan Man, H-Mart, etc.

                                                      2. davis_sq_pro Jan 26, 2010 06:40 PM

                                                        I stopped in this evening. As others have said, it's a bit on the empty side, but they already have a promising selection of stuff and I had an enjoyable visit. The space is clean and spacious (especially space-wise compared with Kotobukiya--probably 2.5x bigger). I picked up some tasty green tea mochi (fresh, I assume since it was in the fridge--although it's not dated) and various snacks (including sardine bone crackers, something I've never had before, which are amazing).

                                                        By the way, can anyone tell me what you're supposed to do with the dried fish in the packages that show a guy drinking a beer? Is it as simple as eating it as-is (with or without the beer), or is there something else to it? I was at once both tempted by and afraid of the dried squid... Some guidance would be very much appreciated.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                          a
                                                          Afar Jan 26, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                          If I have the right focus on the items, ya, simple as that with the fish & good with beer, as is the dried squid. In Japan, we never went anywhere without a couple of packages of the squid for snacking. If you chew slowly it makes the flavor pop and creates a lot of saliva. It takes some getting used to but once you've got it you will love it.

                                                          1. re: Afar
                                                            a
                                                            Afar Jan 27, 2010 06:39 AM

                                                            Another way to enjoy the ittybitty fish is too put them on foil for a couple of minutes in the toaster oven. Make a sauce of grated daikon, ginger as an option, lemon, a low sodium soy (we use Kameda brand), House uzu herb mix, and S&B red pepper flakes. Eat with a bowl of plane rice or rice with about 10% oats. Yum.

                                                            1. re: Afar
                                                              davis_sq_pro Jan 27, 2010 08:31 AM

                                                              Thanks! Another (related?) question: I bought a product called Yaki Urume -- dried/roasted sardines -- and just attempted to try one, but I can't bite through the thing. How are these supposed to be eaten?

                                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                a
                                                                Afar Jan 27, 2010 09:03 AM

                                                                Ya, dried sardine is what my prior comment was about, davis. You can put it in the oven to broil and eat with rice and a sauce such as I describe above. Shishamo is a similar fish you might enjoy. You might find these 3 links interesting: http://washokufood.blogspot.com/2009/02/iwashi-sardines.html

                                                                http://www.minatousa.com/item.asp?page_no=3&s_category_id=2&

                                                                http://www.masunaga-s.com/english/sei...

                                                                1. re: Afar
                                                                  davis_sq_pro Jan 27, 2010 09:18 AM

                                                                  Thanks again for the reply. It's kind of confusing since they say "snack" and are individually packaged, as though they're designed to be eaten straight from the package.

                                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                    a
                                                                    Afar Jan 27, 2010 11:26 AM

                                                                    Yes. I agree but a common meal for Japanese is a "snack style" such as broiled sardines with a bowl of rice. I think they might apply the word "snack" a bit differently from the usual American usage. I hope it works out and you enjoy eating them. With the right sauce, it really does make a wonderful "meal", in my opinion. I applaud your willingness to explore such foods. You win in the end however this one foray works out. If you Google Yaki Urume recipe I bet you get good results.

                                                        2. c
                                                          Chobi Jan 27, 2010 05:21 PM

                                                          Has anyone seen frozen Katokichi Udon, either in packages of five or individually wrapped Sanuki Udon with sauce/broth? I saw them at Reliable right after Kotobukiya closed, but didn't find any in my more recent visit. I hope Ebisuya carries them...

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Chobi
                                                            a
                                                            Afar Jan 28, 2010 05:25 AM

                                                            Chobi you might find what you're after at this site (it's where we buy soy):
                                                            http://www.kamadafoods.com/english/index.php
                                                            The company has had more downs than ups in recent years. See link:
                                                            http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bi...

                                                            1. re: Afar
                                                              c
                                                              Chobi Jan 28, 2010 05:12 PM

                                                              Thanks, Afar! I did hear that Katokichi was in some kind of trouble...apparently they changed the company name to TableMark, but still selling the Katokichi brand frozen food. Thanks for the info!!!

                                                            2. re: Chobi
                                                              l
                                                              lisa13 Jan 28, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                              they do have frozen udon in packs of 5, 8 or two. I think the bundles of two came with broth packets.

                                                              1. re: lisa13
                                                                c
                                                                Chobi Jan 28, 2010 05:14 PM

                                                                Thanks, lisa13! I guess I have to drive over there and see with my own eyes what they carry :-)

                                                            3. a
                                                              Afar Jan 29, 2010 10:22 AM

                                                              Jeepers, all terrific and helpful comments re out trip Monday to Ebisuya. My thought is best play will be lunch at Sushi Island and skip dim sum at the KamMan plaza. But, I am along to do the driving and heavy lifting. Everybody knows how that goes. If we do dim sum I'll try for early dinner at SI. opinionchef, your directions mention a turn on Salem St., Stoneham; but, yahoomaps shows Elm St. To recap: exit Montvale, left on Main, right on Elm/Albion & right on Main to Ebisuya. Thank you all so much for the help, assistance and excellent posts.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Afar
                                                                r
                                                                RoyRon Jan 29, 2010 02:05 PM

                                                                I went to Ebisuya yesterday and felt like it was Kotobukiya deja vu. They are still in process of getting fully stocked so although they have lot of things on the shelves I think they still have a ways to go. They certainly have the space to carry more stock. I liked the fact that each item on the shelves has a small card that translates the name of the item so if you don't read Japanese you can still understand what most things are but it helps if you are familiar with Japanese ingredients. Overall I will make more trips here because I like it a lot better than H-Mart even though the prices may be higher. I have not been impressed with a lot of the fresh food at H-Mart. Especially the seafood. It always looks like most of it has seen better days.

                                                                I went to Sushi Island today for lunch and enjoyed a wonderful sashimi omoriawase of toro, saba, hirame and ika which was cut into small rolls with black caviar and shiso leaf. I followed it with their Hamachi Kama Shioyaki. Topped off with a small house sake it was a great lunch. In my opinion it is still one of the best Japanese places in the area.

                                                                1. re: RoyRon
                                                                  c
                                                                  chowmouse Jan 30, 2010 12:03 PM

                                                                  Never been to Sushi Island. Oga Sushi is sort of my measuring stick for Boston-area Japanese. How does Sushi Island compare to Oga/Toraya in terms of quality and price?

                                                                  HMart has a good produce section. Their frozen items are also very solid... not like Super 88 where stuff looks and tastes like they've melted and refrozen at least a couple of cycles. But you're right about their seafood... got some prawns there the other day. It just didn't taste right. I never get seafood at HMart anymore.

                                                                  1. re: chowmouse
                                                                    a
                                                                    Afar Jan 30, 2010 12:27 PM

                                                                    cmouse, if you read the Jan. 28 post by opinionchef you can get one point of view of Sushi Island vs Toraya. We used to have friends in the area, now returned to Japan, that liked Toraya. But, for our trip Monday, we'll take ochef's advice and try SI.

                                                                    1. re: Afar
                                                                      yumyum Jan 30, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                      I'll be really interested to hear what you think of Sushi Island. I like it, but reviews have been very mixed lately... in addition to the OC's rave, there was this recent long thread with differing views. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/472628

                                                              2. a
                                                                Afar Feb 2, 2010 09:59 AM

                                                                13 hours, 205 miles, 3 stops, 47 items purchased at Ebisuya, 24 items from KamMan, lunch at Sushi Island, dinner at South Garden. We arrived at Sushi Island, after touring Salem Street, at 12:30. The four of us passed by the unremarkable appearance of the sushi counter, with a few small pieces of limp looking fish on display. It caused instant fear and on sitting down three decided to have cooked food.

                                                                I ordered the negitoro roll and it was so good we got a second roll for the table. Other dishes were tempura udon with a broth that was poorly seasoned and contained mostly baby spinach. le Lacking were sufficient amounts of mushroom and diced onion. A good tempura batter was not used but instead a covering of panko that must have been deep fired. Because tempura cools rapidly, it took on a hard, crusty feel and was unsatisfying. The yaki udon was smothered in a sauce that was too heavy causing its strong flavor to be overwhelming. It did have generous seafood ingredients like shrimp and squid plus vegies. The buckwheat soba was not tried by others and our friend seemed to enjoy the feast.

                                                                In all fairness, a Monday lunch is the worst time to go to a sushi restaurant. The jazz program seemed like a terrific schedule and our sense was it would be a popular place on weekends. We noted an ad in the Japanese magazine, a handout at Ebisuya, that listed help wanted for virtually all positions at Sushi Island. That would indicate there are many fans and satisfied customers. However, we will not be among that group. It turns out that I had been to Toraya also, some years back, and we were not especially impressed there either.

                                                                All of us had fun at Ebisuya. We parked at the front door and there were only two other people, one customer, in the store while we shopped. The owner told me he did have permits for table service and was in the process of selecting the tables and chairs. Food service would soon be available. Ebisuya did a good job of buying premium brands of items that could be bought more cheaply at other stores - a good example was kombu. Everyone in our group loved the store. As the media areas grow, DVD's & magazines, it will be a wonderful addition for the Japanese community near and far and for those seeking conformance to detail and high quality within the Japanese food arena. No doubt we will return, probably in April. We'll eat and shop at Ebisuya, and do KamMan on the way back to the Cape. Overall the trip seemed easier than going to Kotobukiya in Cambridge and it was a lot of fun. Cost of gas less then $25.

                                                                South Garden, the small Chinese restaurant next to the small Vietnamese restaurant close to the front door of KamMan puts out terrific food. It's a rectangular room with a dozen tables. The menu is expansive, offering around 200 choices. That did turn out to be a bit silly as our first choice was oyster with chives and scrambled egg (I was not clear if it was the oyster, chive, or egg they were out of). We pushed ahead with three selections and all were excellent. This was a very happy experience after being disappointed at Sushi Island and because we rarely find delicious and expertly prepared Chinese food anywhere. The only other chinese restaurant we can recommend after all these years of looking is the Shangri-La on Belmont Avenue, Belmont.

                                                                We want to thank all the Hounds that have made this such an interesting board while we awaited the opening of Ebisuya Market.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Afar
                                                                  c
                                                                  chowmouse Feb 2, 2010 03:24 PM

                                                                  Glad you enjoyed Ebisuya. Sad that there was only one other customer in the entire store. Cool that they're going to offer food service. Cuz I really think they need other attractions to remain viable at that location. I'll probably try to go once a month to support them when I'm in Boston.

                                                                  1. re: Afar
                                                                    opinionatedchef Mar 8, 2010 10:09 PM

                                                                    yikes, afar, i'm one that highly recommended sushi island so i am horrified at your experience. i am so sorry but i also only go there for dinner. i wonder if the owner was not there..... how dreadful.

                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                      a
                                                                      Afar Mar 9, 2010 07:09 AM

                                                                      Not at all good opinionchef, comments in this format are way oversimplified. I could tell/feel the good vibs about the place, especially the weekend busy atmosphere. I could tell on a Monday afternoon, it's always quiet, and key employees are no doubt not working. Also, my group was a bit queazy about giving the sushi side of the menu a fair shot. No conclusions should be made from our experience. Japanese cooked food is always compared to what one can do at home and the use (or not using) sauces, the length of cooking time, heat intensity, and attention during the cooking process affects these dishes. People our age finding cooked food not quite right is common and typical. We all appreciated the input on this board. We continue to laugh over the many good memories from the trip. We will go again to Ebisuya in April or early May. I have posted a link in a comment above to a board I started that has taken an interesting turn into US/Japan style sushi. You might enjoy scanning and participating. Board name is Sushi Cape Cod.

                                                                  2. a
                                                                    Afar Feb 13, 2010 12:37 PM

                                                                    Sale is on February 25 thru March 2. Email calls it a "grand opening sale".

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Afar
                                                                      davis_sq_pro Feb 13, 2010 01:18 PM

                                                                      Thanks for sharing!

                                                                      I was at Ebisuya for the second time today. They have a small selection of sushi that you can order fresh, but when I tried I was told that it would be at least a 30 minute wait so I'll have to do that next time. The inventory seems to be filling in--a broader selection than last time I was there with lots of interesting things to try. And luckily for me and others who don't read Japanese, they've put out a few English labels here and there, which really helps. So far, two very good experiences; I'm looking forward to many trips to this place.

                                                                    2. a
                                                                      Afar Mar 7, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                                      To the good folks on the Ebisuya board: I put up a post outlining the growth of sushi on Cape Cod over the past two decades. It may be of interest to some and comments are most welcome. But, what I want to do is call you attention to a link in my last post that takes you to a most interesting tale of a Japanese/U.S sushi chef that returned to Okinawa and served up sushi American style. Here's the link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/692592

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Afar
                                                                        c
                                                                        chowmouse Mar 7, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                        Thanks for the link. Also had a look at the linked story about the sushi place in Okinawa.

                                                                        There're actually places in Tokyo where you can get designer rolls and stuff like California rolls and spider rolls. Those places are actually quite popular with Japanese, as well, and I have not heard of any backlashes against such places. Granted, those kinds of rolls are difficult to find in Japan, so maybe there is some intangible resistance in Japan to the spread of American-style designer rolls.

                                                                        On the other hand, I don't buy that Japan is resistant to modernization/westernization of sushi. Some of the most popular types of sushi in Japan's depachikas, konbinis and sushi chain places are makis containing mayonnaise (eg, tuna and mayo, shrimp mayo), negitoro and things that aren't traditional.

                                                                        I guess Ebisuya's been in business for a month and a half now. Wonder how the business is going there. Anyone been there recently? I should try to go and support their business soon.

                                                                        1. re: chowmouse
                                                                          a
                                                                          Afar Mar 8, 2010 07:30 AM

                                                                          cmouse: oops I posted a comment for you on Sushi CC board.

                                                                          1. re: chowmouse
                                                                            yumyum Mar 8, 2010 08:02 AM

                                                                            I went recently. I have great hopes for this market but sadly it still felt very work in progress as of a few weeks ago. The sushi / sashimi counter was not operating (despite posted signs saying put in your order and your food will be ready when you are done shopping) but I was able to purchase a few different offerings for a roll your own sashimi experience at home. Good fresh fish but pricey. While they have aisles and aisles of "staples" like Pocky, I'm looking for more fresh food. Ramen kits are in the freezer, not fresh. This isn't a big deal as they freeze well but it says something about the turnover. I'm really rooting for this place, and both times I've been it's been quite busy with Japanese patrons so there is a market, but I want them to ramp it up.

                                                                            1. re: yumyum
                                                                              a
                                                                              Afar Mar 23, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                                              Yesterday we made the all day, 180 mile trip, to Ebisuya Market and KamMan. We first went on Feb. 1. I expected the next trip to be in late April or early May. Seems we'll go every 8 or 10 weeks. There were noticeable differences, all positive, in the Market. I recognized three of the employees but saw an additional 4 and, no matter their part time or full time status, it's a great sign that business is strong. I watched three employees off-load a delivery truck and it seemed to be a lot of new inventory arriving, another sign of good sales. As yumyum notes correctly, "it's a work in progress". The food service is terrific. We ate well for ten bucks a person. The young lady at the dvd section is knowledgeable, eager to help, and friendly. And, the dvd's are a bargain. Unlike our last trip when the store was empty, there was a steady trickle of customers throughout the hour and a half we were in the store. Not bad for early on a Monday. There will be a "Mochi Tasting" event on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 from 1 to 3 p.m.

                                                                        2. c
                                                                          chowmouse Apr 7, 2010 12:00 PM

                                                                          Back in town and went to Ebisuya for my second time. Impressed with their prepared items... similar array of onigiri's as at Kotobukiya, maybe little less variety and little pricier ($1.5-$1.75 per) than at Kotobukiya, but still a healthy selection. Very nice-looking packaged rolls and nigiris. Store's now fully-stocked, so things seem to have come along since opening (last time I was there). I still feel like things are about 10% more on average than at HMart. But I saw some items that were surprisingly well-priced.

                                                                          I was there on a weekday around 12.30pm. I was in there for 10-15minutes. The entire time I was there, I was the only customer. That can't be good. I'm sure things are different on weekends. I'm still convinced Medford Square was a poor location for that grocery store, although businesses can do things to overcome location disadvantages and become successful. We need to support this place.

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: chowmouse
                                                                            itaunas Apr 7, 2010 12:25 PM

                                                                            I believe part of the motivation for locating the store in Medford Square is the Japanese Language School holds their classes at Medford High School, so on Saturday mornings there are a lot of Japanese families in the area without much to do as well as a number of Japanese families who live there (I think someone mentioned relatives of one of the owners works at Medford City Hall). Not saying that being closer to a University (Tufts students don't even usually head that direction, no direct train access) would be good and traffic can make Medford Square seem intimidating, but they had their specific reasons for locating it in Medford (population, rent, etc) and there is good RT93 access so maybe they hope that more and more people will venture out there eventually.

                                                                            1. re: itaunas
                                                                              c
                                                                              chowmouse Apr 7, 2010 06:47 PM

                                                                              I'm sure their business is buzzing on Saturdays with the Japanese school. But there are 5 weekdays in a week, and all I'm saying is that on that weekday I was the only customer the entire 10-15min I was there. And that's a pretty large store with about 5 staff members. I hope their business picks up.

                                                                            2. re: chowmouse
                                                                              kobuta Apr 7, 2010 01:07 PM

                                                                              Nearby Arlington also has a decent number of Japanese residents (when considering Boston's overall numbers) so it may not be a terrible choice, even if I personally wish it were closer and more easily accessible to me.

                                                                              Was there last weekend for the first time, and they had a steady supply of customers, even if not packed as HMart at its craziest times. Found some nice options for udon and other Japanese sauces. Overall, a better-than-nothing, though still lacking in what I really want in a good Japanese grocery store. The saddest moment - I didn't find the variety of excellent crab croquettes they used to sell in their frozen food section - only veggie ones.

                                                                              1. re: kobuta
                                                                                a
                                                                                ahipoke Apr 8, 2010 05:59 PM

                                                                                kobuta, just let Mr. Eda, the gentleman behind the fish counter, know that you'd like them to carry the crab croquettes- I ended up congratulating them when they opened up and he mentioned that they would try to get things that people were interested in buying.

                                                                              2. re: chowmouse
                                                                                steinpilz Apr 7, 2010 04:07 PM

                                                                                Is the great fish and seafood selection previously found at Kotobukiya up and running yet? I'm awaiting word of this!

                                                                                1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                  kobuta Apr 7, 2010 04:35 PM

                                                                                  They did have fresh fish available, and wagyu as well. The section is overall larger and brighter, though I can't say for sure if it's the same as it was before. It's still a small part of their inventory, but I can't tell if it just looks smaller because the stuff is spread out in bigger space, or if the selection is indeed less. I saw the usual tai, salmon, tuna (and even chu-toro), tako and uni that I recall seeing at Kotobukiya.

                                                                                  They do supplement this with a nice selection of prepared foods previously unavailable.

                                                                                  1. re: kobuta
                                                                                    thunderbug84 Apr 22, 2010 08:07 AM

                                                                                    I just went to Ebisuya for the first time and it was fantastic! It had everything that I would have gotten at H-Mart, but without the mega-store craziness. The only trouble I had was navigating the soy sauce isle. I don't know much about soy sauce and the more descriptive signs were only in Japanese. I ended up buying one that was wrapped in white paper with a little string around the top. I think it is organic. I tried it at home and it is super, super salty. Its definitely interesting and I'm going to play around with it a bit, but I'd like to try some others as well. Does anyone have any suggestions for a really good soy sauce to buy there? Also, any additional insight about soy sauce and what to look for, etc would be much appreciated!

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    H-Mart
                                                                                    3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                                                                    1. re: thunderbug84
                                                                                      steinpilz Apr 22, 2010 07:26 PM

                                                                                      I've been buying Yamasa for years, having previously enjoyed it with sushi in restaurants and take out. It isn't salty IMO. I won't provide a weedy soy sauce commentary, not my expertise, I've just gone with Yamasa sort of irrationally, here's what a bottle looks like:

                                                                                      http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil...

                                                                                      1. re: thunderbug84
                                                                                        davis_sq_pro Apr 22, 2010 08:47 PM

                                                                                        I discovered last night that at least a few of the people working there are happy to help with questions. They were quite interested in why I, a Caucasian, would want to purchase a bunch of dried fish and other items that are "very Japanese" (their words). I think they thought it was rather humorous that I'm slowly working through every item in the store, and they offered me some tips and suggestions for some of the stuff I bought. I'm usually afraid to ask, but in retrospect I think that's a mistake, especially in a smallish place like Ebisuya. At H-Mart type places it probably won't work because there's too much craziness.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        H-Mart
                                                                                        3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                                                                        1. re: thunderbug84
                                                                                          opinionatedchef Apr 27, 2010 10:55 PM

                                                                                          you will see lots of discussion if you do a search for soy sauce on the home cooking or general topics forums.

                                                                                          you may be able to temper the saltiness and actually use that bottle, by combining some with mirin to taste and using this over soft tofu with sesame seeds and opt. grated ginger, or over salad...(you could also try mixing your soy sce w/ a bit of water)

                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                            a
                                                                                            Afar May 3, 2010 12:46 PM

                                                                                            To the tbug84 thread re soy: I'd like to recommend you try Kamada Soy, what we always use, and which can be purchased in small containers online, link: http://www.kamadafoods.com/english/

                                                                                            We made our third trip to Ebisuya yesterday, Sunday, and they enjoyed a steady business. Iida-san was too busy to make while-you-wait sushi so we bought the variety pak from the case, delicious. It was good to see them pounding away on the registers.

                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                    cornFusion Jun 4, 2010 04:23 AM

                                                                                    Just read this thread. Excellent posts. Since I recently discovered chado and matcha, I am very interested in knowing if the store has any wagashi (sweet items for the tea ritual). Thanks!

                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: cornFusion
                                                                                      kobuta Jun 4, 2010 06:07 AM

                                                                                      I haven't come across fresh wagashi in the Boston area - just on occasion the boxed/manufactured kind, not particularly good. I think the closest for good wagashi is actually NYC, like at a Minamoto Kitchoan or something.

                                                                                      1. re: kobuta
                                                                                        a
                                                                                        Afar Jun 4, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                                                        kobuta nailed it. We were at Minamoto Kitchoan last June in NYC - terrific. You might check their web site to see if they ship: http://www.kitchoan.com/. A call to the cafe at Kinokuniya Bookstore, 212.869.1700 might produce good results or Yagura Market on 41st Street.

                                                                                        1. re: Afar
                                                                                          r
                                                                                          robertlf Jun 4, 2010 08:09 PM

                                                                                          There's also a Minamoto Kichoan at Mitsuwa in NJ (on the Hudson across from NYC). It's better because you can also go to the full-size Mitsuwa Japanese supermarket!

                                                                                        2. re: kobuta
                                                                                          davis_sq_pro Jun 14, 2010 08:26 AM

                                                                                          Are the ones in the refrigerator at Ebisuya not fresh?

                                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                            kobuta Jun 14, 2010 01:19 PM

                                                                                            When I think of fresh wagashi, I think of made in-house. Those are definitely not anywhere close to that.

                                                                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              cornFusion Jul 13, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                                              I can vouch that they are definitely not stale!

                                                                                              1. re: cornFusion
                                                                                                davis_sq_pro Jul 13, 2010 04:33 PM

                                                                                                Agreed there. I'm addicted to the Green Tea Daifuku, as well as the (cherry? plum? flavored) mochi wrapped in a leaf. Have also tried several other varieties, almost all of which were very nice, but those two really stand out for me so far.

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Green Tea Restaurant
                                                                                                24 Elliot St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461

                                                                                          2. re: cornFusion
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            cornFusion Jul 7, 2010 12:54 PM

                                                                                            Finally had a chance at the wagashi! Yummmm is my foremost thought. Asian sweets/pastry/etc are not like their western counterparts and Japanese wagashi is a totally unique genre. I went hog-wild and bought several varieties and then went home to read up on these delicacies (I highly recommend the book "Chado" for understanding both tea and the sweets associated with the seasonal enjoyment of the beverage). To my utter delight, found that one of the sweets was indeed quite fresh mochi wrapped in oak leaves (also fresh) for the welcoming of spring! Awesome. Considering that there are no other places where one can get these, I am very grateful that regardless of price or size of the store, these little treasures are available to us in Boston. Korean and Chinese stores around here carry the normal yokan and difuku and cakes etc., but none of them carry the traditional wagashi - and I am grateful to ebisuya for carrying these.

                                                                                            1. re: cornFusion
                                                                                              a
                                                                                              Afar Jul 11, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                                              Some may enjoy touring this site with English & Japanese versions. We have items shipped to us. The Kuri Kanoko (Chestnut in jelly sweet bean) is outrageously good. http://www.obusedo.com/english/index....

                                                                                              1. re: Afar
                                                                                                r
                                                                                                robertlf Jul 11, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                                                                Thanks for the link. It looks great. I may have to order some!

                                                                                                1. re: Afar
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  cornFusion Jul 13, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                                  Afar,
                                                                                                  The website states that shipping is only to sites in Japan - are you in Japan or in Boston?

                                                                                                  1. re: cornFusion
                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                    Afar Jul 13, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                                                                    Sorry for the confusion cornFusion, ya, we order and a friend in Japan ships to us. If we didn't have friends in Japan I would find one online to be able to get those special foods.

                                                                                            Show Hidden Posts