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Jan 23, 2011 01:36 PM

New Japanese Fish Market: Sakanaya

Sakanaya, which means "Fish Market," in kanji is pretty amazing. It opened last week. I was in today for the first time. The owner said he worked as a cutter at Tsukiji for 10 years and then as a buyer for 10 years for a wholesale fish supplier to Japanese restaurants in Boston. What he showcased today were many varieties of sushi grade products: blue fin, big eye, and albacore tuna; buri; hamachi; etc. The unagi is from China; not worth the thrill of dioxins, but his fish? Absolutely the best I've seen on the East Coast, bar none. I was in Tokyo yesterday. This guy? This guy rocks. He's at 75 Linden Street in Allston. It's expensive, but worth it.

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  1. Drove by it the other day. Sounds extremely promising. I just wish their website (currently just a blog page) had some English on it, though the Japanese-only entries are a good sign that this place will carry good stuff. The Tsukiji pedigree is nice to know about, too.

    I really hope there is enough of a market out there to support a place like this for the long term... As much as I like trying to make sushi at home, I honestly suck at it compared to almost any commercial sushi place except the refrigerated counter at Whole Foods and the Friday special in the basement cafeteria at MGH, so if the fish at Sakayana is super super pricey and doesn't save me a lot of money compared to my favorite sushi joints in town, I wonder how often I'll be motivated to buy sushi fish. That said, buying quality fish is the only way to even have any chance of sushi success at home, and I am thrilled that a place like this has opened up. I look forward the first of hopefully many visits...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Mike5966

      I think if we all share the love and tell EVERYONE about it, he has a chance of success. I'm telling you, as someone who is in Japan about 2x a year, the place is a gift.

      It's easy to cut fish. Sharp knives and the dude behind the counter will teach us.

      it's not crazy priced; except the blue fin. But here's the thing: You never need much to be happy so you buy 1/10 of a pound...

      Thrilled is right!!!

      1. re: scotty27

        How much is the blue fin out of curiosity? How do the prices on comparable items compare to New Deal?

        1. re: Gabatta

          Blue fin toro is $80 a pound, but it's toro and I bought $18 worth, which due to its richness was more than enough for two people when served with vegetables and fried tofu.

          1. re: scotty27

            Is this wild bluefin they're selling? I thought Atlantic bluefin was verging on extinction due to overfishing. Or is this that Clean Seas farmed product that Menton serves?


            354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              No idea if it's Kindai or not. According to Food and Water Watch, farmed tuna does not meet the criteria for sustainability, anyway.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. First practical information:

        Sakanaya, 75 Linden St , 02134-2807
        (Between Gardner & Brighton Ave.) Allston, MA 02134-2807 (617) 254-0009

        I added the zip code and placed it first since street name and number and zip code are the only details one needs to internetquest a location.

        I added the phone number so that someone could learn their store hours. I tried it at about 9:20 AM today, a few minutes ago. There was no answer and no recording. Perhaps others will try the number with success later today. Someone should post their hours when the information is revealed.

        Now the important issues: First, do they have O-Toro, that is fatty tuna? Second, has anyone tried their take-out sushi and sashimi? Although it is not apparent from this thread, according to what appears on Yelp, they also have sushi to go. Is the price differential small enough to make it worth paying for the convenience and expertise?

        7 Replies
        1. re: VivreManger

          "(Between Gardner & Brighton Ave.)"

          This is not correct - it's on the other side of Brighton Avenue, around the corner from Spike's, which places it between Brighton and Commonwealth Avenues.

          1. re: Allstonian

            Yes, they have o-toro. They also carry big eye and albacore for those who choose not to buy blue fin. Re Kinda or farmed tuna: Le Bernadin agrees with the posters and carries no blue fin, farmed or wild, unlke Menton. The sushi at the store is about $4 for 8 pieces and it is delicious.


            1. re: Allstonian

              Thanks for the correction on the location of Linden. By the other side of Brighton, I assume that you mean the southern side of the street.

              I now have their store hours, Tuesday through Sunday, 10:30 - 7:30. They are closed on Monday which is why I got no answer yesterday.

              I hope to get their this evening.

              1. re: VivreManger

                Correct - Linden Street crosses Brighton, and the shop is on Linden SOUTH of Brighton Avenue, not between Brighton and Gardner.
                The Google Streetview shot here shows the previous shop, a Korean market called John's Market.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  Got there at 6:30. Practically nothing left. All varieties of tuna were sold out. The best time to shop is over the weekend, when the fresh supplies arrive. Tuesday evening may be the worst.

                  1. re: VivreManger

                    How much Atlantic bluefin do they normally get? Do they have a posted policy on sourcing from sustainable fisheries?

                    1. re: grant.cook

                      No idea. You should definitely ask them. New Deal carries it, too; New Deal has big slabs. Here it's 1/10 pound portions. O Ya sells it in the restaurant.

                      No posted policy.


          2. Folks, we had to remove some meta discussion about sustainable seafood. Please keep your replies focused on local sources. Discussion of sustainability would need to be a new topic on the Not About Food board.

            1 Reply
            1. So does this place really only focus on fish, or does it have other Japanese grocery items too?

              2 Replies
              1. re: kobuta

                They carry the usual jars of sauces; packages of noodles; etc. Not a big variety. He also has a huge freezer and will cut fish from there, if you like. For example, he had buri there the other night. I was in on Sunday about 5 PM and everything was available. I'd call ahead to place an order.


                1. re: scotty27


                  75 Linden St, Boston, MA 02134