Good Eats

Ika Center @ Tokyo

Only in Japan can you get specialisation in one ingredient like this one. Tucked away in Nihonbashi was a restaurant that specialised in squid. And you can guessed the name of  the restaurant – Ika Center.

Live Ika Tank

Right in the middle of the restaurant was the live Ika tank. You can still see live squid swimming in the cold seawater. These were not farmed squid, you cannot farm squid. These were caught alive and then shipped to this restaurant.

Cold Dish

Fish Skin Jelly

Simple start, the Fish Skin Jelly was made of scraps of white fish meat and seaweed with gelatin.


もずくMozuku in Ponzu Sauce – This mozuku seaweed could only be harvested in the beautiful ocean of Okinawa. The characteristics are that it is thicker than any other mozuku seaweed in other parts of Japan. The slimy surface is rich in fucoidan. It is said that fucoidan has an antibacterial function, strengthens the immune systemimproves lifestyle-related diseases such as arterial sclerosis, has a cancer preventative effect balances intestinal health.

Also it contains dietary fiber which improves the intestinal condition such as alginic acid, calcium which is effective in preventing osteoporosis minerals such as magnesium that enhances the absorption of calcium. To add to that, it is a low calorie healthy food. Mozuku seaweed is a remarkable food that has supported the health longevity of Okinawa.

Raw Dish

Rui be (slices of raw squid liver served with water peppers)

イカ肝ルイベ Raw squid liver Ruibe, marinated. It was really salty to eat on its own. So you have to either eat it with the radish mash, or drown it in beer. Ruibe (ルイベ) is a dish of the Ainu people of northern Japan, consisting of seafood that is frozen outdoors, sliced like sashimi, and served with soy sauce and water peppers.

Spicy water pepper

Cultivated water pepper (蓼 Tade) leaves are used as a condiment. The seeds of the water-pepper may be added to wasabi. Water-pepper sauce are known as Tade-zu (蓼酢, water pepper vinegar) is a sauce traditionally made from finely chopped Water-pepper leaves, soaked in vinegar, and a small amount of steamed-rice. Occasionally, the juice from a squeezed Kabosu is added. In Japanese cuisine it is traditionally used as a complement to grilled Freshwater fish (but usually not other grilled fishes).

Assorted Sashimi

鮮烈 鬼盛(おにもり)Assorted Sashimi – Besides squid, they provided other kind of fresh seafood through their association with fishing fleets. So these sashimi were not from Tsukiji sot they were not subjected to the flash freezing or sashimi treatment. So you still do see a bit of blood on the flesh. Nevertheless, the sashimi was fresh but I would not say top grade.

Live Squid Legs
Ika Sashimi

The live squid was filleted and then cut into thin wafers of sashimi. You can see the intricate knife work that was performed on the surface of the Ika.


Palate cleaner, we were served a Hamaguri Clear Soup. The sweetness of the hamaguri (clams) was all it needed. The soup base was just a simple konbu stock, and you add a few hamaguri and ginger julienne and you get a really tasty soup. Of course, if you add clams which are not so fresh, you get a pot of disaster.

Fried Dish


Next, we are presented with different ways the squid can be fried. First up, イカ天 Ika Ten – Tempura style squid. Squid is coated with tempura batter and deep fried. You can either dip the tempura sauce or just eat it with salt and lemon.


Satsuma age
イカの「さつま揚げ」Fried Ika Fishcakes – Called Satsuma-age, this Children’s favourite was mashed with squid and then deep fried.
Fried Calamari
イカリング Fried Calamari – This is the Western style, heavy batter variety, eaten with mayo and lemon.

ゲソ軟骨唐揚 Fried Squid Legs – All the tiny little legs of the squid, if you cannot stand the squeamish live eats, you can have it deep fried in batter with shiso leaves. Very crispy and tasty, perfect with a cold one.

Other Cooked Dish

Potato Salad

Potato Salad – nothing to shout about.


Next came the hotpot – it was made with big pieces of fish bones and vegetables. Tasty.

Fried Squid

Then came an assorted combination of vegetable and squid fried.

Grilled Saba

And dinner ended with the seasonal grilled fish, and the one we had was Saba

The place was lively like an Izakaya. All you can drinks 飲み放題 Nomihodai for USD 70/80 including the set dinner per person.

Great to come after work with colleagues to just relax in the friendly atmosphere.

活魚卸直営の店 日本橋イカセンター
Ika center
Senikaikan building B1, 3-1-11, Honcho,
Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0023

Tel : 03-3527-9566 (+81-3-3527-9566)

Mitsukoshimae(Tokyo) – Subway Ginza Line Mitsukoshimae Station Exit A9 1-minute walk

Date visited : Jun 2017

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