Sakana Isshin – Fish, Food for Drinking, One Heart – all the right elements for a wonderful dinner.
Sakana 肴 or drinking cuisine also means fish in Japanese. In Japan, when alcohol is consumed, it is customary that the drinks are always accompanied with some sort of food. Even when you drink in a club, they will provide snacks with the highballs. Traditionally, the Japanese regarded sake, which is made from rice, as a substitute for white rice served in a standard Japanese meal, and as a result some Japanese do not eat rice and drink alcohol simultaneously.
We started with an amuse bouche of raw botan prawn with yuba.
The rare sashimi in tonight’s assortment was the whale meat and the whale bacon. I never enjoyed whale bacon, I personally find it too chewy and unflavourful. But I do enjoy whale sashimi, especially with torch ginger and sesame oil.
And this being spring time, bamboo shoots are in season, and it was simply grilled and presented with tamago.
Braised fish with burdock in a sweet savoury sauce is classic Isshin. They left the fish roe in the cavity of the belly if it was in season.
This was not usually found in a fish restaurant in Singapore, but when it is in season, you will get this everywhere in Japan. Of course I am talking about shiroko 白子 which is cod fish milt. It was served in a ponzu sauce with spicy radish and chopped scallions. I really enjoyed this.
And when you see the tekka maki 鐵火巻 served, you know the dinner is coming to an end. And instead to the lean tuna meat used usually, they used the better cut of chutoro for the maki, which explained why it was 1,800¥ for an a la carte order.. Yum yum.
And for a joke, the guys ordered a plate of shiroko tempura for me. They just wanted to see me freak out eating fish semen.
They stocked around 20 different kinds of Sake and Sochu, but mainly the popular ones from Niigata Prefecture. And the drinks kept on coming. It was really an experience on how much one can drink in an evening, and went on for several evenings. Luckily for me, I have a cardiac reason to politely say decline them.
さかな料理一心 Sakana Ryori Isshin literally means wholehearted fish cuisine. This is one of my favourite place in Tokyo for fish. I have been here more than dozen time, and every time I was not disappointed.
The shop has no English menu, and the staff does not speak any English. You have either to bring Google translate or a Japanese friend or learn Japanese. There’s no printed menu, just the daily specials written on the blackboard over the counter and slips of paper pasted all over the wall, so that made it even more challenging. But if you just said, “Omakase”, he will make sure you get a very good dinner. Be prepared to pay around ¥10,000 per person without drinks but the seafood is of very high quality, and they don’t hold back punches when they serve you the best catch of the day.
さかな料理一心 Sakana Isshin
東京都 千代田区 外神田 6-11-1 カワハラビル １Ｆ
6-11-1 Sotokanda Chiyoda Tokyo
Tel : 03-3836-3103 (+81-3-3836-3103)
Date Visited : Feb 2016