We first discovered this restaurant which specialises in seafood when we went to Wakayama for the first time along with our trip to usual areas in Osaka / Kyoto in the year end holidays of 2016-2017.
We were recommended to visit this restaurant if we are looking some authentic local food. There is no lack of restaurants in Japan serving seafood cuisine, but we are up for a really nice surprise.
It marks the first of the many trips we will continue to visit after 2017. Even now when we know we want an affordable lunch set that serves really good seafood, we know where to go.
Tofu as starter
The meal starts with a generous serving of home-made tofu.
For those who likes the taste, smell and texture of tofu, this place really knows how to make it perfect. (I’m no tofu expert though…) They serve this dish with condiments like ground sesame seeds, raw ginger paste and their special soy sauce.
The staff will usually warn you that the soy sauce has a strong taste so you should add it gradually to your liking and not pour too much at once.
Sudachi soba in cold soup
Next, they will serve you a decent portion of soba in cold soup with sudachi (a kind of Japanese citrus) flavour. Now this is the one that is almost my favourite part of the meal. Not only because I love soba, but also because the soup or dashi with the sudachi flavour is so good!
I always joke that I wish I can have this cold soup in a water bottle to bring everywhere. It’s just like this really refreshing light lemonade you can have all day without getting sick of the taste.
Assorted tempura dish
While you are slurping up this soba, they will serve you tempura of assorted ingredients based on the season. Good tempura is usually recommended to be eaten with some salt especially when the ingredients are so fresh and the vegetables have this naturally sweet flavour.
Up to this point, we will get pretty full, given that we already had tofu, soba and tempura. But of course the main dish has yet to come!
Main dish : THE FISH
For the lunch set, you can select your main dish, whether you like sashimi, grilled fish, braised fish or seafood bowl.
The exciting part is actually when you decided to go for grilled or braised fish, the staff will bring out the palate of raw fish for you to select your fish. (Sorry that there are no photos here… since we are always too engrossed in listening to the staff introducing the different types of fish…)
They almost always have the sea bream (or 真鯛 “madai”) since they also specialise in rice in minced sea bream (or 鯛めし “tai-meshi”) but they will also introduce some seasonal fish available for the week.
If you just want to go for a smaller portion and enjoy the natural taste of each kind of fish, I will recommend to go for sashimi. You will be amazed at how different the taste and texture is.
If you are good with fish heads, I will always recommend to go with either grilled or braised fish. I used to always order grilled fish because it’s just so good, and I feel like a cat slowly picking out parts to eat.
Recently I am into the braised fish, especially when the sauce they use to cook the braised fish is so light and the salted plum (or 梅干し “umeboshi”) is so good.
I never like salted plum in general because they are usually too sour or salty for my liking but Wakayama is well-known for their umeboshi and this one really goes well with the braised fish.
With rice, miso soup, and pickles
Of course for the main dish, they don’t just serve you the fish, but it comes with rice, miso soup (豚汁 “tonjiru”) and their home-made pickled vegetable. You know they will adjust all the taste so well to make sure the seasoning for the miso soup and pickles will just compliment the main dish so well.
I am usually a little picky about pickled vegetables, but usually the home-made ones served in unagi restaurants or restaurants specialising in seafood knows how to season their pickles very well, so I have no complaints!
All for SGD 20?!
So after the fish with rice and soup, the meal is done! A lot of food served in one lunch set, isn’t it? But do you know this actually costs around 20 SGD? I’m not kidding. This is how affordable this place is, that I wonder if they make money or not.
And even if you go for the fancier lunch set that will give you both sashimi and grilled or braised fish, and finish off with rice with minced sea bream at the end, it will cost you around 40 SGD.
This is just one of the regular restaurants that we will visit whenever we want to have a good fish meal and we know we won’t be disappointed.