Tokyo Food Page
Ebisu Kaigan/
Ebisu: Izakaya
¥3710-0778
¤Data
If you're in the
mood for fantastic
fresh fish and sea-
food, Ebisu Kaigan
is the next best
thing to an early-
morning trip to
Tsukiji Fish Market.
Occupying a renovat-
ed old Japanese
house, this cozy
little restaurant
(whose name means
"Ebisu Beach") ex-
udes a relaxed and
homespun atmosphere.
You can take your
dinner at the coun-
ter downstairs while
you chat with the
chefs, but the
second-floor tatami-
mat area is even
more fun - it almost
feels like you're
visiting friends or
relatives at their
beach house as you
enjoy the best of
the day's catch.

A recent visit
started off with
kohada (gizzard
shad) sashimi and
fermented sea urchin
from Shimonoseki in
Iwate Prefecture.
You may know kohada
as one of the cheap-
est fish at
conveyor-belt sushi
restaurants, but if
you taste it here
you'll discover just
how exquisite it can
be. We were sur-
prised to note the
subtle aroma of salt
water in the fer-
mented sea urchin;
its slightly saline
flavor makes it a
good match for both
shochu and sake. One
unusual fish dish is
the shima sushi
("island sushi"), a
regional specialty
of the Izu islands
that's rarely found
in Tokyo. Basically
it's a fish of the
day marinated in a
special soy sauce,
and we enjoyed a
light and very tasty
shima sushi of soi
(marbled rockfish)
prepared this way.

The menu includes a
number of original
dishes, among them a
terrific Okinawan
champuru (stir-fry)
of shrimp, goya,
wood-ear mushrooms
and tomatoes. The
sauteed shrimp and
vegetables are im-
bued with a fish-
broth flavor that
makes this much
richer than the
traditional Okinawan
champuru. Then there
are the tasty cro-
quettes of omochi
rice cakes with
shrimp and scallops,
with unusual textu-
ral contrasts pro-
duced by wrapping
the fresh shrimp and
scallops around
sticky, chewy omo-
chi. In addition to
seafood, the menu
offers several sal-
ads and vegetable
dishes, including
huge grilled broad
beans that are well
worth a try.

Ebisu Kaigan is a
paradise for shochu
lovers, with 43
different varieties
of this potent bev-
erage priced at
Y650-900 per glass.
There are also seven
different types of
homemade umeshu; we
highly recommend the
one made with Oki-
nawan awamori spir-
its, which is served
with a huge plum in
the glass. And they
serve a fresh sake
called Tensei that's
bottled in the morn-
ing down in Chigasa-
ki, Kanagawa, and
delivered straight
to the restaurant
three times a month.
You can call them to
check delivery dates
if you're a fresh-
sake fanatic. Live
performances of
Okinawan music are
held regularly, and
the restaurant is
packed every night
with a diverse range
of customers. Budget
around Y3500-4000
for dinner with a
few drinks.
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Shibuya-ku, Ebisu-
Minami 3-4-1. [on
Komazawa-dori, about
7 min. from JR Ebisu
station walking
towards Daikanyama]
 Open 5pm-1am (LO;
-11pm weekends).
Open every day.
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