Tsukiji Market Move to Toyosu in 2014

NHK reports on the evening news that it has been decided that the world’s largest seafood market, Tsukiji Market, will move to Toyosu in 2014. While the information in this brochure is in Japanese, if you scroll down you can see sketches of what the future market will look like. Space has been reserved to allow for tourists to overlook the market (I believe on a higher level so as not to get in the way of the workers). There will also be a shopping area and restaurants for the tourists. The link to the brochure above also has a map showing the current location and where the new market will be. As you can see, it is not very far from the current location.

 

Tsukiji Market Cheap Eats – Indo Curry Nakaei 印度カレー中栄

 

Tsukiji Nakaei Curry

Half and Half (Karakuchi and Tomato Fumi)

For over 100 years Indo Curry Nakaei 印度カレー中栄 has been making it’s spicy curry for the market workers. The original shop, in Nihonbashi, opened in 1912. Nihonbashi is where the fish market was before it moved to its current location. The curries here are made from scratch and the portions are large, perfect for workers from the market as they finish their day. In the short ten minutes that I was seated, a half-dozen workers came in. They are easy to recognize from their knee-high boots. Another worker came in and ordered several for take-away.

Most visitors to Tsukiji insist on eating sushi as it is as fresh as it  gets. And while that may be the case, long lines are now the norm. On top of that, diners are crammed into their seats, are often only served a set “omakase”, usually for about 3,675 JPY, and rushed through their  meal. For that same price I would much rather wait until lunch time, sit down at a notable restaurant  in Ginza, the glitzy shopping district bordering Tsukiji, and be allowed to linger and take the time to enjoy my meal.

Which, is why when I visit I avoid sushi at Tsukiji. Indo Curry Nakaei has a simple menu of just three curries:

辛口 karakuchi – spicy Indian curry

甘口 amakuchi – sweeter beef curry

トマト風味 tomato fumi – hayashi rice with cinnamon, cumin, and other spices

It’s possible to order half & half which is what you see above, the karakuchi and tomato fumi. The pork curry, simmered for six hours, packs a spicy punch, enough to warm your body up now that it’s getting cold in Tokyo. The hayashi rice is slightly sweet from the tomatoes and other vegetables used in this dish. It is also a nice way to balance the heat from the curry. Note that the rice portion is large, so if you aren’t that hungry or are planning to graze in the outer market, ask for less rice “gohan wa sukuname”.

The tiny cafe has a long U-shaped counter with space behind it for only one. The counterman is a skilled multi-tasker; greeting regulars by confirming their usual order, explaining the menu to newcomers, serving drinks and curry, and managing the cashbox.  The kitchen had three staff, the most senior who manned the stove. And, not sure, but by the photo on the website, it looks to be a family affair. On this day, seven of the diners were Tsukiji fishmongers and three of us were visitors. The restaurant was very welcoming to us.

This popular shop is often featured on gourmet television programs. And bottled curry is sold to take home as a souvenir. If you can’t be bothered with queuing for your sushi or want to kick-start your day with curry, grab a seat with the workers from Tsukiji at Indo Curry Nakaei.

Indo Curry Nakaei

Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #1

03-3541-8749

MAP of location within the market.

Other Tsukiji Market cheap eats.

Where to Have Sushi at Tsukiji Market

Tsukiji Sushi

Tsukiji Sushi

Daiwa Sushi and Sushi Dai are two of the most commonly heard sushi shop names at Tsukiji Market. The problem is that they are so popular that they have such long lines, some queue for three hours. And yes, the sushi is great here, but is it worth hours standing in line? And for me, I would rather pay the same price, but have a leisurely sushi lunch in Ginza or elsewhere in the city for the same price. However, if you find yourself at Tsukiji and can’t bear to join the long lines at Sushi Dai or Daiwa Sushi, here are some other Tsukiji sushi shops worth checking out.

All of the restaurants serve an “omakase“, usually about eight pieces of sushi that are all served at the same time. But to have a more authentic experience, order piece by piece. Ask for “shun no mono” or seasonal items.

Nakaya 中家

Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #8

03-3541-0211

http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/46_nakaya/index.htm

Another very satisfying way to satiate that craving for raw fish is to have a donburi, or a large bowl of rice topped with seasonal sashimi. Nakaya has a selection of donburi including an uni don of creamy, sweet uni. For a very over the top bowl, you can get toro (fatty tuna), ikura (salmon roe) and uni.

 

Iwasa Sushi 岩佐寿し (Note in a comment below that a recent diner did not have a good dining experience here. I have always had good sushi here so not sure if it was a bad day or what.)

Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #1

03-3544-1755

http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/09_iwasa/index.htm

The seasonal seafood is all wild. The shop specializes in shellfish.

 

Sushi Maru すしまる

Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #10

03-3541-8414

http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/45_sushimaru/index.htm

Using wild and top quality seafood. One of their signature dishes is the “aburi jyu”, a chirashizushi of seared fish over rice.

 

Ichiba Sushi 市場すし

Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #8

03-3541-1350

http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/40_ichiba/index.htm

It is hard to resist the uni donburi or the uni and ikura donburi (check out the photos at the link above).

 

 

A post on Cheap Eats at Tsukiji Market.

Where to go for sushi on Sunday in Tokyo.

November  Seasonal Japanese Seafood (what you should be eating if you come to Tsukiji this month).

An article I wrote for The Japan Times on what to see at Tsukiji. Winter is the tastiest time to visit Tsukiji.