Eat fresh raw tuna at Tsukiji Fish Market

When the tuna’s so fresh, there’s blood on the rice…

Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the world’s largest fish markets and one of Tokyo’s biggest tourist attractions. Don’t miss it – whether or not you watch the tuna auctions in the early hours, it’s a must visit later in the morning for a fresh raw fish lunch.

On our visit earlier today, 4 January 2017, there were long queues coming out of many of the little diners. We chose Maguro Isuke spontaneously, while wandering around, as it looked appealing and there wasn’t much of a queue.


Inside Tsukiji magoro
Inside Tsukiji Maguro Isuke

Inside 築地マグロ伊助 Tsukiji Maguro Isuke (maguro means tuna), the menu offers a variety of fresh tuna dishes, along with tempura and yam (another speciality).

Cheek meat Tatsuta-Age – tuna cheek soaked in soy sauce + ginger and lightly battered @ 980 Yen

Soft cod roe tempura – @ 780 yen

We order an obligatory Suntory malty lager each, and tatsuta-age (tuna cheek) and cod roe tempura to start. The tuna cheek is really quite meaty and the batter is light, thin and crisp.

Selection of different raw cuts of tuna with rice and pickles @ 1,380 yen

When the tuna’s so fresh, there’s blood on the rice

For mains we share マグロ漬丼 ヅケド – a rice bowl with three different cuts of raw tuna, served with pickles @ 1,380 yen (quite literally the freshest raw tuna I’ve ever eaten – there’s even some blood on the rice but don’t let that put you off; it’s exceptional) and 築地めしツキジメ (jinenjo-tsukiji- meshi) – a rice bowl with yam, raw tuna and seaweed @ 1,000 yen.

Rice bowl with raw tuna, yam, seaweed @ 1,000 yen

We end up drinking two lagers each. Altogether four lagers total 1,160 yen. And the total bill for two comes to 5,500 yen (for the likes of menus and bills, the Google translate app comes in handy). That’s just under £40.00. A bargain at £20.00 a head.





The verdict: Looking at Tsukiji Maguro Isuke’s website now, it says Fresh raw tuna – you’ve never tasted tuna this fresh before!

I hadn’t. And it was just stunning. The only disappointing outcome is that I’m probably ruined for finding raw tuna this good back in the UK. This was seriously special; don’t miss it.


Tsukiji Maguro Isuke – restaurant info:
– LardButty rating: 5/5

– Address: Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, 中央区Tsukiji, 6 Chome−6−22−3
– Tel: +81 3-6226-2540
– Tuna Isuke website+ menus
– My photos on flickr: Maguro Isuke food – see more photos>>>
– Location: Tsujiki Maguro Isuke map


The Wharf – Gabriel’s Wharf

Situated in a converted boat house at Gabriel’s Wharf, one of The Wharf restaurant’s finest assets is its view over the River Thames towards St. Paul’s Cathedral and the changing skyline of East London.

There’s nothing quite so relaxing as sitting on the terrace here on a summer evening, watching the sun go down while the light and shadows go soft over the City, from Blackfriars across to the Leadenhall Building (cheesegrater).

Riverside view from The Wharf at Gabriel’s Wharf

Part of The Pizza Express group, The Wharf is positioned as a seafood restaurant and has a more independent feel than its high street relations.

Sipping a bottle of prosecco @ £22.00, we watch the world go by and enjoy the view while leisurely reading the menu that offers the likes of fresh daily fish, fish and chips, moules-frites, tempting warm salads, as well as pasta, steaks and burgers.

Seared tuna steak salad @ £15.95

We all order a seared tuna steak salad @ £15.95, comprising a free range egg, capers, olives, mixed leaf salad, fine green beans, new potatoes, tomatoes and dressing and a chargrilled, seared tuna steak – a really good mix of ingredients and flavours.

Converted boat house restaurant

The verdict: Nice and easy, no fuss restaurant with straight-talking food. The Wharf is part of the Gourmet Society scheme (currently 2-for-1 for two people only, and you must book in advance).

More of the menu:
Battered fish + chips with mushy peas @ £15.95

Fish of the day – sea bream with green beans + fries @ £18.95

Superfood salad – butternut squash, pine kernels, broccoli, avocado, goat’s cheese @ £10.95

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: British, seafood
~ Address: 6 Upper Ground, Riverside Walk, Gabriel’s Wharf, South Bank, London
~ Postcode: SE1 9PP
~ Nearest station: Southwark, Waterloo East, Waterloo
~ Website + menus: The Wharf website
~ Photos on flickr: images of The Wharf
~ Location: The Wharf map

More South Bank/Waterloo dining:
~ Bangalore Express
~ Canteen
~ Zen China

The Wharf on Urbanspoon

Loch Fyne – fine enough

Our booking’s been made for two weeks and I’ve been looking forward to lobster all day.

So it’s a disappointing start when we turn up at Loch Fyne’s Leadenhall branch at 7pm and order two cocktails – a sazarac (rye whiskey and bitters) and a red snapper (tanqueray and spiced tomato) only to be told they had no bitters, and that they’d run out of fish and chips and lobster too.

We considered leaving but decided that there were some appealing alternatives on the menu, and ordered a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet dry white wine reasonably priced at £19.95.

To get the lobster fix I’d been craving, I chose a lobster bisque for starter @ £6.85 (the soup was good but the garlic bread tasted as if it had been charred on an unclean griddle – ie. of old burnt oil) and K had a tempura crab with chilli marmalade @ £8.45 (“nice enough but nothing special – slightly greasy”)

IMG_7962 - lobster bisque
Lobster bisque

IMG_7960 - tempura crab
Tempura crab starter

For main course, I had a seafood grill @ £20.95 (Scottish salmon fillet, gilt-head bream, Scottish scallops, whole king prawn and Scottish rope-grown mussels, with new potatoes, spinach and chilli and coriander butter – really good variety although the fish fillets seemed a little tired and dried out).

K had grilled bream from the fresh fish bar menu @ £16.55 (firm, white fillet – sweeter than sea-bass – served with Hollandaise sauce, tenderstem broccoli, and buttered new potatoes).

Seafood grill – salmon, bream, scallops, mussels + prawn

IMG_7964 - a fish of the day - grilled bream
Fish of the day – grilled bream

Bill for two – £72.75 excluding service

All in all, this was a satisfactory meal out although Loch Fyne didn’t live up to my expectations (perhaps it was just this branch – maybe it was dead on this Friday night tonight, and the menu limited because they’d had a busy day serving City workers? Who knows).

But I’ll probably choose Cape Town Fish Market over Loch Fyne, next time I want to eat at a seafood restaurant.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 2.5 / 5
~ Type: British, seafood
~ Address: Leadenhall Market, 77-78 Gracechurch Street, London
~ Postcode: EC3V 0AS
~ Nearest station: Bank/Monument
~ Website: Loch Fyne Seafood & Grill website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Loch Fyne
~ Location: Loch Fyne Leadenhall map


~ Black + Blue – Borough Market
~ Cape Town Fish Market – seafood restaurant
~ Fora Turkish – City
~ Roast – Borough Market

Loch Fyne - London, The City on Urbanspoon