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Nijiya San Mateo market + some product reviews

KK | Dec 18, 200511:27 AM

I hit the grand opening sale on Friday and it was too good to pass up. Huge thanks again to Wolfysm for notifying us that Nijiya is finally open! :-)

It was already very busy when I got there around 5 pm but luckily most of the goodies were well stocked. I think I saw a few things I never noticed before in the MV location.

Small trays of uni were on sale at $5.99 each, $2 cheaper than Suruki. They were a wee little bit briney, but still quite sweet. Unfortunately they were not quite as good as the last batch I got from Suruki, but hey, where else can you find $5.99 uni that's comparable to most sushi bars (except for the high end ones of course).

Blue tin tuna and blue fin toro were also on sale. I stocked up on a few shabu shabu meat items and the one that was a real winner (tho not on sale) was the prime rib sliced cut shabu shabu, which I thought was better than the Snake River Farms prime cut beef pack that I bought from Mistuwa San Jose last month. There was a lot of marbling, but that's what made it so good.

I never got the chance to scour the non perishable isles, but did marvel at the amount of prepared items they had. To my surprise, they actually had FRESH containers of San Jose tofu, which I suppose by now it is gone. I remember getting one aeons ago direct from the SJ shop but didn't like it then. However I gave it a 2nd chance, and this was so fantastic in the hot pot I made at home, and was so fresh I couldn't believe it. Was even more sublime with a dash of ponzu sauce. I'd say this was better than the fresh piece of organic tofu I got from Sogo Tofu last time.

Something new to me was the Organic Soymilk produced by Nijiya/Nijiya Farms. Another fantastic product that blew me away. The sweetened version is more sugary than Sogo Tofu's but the quality is just top notch (perhaps this was new taste to me, but I think I now like their version more than Sogo's!) In the Gochiso magazine (Nijiya's free publication) they even have a receipe in English on how to make your own firm tofu using that very soymilk + other ingredients (Nigari, strainer/cheesecloth) which you can buy from the store.

There was a discussion about Nijiya's sashimi vs Suruki's (of which they have a fish butcher on site to carve to order). I believe their cuts to be about equal, and at times Nijiya gets in even better quality/better looking fish. Then again both places do get their fish from IMP Foods in San Mateo (they're moving to East Bay?) who only sells wholesale to businesses/restaurants.

Next things to try are Nijiya's organic brown rice, some soba and udon products. :-)

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