I stopped by J-Town yesterday because I was craving some nice fish and had yet to check out the new offerings in town in the spot now vacated by Taro’s fish. Let’s say I was very pleasantly surprised by what has popped up in the now defunct dishware store and former Taro spot.
In their places sprang up two excellent purveyors of fine, fresh foods. Though I have yet to sample Famu’s meat, their cuts look fantastic. The aged meats they offer look delectable and I will definitely return at a future occasion to try them out. The meat seems on par with other higher-end butcher shops (Cumbrae comes to mind) and looks fabulous. They offer US Kobe, as well as naturally raised Angus Beef that has been well aged and the colouring is fantastic and its exceptionally marbled. I have posted some photos so you can see what I mean. The store also offers Berkshire Pork and advertises itself as the only Japanese Butcher Shop in the city. There was a man there that spoke to me for a bit of their aging process and the natural raising of their animals and it sounded like it had a lot of potential. They just opened two weeks ago and I cannot wait to give it a try. There are some prices on the labels in the photos so you can get an idea of what the prices are.
Then I made my way over to the store which was the real reason why I headed to J-Town – Sakana-Ya. All I can say is WOW. The fish looks fresh, and there were a lot of exotic items that I have not seen around town elsewhere. Their fish is flown in daily, as the counter-lady explained to me and they have specialties each day. This time I sampled an tantalizing mini squid platter. Once you remove the eyeballs, you pop them in your mouth and they burst with flavour. They were not at all what I expected (I thought it was going to be your typical calamari dish, but I was dead wrong). I would definitely recommend trying this dish if you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary. I am not sure of the Japanese name, but the lady told me they were squid.
Baby Squid: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...
I also sampled their sashimi platter, which had your basic culprits: Salmon, Tuna, Hamachi, Ika and Fluke…but the taste sensation was multiplied ten-fold. The tuna was buttery-smooth and had no tough sinewy-strands that I sometimes find in my sashimi (rarely, but it’s still there at times). The salmon was full of flavour, the Ika crunchy and the hamachi – amazing. I also sampled their Horse Mackeral, which was the entire fish, sliced up sashimi-style. It was light in flavour and not too oily. It was topped with fresh chives/green onion and ginger. Their uni was also solid – though I prefer my uni to be a bit more firm in texture and have those ridges/bumps on the surface to add variation. This one melted in your mouth, which is a different, yet also very appealing sensation. No complaints.
Overall, I will definitely be more of a regular to J-Town after discovering these two purveyors. The price seems in line with other high-end food stores, and the quality is top-notch. Everyone has their favourite food-fixes, so I would be happy to hear of where everyone else gets their foodie-fix.
Now if only the black-sesame ice cream maker hadn’t left…
Slideshow link including other offerings from J-Town: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...
Cheers and Happy Eating!
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