Whilst whale consumption can be a subject of conflict among environmentalists, I'd make the same argument for any animal consumption. Once we can get over this, you realise how beautiful whale food can be - a must-try experience if you visit Japan.
During our second day visit in Tokyo, we came across this whale restaurant called "Kujiraya" (literally 'whale restaurant') in Shibuya. We had no real intention to eat here, as we were on our way back to Shibuya station from our day visit to the great Meiji Shrine. But it was hard to just walk pass by the street without seeing.
Restaurant introduced from 2:55
Ive had whale food once in my life prior to this, and it was a whale jerky which was actually pretty nice, that's why I was immediately interested in whale cuisine as it was a whole new territory for me. We entered into the restaurant and was guided to our little private dining room (though you can hear conversations from the dining room beside ours pretty clearly). We were given a menu which only had whale food written all over it. From sashimi to steak, and even more. We decided to order the whale meat sashimi, whale skin fat sashimi, whale steak and whale tempura.
We ordered 3 dishes from the menu - whale sashimi, steak and tempura. The whale sashimi is a piece of raw meat that is unlike anything I have ever tasted before, it has a very unique texture of beef, but also a very strong flavour of tuna. The combination of the two will confuse you at start, but will immediately become a fascination. Then comes the steak. Oh my, this is arguably one of the best steaks in general I have ever had. The meat is just so juicy! And I mean really tender and juicy. It's like a high grade premium beef, with a whole load of flavour. The tempura I ordered at the end as I was not full yet, and this again had exceeded my expectations of tempura. Such a crunchy batter and the juicy inner, mixed with that mayo and it just explodes in your mouth.
Overall the experience was just unforgettable, though this restaurant really specialises just in whale so be prepared to only have whale food here. If you are visiting Tokyo, most likely you are also visiting the Meiji Shrine, the Shibuya crossing, the Hachiko statue, or even the shopping districts around Shibuya and Harajuku. Whilst there are tons of other great restaurants and izakayas around, definitely drop by to Kujiraya for a taste of wonder that you just can't experience outside Japan.
Kujiraya ShIbuya 元祖くじら屋 渋谷店
Address: Japan, 〒150-0043 Tokyo, 渋谷区Dogenzaka, 2 Chome−29−22
Opening Hours: 11:30 - 23:30. Closed on first and third Monday's of the month.
Average spend: Lunch - 2000 yen, Dinner - 4000 yen
Access: If you are taking the Tokyo Metro lines, head out from exit 3a where the Shibuya 109 shopping mall is located. The restaurant is right next to this building.
Born in Japan, brought up in Hong Kong and currently living in Sydney, Australia.
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