Don’t you just love it when you chance upon a good food deal — especially when it’s a Michelin-starred restaurant? I randomly googled “good food near Sendagai station”. Akira, with its 3-year Michelin list pedigree, popped up!
What a serendipitous surprise, considering we were not even planning to stop at that station in the first place. It’s the Universe’ way of telling me that I.Must.Eat.All.The.Good.Food!
Add: 3-38-8, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0022
We spent: ¥3840+
Akira is an easy 5-10 minute walk from the station. Just follow Google Maps. Look out for this blue storefront — that’s the fish store that owns Akira, just next door. “We are a seafood restaurant owned by a fish shop and, we use non-farmed ingredients as much as possible,” stated their website.
When we arrived at about 1230pm, there were locals buying fish. This unassuming white building next door is Akira. I walked right past it because it was so unfancy, I really didn’t expect it to be a Michelin-starred restaurant.And the source of their seafood: the family store next door. Check out this selection. In case you are not convinced about their pedigree, here are the Michelin star stickers from 2015, 2016 and 2017 to prove it. At first glance, the restaurant looked like your typical tiny Japanese restaurant with a counter and tiny seats. I was chuffed that there were 3 seats for us because the counters filled up quickly….
… Until I went to the ladies and noticed a narrow flight of stairs. Turns out, they have a Japanese-style dining hall upstairs. Ah well, we were happy where we sat as we could watch the chefs bustling about.
The lunch deals are fantastic! Ask for the English menu. We ordered our lunch quickly, picking 3 out of the 4 options. And then we spent the waiting time being utterly fascinated by this goggly-eyed fish and his mates. Look at that shiny skin. So, so fresh.
I think this is some sort of a wealth deity? Look carefully and you’ll notice that it is decorated with yen notes. Watching the chefs hard at work. ALWAYS choose a counter seat if you can. Makes dining a whole lot more fun.
My Zan-mai set (¥1400) had the best of everything. A portion of fresh sashimi, a robust fish stewed with Dashi stock, and my favourite, a freshly fried oyster croquette that was crispy outside, creamy inside. It came with pickles, green tea, a bowl of soup with a handmade fish cake floating in it, and this bowl of rice — half white rice, half cooked with flaky fish. Just the rice alone was so flavorful.
Look at that plump oyster in my croquette! I’m salivating just thinking of it.
My husband’s Sashimi set (¥1470) came with several fleshy slices of a variety of fish and a selection of stewed oden items.
My son Ayden, who loves his raw fish, had this Sashimi bowl with a hearty helping of salad. Just ¥970 for this bowl of awesomeness. 3 ravenous Singaporeans happy to have scored great lunch deals.
Definitely worth a trip should you visit the “Yanaka/Nezu/Sendagi” (commonly known as Yanesen) area, where you can still see much of traditional Tokyo. More of that in our next post.
Tokyo Part 9: Yanesen, Ueno, Sugamo