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Don’t let a monkfish fool you. It might not have a pretty face, but it is some seriously good eating. The bottom-feeder typically has a huge head, scraggly visage and large mouth, but the meat is some of the most tender and supple flavors of the sea. Monkfish, or anko, is the specialty of Isegen, a hidden gem in the Chiyoda Ward that’s been serving monkfish pots since 1830. Eating a bubbling cauldron of seafood and vegetables here, in rooms with tatami floors and lacquered furniture, is like a step back in time. It’s so valued, the Tokyo government designated it a historic landmark. The chefs at Isegen have a way with this otherwise unattractive specimen, and know how to carve the fresh-caught fish with exacting skill, utilizing everything — the meat, fat and even fins — for the menu.  Sometimes known as “poor man’s lobster,” monkfish is a delicacy for its white flesh and prized liver, or ankimo, which is often called the “foie gras of the sea.” When a cold Tokyo wind blows in the winter, head here for a boiling bowl of broth filled with mushrooms, snow peas and chunks of delicious monkfish, just like the locals did more than 180 years ago.

Price ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥
Type Japanese Restaurant
Speciality Seafood
Open *
Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
11:30am - 10:00pm

* May vary and subject to change