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.
Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
11:30am - 10:00pm
* May vary and subject to change