Thursday, May 30, 2019

Opting for seafood over gyutan (and wagyu) while in Sendai!

Oysters are still in season in May in the Sendai/Matsushima area!

Anago is another area specialty available this time of the year :)

I also noticed that katsuo were on the seasonal menu :b

Sendai is synonymous with gyutan (ox tongue) for many gourmands; so much so that when I tell them that I recently visited Tohuku's largest city, I invariably get asked if I ate any gyutan while there.  Still, although I definitely did come across my share of gyutan restaurants while there (as well as spotted gyutan on the menu of pretty much every eatery in this part of Japan), I have to confess that I actually ended up not eating any on this recent trip. 

Should anyone wonder: it's not because I don't like ox tongue.  Rather, it's actually pretty easy for me to find in Hong Kong -- which is home, among other things, to an izakaya by the name of Yi Pai Ya that actually specializes in gyutan (grilled, stewed, raw, etc.) and also has such as Sendai miso on its menu.  In addition, my favorite Japanese sake bar in Hong Kong actually has two different ox tongue dishes on its menu!

Actually, while Sendai also is famed for its wagyu, I availed myself more of the seafood on offer there on this first -- but I'm sure will not be the last -- visit to the area; this not least because the city's proximity to Matsushima Bay meant that oysters and anago (salt water eel) are readily on offer there too, and at super bargain prices compared to what they'd be in Hong Kong.  And while I found those two seafood offerings -- or, at least, oysters that could be eaten raw -- to be generally available at different times of the year from each other in the Hiroshima area (with anago being available in the warmer months but the season for oysters being during the colder months), this apparently is not the case over in the Sendai/Matsushima Bay area.

Another type of seafood I found to be in season in May there was katsuo (skipjack tuna) were in season when I was there -- and I treasure the memories of the beautifully lightly grilled katsuo dish I had my first night in the city. In addition, while I didn't read about tsubugai (Japanese whelk) being particularly associated with the Sendai area, they sure were a culinary highlight of my time there -- with my being unable to resist their allure on more than one occasion during my all too short visit to that part of Japan! ;b


peppylady (Dora) said...

Never had ox tongue or tongue of any type. Does look like Tuna steaks.
Coffee is on

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

Er... did you mistake katsuo in my third photo for ox tongue or did you Google pics of it? When grilled, they look like "regular" meat, actually -- but when you eat them, you'll find the texture's quite different... ;b

Paul said...

For a moment I thought the Anago was ... white bitter melon!

YTSL said...

Hi Paul --

Teehee -- but I'd agree with you that the anago dish I ate in Sendai looks very different from, say, those we had Miyajimaguchi's Ueno! ;b