In Yamaguchi prefecture, there are several restaurants that specialize in puffer fish cuisine.
Among them, in Iwakuni city, there is a prospering restaurant that is always overflowing with customers despite being located a little far from the business district. “Fukugen” customers include not only local regulars, but also many who come all the way from Tokyo just to eat here!
What is this restaurant’s charm that makes it so different to others?
The crucial factor is cost performance!
The restaurant is extremely popular as it serves the expensive puffer fish cuisine at such an affordable price that it will leave you with some change even after paying for flights from Tokyo!
In the restaurant’s fish tank you can see fish swimming energetically, from wild puffer fish to thread-sail filefish taken from the Seto Inland Sea.
At the Shimonoseki fishing harbor known all over Japan as a landing site for puffer fish, the wild puffer fish from Iwakuni offing is sold at extremely high prices.
However, at the local Iwakuni fish market, prices can plunge!
In addition, as “Fukugen” holds a market license, the restaurant is able to make purchases directly, which is apparently why they are able to stock up on quality puffer fish at affordable prices.
For its dishes, the restaurant uses both wild and cultivated puffer fish, which means customers are able to enjoy a course that utilizes the best sides of both qualities.
We recommend an Iwakuni brand Sake to go with puffer fish!
There are plenty of varieties of refreshing Sake available that go well with deep fried puffer fish. Lunch courses start at JPY4,000 (mini course), while dinner courses start JPY10,000.
Even with the same ingredients, the flavor apparently changes greatly according to marinating time, or how the fish is cut.
With puffer fish cuisine, the chef’s intuition, techniques, and long years of experience greatly affect the flavor, so even with the same ingredients the flavor will change according to the restaurant.
This time we had a special dish not available on the official menu, soft roe Sake.
Sake with soft roe has a very mild flavor, which might become a habit!
If you consult the bright and cheerful shop manager, Mr. Kawasaki, many interesting options will come up.
Address: 5-6 1 Chome, Tateishimachi, Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Business hours: 11:30～14:00, 17:00～22:00
Holidays: Closed every Sunday
Parking: Available (30 places)
Access: 1 taximeter ride from JR Iwakuni station, 10-minute walk, 25 minutes from Iwakuni airport by Taxi (4.7 km)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Makoto Esaki / Yoko Suganami / Rainbow Sake Co.,Ltd.
Yoko Suganami Rainbow Sake, Inc. After an extended stay in Hawaii, in 2011, I returned to my hometown of Kure, Hiroshima. Having worked at advertising companies in both Japan and Hawaii, I founded Rainbow Sake - a PR company with the goal of spreading Sake abroad. I hope that sake will ""bring the people of the world together"" and that I can be a part of that. I often travel abroad, and mostly to Hawaii and Singapore. Every time I come back home, I rediscover the beauty of my hometown and the happiness the easygoing, calm, fresh and simple sea and mountains of Setouchi bring.
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