This is a part of my Sendai, Japan trip. If you want to have an overview of my entire Japan “Food Odyssey”, I suggest you start with my 7-Eleven review and follow the different links from there.
Although I didn’t personally choose and pay for my meal at Ishinomaki Genki Ichiba, I managed to get enough information and relatively nice pictures of the experience that I decided to write about it. Also, even if I did get a choice, I’d probably still choose what I was given. This was our lunch stop during our field trip around Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. Located near the Ishinomori Manga Museum, this place served up a nice lunch that also caters for vegetarian and halal folk present in our field trip.
The meal for lenient eaters like myself during the field trip was their Genki Don which was essentially a chirashi don or a rice bowl topped with sashimi. This was a set meal including soup and sides priced at 1250 Jpy. If you’re ordering for yourself, it uses a semi-automated style of ordering where you choose from a vending machine your order, put in your money, and get a ticket you present to the counter. However, in our case, it was pre-arranged and reserved, which you can do as well considering you have a local contact or someone fluent in Japanese.
The main attraction of this bowl was the shrimp sashimi—very sweet, soft, and scrumptious. Even though I’m not sure it’s safe to do, I also sucked in the brains, and I’m surprised it doesn’t have that usual bitter organy taste, but rather also has some sweetness in itself. This wasn’t the first time I tried shrimp sashimi this trip—our reception during the first day offered it in their buffet and I downed quite a few of them that night as well. I’ve also seen some stores that sell this, although I didn’t manage to partake in any of them. I’m assuming this is another specialty in Sendai; or maybe it’s quite common in Japan as a whole. Compared to that, the ebi in this bowl was quite larger and was definitely the centerpiece.
The rest of the bowl, aside from the obvious sticky short-grained rice, included various cuts of raw fish, of which I’m sure of salmon and tuna. I believe there’s some sort of sardine here as well and another white skin fish. There’s a big dallop of wasabi that’s quite spicy, as expected. Finally, there’s also a shiso leaf that had quite a pungent, slightly minty taste.
As for the rest of the meal, the miso soup was definitely not the usual we have locally, as it has some non-dried greens similar to spinach, seaweeds perhaps, included with the similar quality spring onions that I’ve been having so far in other meals in Japan. The side salad was jellyfish, I believe, and was quite delectable on its own. Also, the pickled radishes served as a nice palate cleanser.
Anyway, it was a very filling and delicious meal. I’m sure non-raw fish eaters might be wary and perhaps even disgusted, but I’m sure sashimi lovers will definitely enjoy. I’d not recommend this specific dish to first-timers, maybe try their tuna- or salmon-dons or their other cooked meals and just have a taste from someone who ordered a chirashi-don. They do serve vegetarian and halal lunches, so it’s definitely a good option for multicultural parties. What’s difficult about this place is the location—unless you’re a local, having a field trip around Miyagi prefecture like myself, or maybe visiting the nearby Manga Museum, I don’t see a specific reason going to this specific place. If you do happen to manage to fit this in your itinerary, it’s definitely worth stopping by for.
If you came from my 7-Eleven review, you can click here to easily continue following my food odyssey in Japan from where you left.