There was plenty of sadness and nostalgia when Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, easily the most famous fish market in the world, finally shut down operations and moved to newer, more modern digs at Toyosu Fish Market, two kilometers east.
Meanwhile, here in Hong Kong, we have a super mini version called Tsukiji Yamataka Seafood Market right at the Wan Chai ferry pier.
To be honest, I shouldn’t really even be comparing them. Aside from the word “Tsukiji” and the fact that both sell Japanese sushi related products, the two are really quite different. The original Tsukiji Fish Market is an entire neighborhood with an active fish market, fish auction, and numerous vendors and restaurants.
The Tsukiji Yamataka Seafood Market is more like a large Japanese market that sells fresh seafood, gourmet Japanese groceries, and cute Japanese gifts. The market includes several restaurants inside, including a hamayaki joint (grilled seafood), a donburi (seafood over rice) place, a place specializing in lobster rolls, and a “standing sushi bar” (which also has lots of seats).
It’s definitely a super mini version (just like everything else in Hong Kong). Nevertheless, I was thrilled when I found out we had our own “Tsukiji” fish market right in my backyard in Wan Chai.
Much of the seafood Tsukiji Yamataka Seafood Market sells comes straight from Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo (I guess now Toyosu?). There are huge tanks filled with all sorts of shellfish and other fresh seafood. There’s even a special tuna cutting counter and an oyster area.
The market also has a lot of ready-to-eat donburi, sushi, or sashimi lunchboxes that you can just buy to go. They suggest taking it to the roof-top public park on the roof of the market, which has 360 degree views of the harbour and surrounding areas.
I really enjoy the sushi at the standing sushi counter restaurant.
If it’s not too crowded, you can grab a seat right against the window and enjoy beautiful views of Victoria Harbour while eating fresh sushi. (Yes, it’s a “sitting” restaurant too.)
The nigiri uses high quality ingredients and overall is fresh and quite good.
They even provide a brush with soy sauce so that you can add your own soy sauce to the fish, not unlike the way sushi chefs do it for you at high-end restaurants.
Here’s the Yamataka Set ($238 HKD), a sashimi-focused set that includes uni, toro, scallops (among others).
We also like to get the Tuna Set (4 pieces tuna nigiri plus a maki), and supplement it with other a la carte pieces, such as uni, surf clam, and yellowtail.
The menu includes a reasonable selection of the classics as well as seasonal choices depending on what’s available in Japan.
All in all, we like coming here when we feel like a lighter dinner. The fish is fresh, the sushi is tasty, the views are beautiful, and we never have to wait for a seat. For good or for bad, the place is never super crowded. It means it’s usually pretty easy to get a seat. Perhaps once all the construction is finished around Wan Chai Ferry things will pick up.
For now, it’s a very relaxing place to have a quiet, high quality dinner with ocean views without breaking the bank.
Expect to spend HKD200 to HKD400 per person here. There’s plenty of Japanese beer, and you can also get some other small snacks (though the focus is really on the sushi). You can easily get here by taking the ferry to Wan Chai from Central. Alternatively, you can take the MTR to Wan Chai and the walk about 15 minutes.
Tsukiji Yamataka Seafood Market
2/F, Wan Chai Ferry Pier, Wan Chai
This is the ninth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.