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Fish-Lovers' Paradise: Himonoya in Shibuya [PR]

Shibuya

We had the pleasure of dining at Himonoya, an izakaya-style restaurant specializing in 'himono,' a specific way of preparing fish. The food was fantastic, and changed my mind about cooked fish.

Feel free to follow favy!

Fish Lovers, This is Your Izakaya!

Store_Front
Head down the stairs into this great izakaya
Himonoya is a special izakaya-style restaurant in Shibuya that serves truly outstanding fish dishes in a relaxed and cozy setting. We visited for a late lunch the other day, and had a fantastic meal. If you're a fan of Japanese fish and want to try something that is delicious, but different than sushi, I highly recommend coming here!

The Traditional Japanese Way to Prepare Fish -- Wait, it isn't Sushi??

For a long time, I've thought that cooking high-quality fish was a shame; "raw is always the best way to eat it!" I would say. However, trying the charcoal-grilled himono here has changed my mind about that.
Fish_grilling
Grilling over a charcoal flame
At Himonoya, it's all about the fish. Yes, there are some raw options on the menu, but the stars here are the himono. Himono translates to "dried fish," but this really isn't a good way to describe the juicy, rich product that is the result of this traditional method of preparation.
fish_flesh_up_close
Rich, salty, juicy, and fatty. So. Delicious.
Himono is fish that is salted and partially dried before cooking. Traditionally, this was done outside in the sun and wind, but nowadays -due to food safety reasons- this is done inside. The process of removing moisture from the fish gives it an enhanced, richer flavor and juicier texture. It's quite different (and yummier) than a fish that is cooked fresh.
overview_of_the_feast
Now that's a spread!

Our Meal

Ordering

Himonoya has an English menu, and is very accessible to non-Japanese speakers. The store even has a 'Pocket Talk' device that can do voice translation, which helps the staff with communication when needed. The server was really kind, and even told a joke that was translated into English!
Pocket_talk_use
The server's joke was successfully translated!

Food Items

If you want to try a smaller portion of many different fish, the 5 skewer set is a great option. Every fish was very different, and each was delicious.
Skewer_set
5 skewers of 5 different fish (¥1,480)
P1034321
Squid legs + mayo = yum
Saba_skewer
Crispy exterior, moist, heavenly interior
P1034272
Delicious!
These little fried shrimp were crispy and flavorful. You can eat the whole thing in one bite!
shrimp_and_lemon
Whole, deep-fried sweet shrimp (¥480)
Shrimp_up_close
Look at this cute little tasty shrimp!
The most visually impressive item has to be this shima hokke. The meat is tender and packed with amazing flavor. Warning: it's huge! If you don't have a group large enough to finish a whole one, you can also order just a half.
Himono_up_close
The giant, whole shima hokke (a type of mackerel). (¥1,980)
If I had to pick a favorite item from the meal, it would have to be the Salmon belly. Dipped in a little soy sauce, this was the most delicious bite of salmon I've ever tried.
Salmon_zoom_in
This is the richest salmon you'll ever taste! (¥690)
We tried the sashimi, too, and it didn't disappoint. The shrimp were particularly creamy and scrumptious.
Sashimi_Bowl
5-variety sashimi bowl (¥1,290)
I recommend ordering some grilled veggies to balance all the fish. These charcoal-grilled mushrooms were full of smoky, deep flavor.
Mushrooms_and_butter
Charcoal-grilled enoki mushrooms (¥390)

Awesome Sake Menu!

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Careful when you pour the sake! We spilled a little bit on the first try.
Himonoya also has a great drink menu that includes a large selection of quality sake. If you're not a sake connoisseur, you can ask the server for a recommendation of sake to pair with your meal. The crisp sake goes perfectly with the salty, rich himono! It's truly a magical combination.
P1034242
One for me, one for you.

Dimly lit and cozy interior

The inside of the restaurant has a traditional yet relaxing vibe. As soon as we walked down the stairs, the scent of grilling fish met our noses, and our appetites were activated.
Table_Option_one
Sitting at a 'Horigotatsu' table is like sitting on the ground, but with your feet in a hole under the table.
Himonoya seems like a great place to come and hang out with friends or family while enjoying various dishes and sake. It would be a great option whether you wanted to get a full meal, or you just wanted to focus on drinks with some amazing finger food.

There are private rooms with standard tables available, or you can sit at one of these long, traditional 'Horigotatsu' tables to get a more old-fashioned experience.
Private_room
Even a large group can be seated together at one of the long tables

Final Thoughts

We were very surprised and impressed by the food at Himonoya. Himono has a long tradition, and is an incredibly delicious way to eat fish. If you've never tried it, we highly recommend Himonoya in Shibuya.

The shop is located 3 minutes away from the A3 Exit of Shibuya station. Try it out for yourself!
favy
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