Down Home Flavor from the Bottom of the Sea

**This is a new section of the blog focusing on food and drink establishments in Ibaraki. I hope to have many more such pieces up soon^^ Again, if you have any suggestions for places/people/things you would like to see covered on the blog, or have written a short ‘review’ of your own, please contact me at: intl.ibaraki@gmail.com Bon appetite!**

Place: Kaachan no mise (Mom’s place)

Location: Oarai Fishing Port

Cuisine: Seafood

Price range: 700 – 1300 yen

When you’re in a town right beside the ocean you know you have to try the seafood. Kaachan no mise is locally famous because it was started by the mother of one of the fisherman working out of the port here and began by serving other fisherman; if people whose life’s work is fish keep coming back, you know it has to be good. Expect to find a line up outside as word about the reasonably-priced, freshly-caught fare has spread, but the service is extremely fast so you won’t be kept waiting too long. Inside, the décor is fishing-themed, with the big triumphant ‘large catch’ banners that fisherman wave when they come back with a big haul hanging from the ceilings in their multi-colored glory, accented with nets and buoys. Everything is local and the seafood is brought straight from the morning fish market no more than 50 feet from the front door (which you can visit yourself if you get there early enough). Specials include the marinated fish rice bowl, the ‘Mom meal’ which has deep-fried fish and onions and shirasu and shiso leaf on rice, sashimi, and more. The menu is rather small, only 10 or so dishes with some changing daily specials depending on the catch of the day, but the food is very tasty and brought out quickly. That said, this is probably not a good choice for those with small children, as the portions are quite large and it’s seafood or nothing. Water and tea are free, but they do have beer on tap for only 300 yen a glass. The seats are cafeteria style, but overall it’s clean and pleasant. If you’re in the area you might as well drop in for some home cooking!

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