There’s a new restaurant that popped up in Nagoya City that caught my eye because it serves something a bit different. It’s something you definitely don’t see in the western world and that might be because people aren’t used to seeing it as food, and eating this animal might be seen as inhumane. I’m afraid I may even be criticized for eating it.
The restaurant is called Fisherman’s Bistro GEIRIKI (ビストロ 鯨力) and its main specialty is whale. The Japanese have been eating whale for years now, so they can eat it without squirming or thinking twice about how the rest of the world condemns whaling. I won’t get into this too much here since I don’t believe I know enough about the topic to form an opinion yet, and the purpose of this article is to showcase a new restaurant that I thought was interesting to try.
Their lunch menu has a variety of dishes all involving whale meat. There’s curry, whale cutlet, stew, and a few different rice bowls.
I chose the rare steak on a hot plate (1,080 yen). This lunch came with a salad, soup, rice, and some pickled vegetables. The salad was dressed with an Italian style dressing that had a bit of Japanese soy sauce accent. The soup was a consommé, and the pickles seemed housemade. The whale steak came rare on a hot plate and the waiter immediately poured a Japanese-style garlic onion sauce over the dish. The sauce sizzled and you could tell that the plate was still hot, cooking the meat a little more. Biting into it was like biting into a really soft and tender beef steak, but perhaps even softer. It was a bit like maguro (tuna) sashimi, but a bit more sinewy. The sweet and savory sauce was flavorful but a tad too much on the salty side. However, it did go well with the meaty texture of the charred surface layer. Whale itself has a bit of kusami which literally means bad smell (a word to describe slightly fishy, bitter or gamey flavors). I found that the soup complemented the whale to somehow reduce the kusami.
The restaurant has a sort of boathouse feel to it, fitting with the theme. The Rihanna pop music playing made for a casual lunch dining experience.
Whale meat is supposedly protein rich with minimal fat. If you’re in the Nagoya area and feel like a filling, healthy alternative to beef, why not try Fisherman’s Bistro (if you’re okay with the idea of eating whale of course)?