Thursday, December 14, 2017
Restaurant News

Japanese sushi chain pays $117,000 for a tuna. Yes, one tuna. (w/video)

TOKYO — If you thought your last sushi bill was expensive, check this out. Sushi Zanmai, a Japanese restaurant chain, just paid $117,000 for a 441-pound bluefin tuna. Yes, you read that right. That's $265 per pound.

But this was not just any fish. It was the prize catch in the last New Year auction at Tsukiji, the famous, ramshackle fish market in Tokyo that will be torn down this year.

"It was a little more expensive than expected, but it's the highest quality for its shape, color and fat," Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of the restaurant chain, told reporters at the market after the first auction of 2016. "I want our customers to be happy. It was the last auction at Tsukiji so there were many people there, and I feel everyone in the auction was deeply moved."

The bluefin was caught off Aomori prefecture, an area famous for its tuna, and sold for almost three times as much as the most expensive fish at last year's first auction. But this year's pricetag was not a record: Kimura paid almost $1.8 million for a 490-pound tuna in 2013 when he got into a vicious bidding war with the owner of the rival sushi chain, Itamae.

VIDEO: That's one big tuna

Now Japanese have a habit of overpaying at the first auction of the year, part of a superstition called "goshugi soba," or "congratulatory price," that acts as a wish for a good market year ahead.

Japanese eat about 80 percent of all bluefin tuna caught worldwide, and stocks of all three bluefin species — the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic — have fallen over the past 15 years amid overfishing, the Associated Press reported.

But this year was especially meaningful because of the impending closure of the market, the scene of pre-dawn mayhem as little motorized vehicles zoom around the market loaded with fish, trying (or often, not trying) to avoid the tourists snapping photos.

The fish market, one of the biggest in the world, was built in 1935 but will be moved to a new location on a man-made island in Tokyo near the 2020 Olympic village in November. Critics say the new development looks like a shopping mall, but supporters say the old market was unhygienic and dangerous given that it wasn't made to accommodate all the tourists who flock to it.

 
Comments
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Published: 12/12/17
Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

TAMPAMaybe it’s the twinkling chandeliers. All skajillion of them. Or maybe it is the rhythmic syncopation of ice cubes in shiny shakers. It could be the old-timey metal dessert cart with its silver cloches and chafing dishes, or else the chummy-but-...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

TAMPA Just a block away from CW’s Gin Joint, the folks at Urban Juice Co. have retooled, taking the historic Franklin building, one of the city’s oldest, erected in 1895, and re-envisioning it in September as 1895 Kitchen-Bar-Market, a "...
Published: 12/11/17
A vegan soul food eatery is opening in St. Petersburg

A vegan soul food eatery is opening in St. Petersburg

SOUL FOOD: VEGAN STYLERay Milton is a boxing instructor and former pastry chef and proprietor of Sugar Ray’s Bakery in St. Petersburg. In the past couple of years he has branched out with something entirely different. He runs a food truck that sells ...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Food news: Byblos reopens in South Tampa, Arab food festival this weekend

Food news: Byblos reopens in South Tampa, Arab food festival this weekend

REOPENING: BYBLOSYou know that hour before people show up for a dinner party where you think, "Holy smokes, I’ll never be ready in time. What was I thinking?" Nearly every restaurant opening, or reopening, is like that. I scooted by Byblos, a long-st...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17
These Tampa Bay restaurants took honors in the Golden Spoon Awards

These Tampa Bay restaurants took honors in the Golden Spoon Awards

Florida Trend’s annual Golden Spoon awards were announced last week, honoring Florida’s best restaurants. Although Florida Trend serves the state’s business community, the Golden Spoons are a valuable consumer tool. Because Florida restaurants seldom...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Free iced coffee Monday as Dunkin’ Donuts offers #CupOfThanksFlorida

Free iced coffee Monday as Dunkin’ Donuts offers #CupOfThanksFlorida

Dunkin’ Donuts is giving thanks to Floridians with a free small iced coffee on Monday.The #CupOfThanksFlorida promotion is aimed at thanking customers for weathering Hurricane Irma as some locations had to close or change their hours, according to br...
Published: 12/04/17
Restaurant review: Clear Sky on Cleveland Global Bistro tries to cover every food on the planet

Restaurant review: Clear Sky on Cleveland Global Bistro tries to cover every food on the planet

CLEARWATERAll three of the Clear Sky restaurants read like the work of someone who’s been paying attention to what folks want.Co-owner Dan Shouvlin has got the proper curriculum vitae (a background in TGI Friday’s, Chi Chi’s, Olive Garden and then a ...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/04/17
This week’s food news: Clearwater Beach Uncorked, happy 25th birthday to Guppy’s

This week’s food news: Clearwater Beach Uncorked, happy 25th birthday to Guppy’s

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: GUPPY’STwenty-five years for a restaurant is a stupendous achievement in an industry with a two-thirds failure rate. So let’s bake a cake for Guppy’s on the Beach, or at least go there and eat cake. It opened its doors at 1701 Gulf Bl...
Updated one month ago
Lolita's Wine Market in St. Pete is tasty, but good luck deciphering your bill

Lolita's Wine Market in St. Pete is tasty, but good luck deciphering your bill

So much charm packed into so little space. Lolita’s Wine Market is the latest in a string of endearing cheese-and-charcuterie-centric restaurants to open in St. Petersburg. It’s a tiny, adorable thing. There are grape-purple flower boxes...
Updated one month ago