We stumbled upon Hogeisen while looking for somewhere good to eat near Sensō-ji. A Shōwa era relic, this izakaya specializes in whale meat. Although the cramped interior and eclectic theatreland photographs and trinkets provided plenty of nostalgia (Kitano “Beat” Takeshi used to dine here when still trying to make his mark on the comedy circuit), the food failed to generate any smiles.
Frozen whale meat tends to have the same oddly firm texture as the dairy-milk ice pops I ate as a child, and is practically tasteless, which is hardly a ringing endorsement. Although the whale meat yakisoba sounded interesting it turned out be a pile of bland noodles and sauce, of the kind usually encountered at festival food stalls, with occasional nuggets of whale meat doing little to impress. The beef nikomi wasn’t up to much either…
Counter seating - traditional theatreland dining
Whale sashimi - not worth the political fallout
Whale meat yakisoba - risable
Beef nikomi - average at best, but once favoured by Kitano Takeshi