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Mountain of sashimi crowns rice bowl at tuna specialty shop

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Yamaboko-don, featuring three kinds of tuna sashimi, is served at Komatsu Maguro Senmonten restaurant in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture.

By Eri Ishitsuka / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterSAKATA, Yamagata — Topping an extra-large serving of rice was a mountain of sashimi. There were three cuts of tuna alone, from the well-marbled otoro and chutoro to the lean akami, in addition to slices of five other fish including salmon and marinated mackerel. Finally, negitoro minced tuna with scallions formed the peak of the mountain.

This is a signature dish served at Komatsu Maguro Senmonten in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture. Priced at ¥1,850, the dish is named Yamaboko-don, inspired by tate-yamaboko high-rising floats that are a highlight of the Sakata Matsuri festival held for more than 400 years. The bowl is served with dry ice as a playful touch, giving a cool impression particularly in the summer.

Komatsu Maguro Senmonten has long been a retail and wholesale shop specializing in tuna. Owner Yusuke Komatsu, 58, added a restaurant business when the shop moved to the Minato Ichiba commercial complex, developed near Sakata Port by the municipal government, when it opened in 2010.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Owner Yusuke Komatsu stands at his shop.

The restaurant’s menu is based on “affordable and delicious” tuna that Komatsu purchases domestically and from abroad. The Yamaboko-don’s toro and akami were of course tasty, and the volume of food makes it a dish many customers share among family and friends.

Another specialty menu item is a set meal featuring raw tuna head for ¥1,200, available in limited numbers each day. Few restaurants serve the head, and if they do it’s grilled. Komatsu Maguro Senmonten uses its own processing method to serve it raw.

“I believe this is the only restaurant in Japan that serves raw tuna head,” Komatsu said.

The retail shop also sells sashimi and other fish products. It is visited by customers from not just the prefecture, but also all across Japan and abroad.

“I hope my customers will find tuna can be enjoyed at affordable prices,” Komatsu said.

Komatsu Maguro Senmonten: 2-5-56 Funabacho, Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture

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