Review: Tatsumiya (Tokyo, Japan)

1-33-5 Asakusa
Tokyo Prefecture
+81 3 3842 7373

One of the highlights of my Japan trip was meeting a fellow Australian (thanks Tinder), doing drunken karaoke with a bunch of random Japanese people at a karaoke bar and getting locked out of my hotel in Asakusa. Okay, the last bit wasn’t exactly a highlight but at least it made for a funny story to tell.

Prior to getting our drinking (and Britney Spears singing) on, our night started off relatively quiet. We must have walked around Asakusa for 20 minutes, looking for somewhere cheap and decent to eat before deciding to stop at Tatsumiya. I can’t remember why we chose this place – it was no more remarkable than the other establishments on the same block, not far from where Senso-Ji temple sits. I think we just couldn’t be bothered walking any further.


I wasn’t terribly hungry but I was happy to nibble on some kingfish and squid sashimi. After having super fresh raw fish at Tsukiji a few mornings back, it was hard not to be (unfairly) critical tonight. The fish was fine, but just not OMG WOW FRESH.

Tatsumiya also happened to have whale on the menu; it was the first time I had seen it being advertised on a menu in Japan. I know it’s not something that the Japanese would casually eat on a daily basis but I was expecting to see if featured on more menus – either more and more restaurants stopped serving it due to social pressure or peoples’ tastes are just changing. And I may get crucified on social media for this but I actually did consider ordering a small serving of it just to see what it tasted. In the end though, I didn’t – my companion was giving me the judgey eyes.

Beef hot pot
Beef hot pot

The beef hot pot was generously portioned, the perfect serving size for my 6’0 companion who hadn’t eaten in hours. I didn’t find the hot pot supremely delicious – the stew had too much sweetness and a shitload of soy, making it very overpowering. My companion, however, had no complaints but did say that it was something he wouldn’t order again – there were Japanese dishes he liked better.

The owner of Tatsumiya was a lovely gentleman and the service was pretty good throughout – our dishes came out within 10 minutes of ordering and when it came to serving us our drinks, he was as quick as lightning. That said, he was a bit pushy in making us leave the closer it got to 10PM which was a bit of a turn-off (but on the other hand, totally understandable so, wash).

Tatsumiya is not a place I’d happily recommend to friends or return just for the fact that the food is just okay – there are probably better restaurants in Asakusa for a casual Tinder meet-up.

I eat too much.

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