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Kenichi Nishi

Chisou Nishi Kenichi



The potential of fresh fish to lure new residents

Kenichi Nishi moved from Hiroshima to Yaizu and opened his eponymous restaurant here last June. The restaurant he trained at in Hiroshima sourced its fish from Sasue Maeda Fish Store, and Nishi was put in charge of the buying. This was when he first started working with Naoki Maeda.

“Mr. Maeda taught me a great deal about fish, and his fish was always so immaculately prepared. He was just amazing—a fishmonger who left a huge impression.”

Nishi later went independent and visited Maeda in person for the first time. His experience then persuaded him to relocate.

“Mr. Maeda took me to Simples, where I had ‘Mochiuma (springy delish) bonito’ made with bonito caught freshly that afternoon. What a revelation! I had had the same fish sent to Hiroshima before, but the texture didn’t even come close. There was simply no comparison, and I wanted to use fish this fresh too.”

Nishi’s signature dish is “fresh fish pie.” It had already been his specialty from before, but after moving to Yaizu, his goal became to make the dish exclusive to the location. “The filling changes every day. Sometimes I use splendid alfonsino, and other times beltfish. The idea of using fresh shirasu whitebait came from Mr. Maeda. I’m really grateful for is advice, because being a chef of French cuisine, I never would have thought of that myself.”

“Fresh fish pie”—many customers come for the highlight of the filling that changes every day, reflecting the freshest from Suruga Bay.

Each day since his move to Yaizu, the high quality of the fish has continued to fascinate Nishi. Though he still has much to learn about the local ingredients, looking forward, he says he hopes to make the transition to local production, local consumption in the future.

Chisou Nishi Kenichi
4-8-9 Nishi Kogawa, Yaizu

Text | Daisuke Horie Photography | Hitoshi Ohno