This restaurant is loud, raucous and busy, much like life on a fishing boat, which may or may not be incidental since Isaribi takes its name from the light used to lure fish at night — often seen on trawlers used to catch squid. Isaribi is the original (opened in 1973) of a small chain of robatayakis (country-style grill) that focus on seafood.
If you can grab a seat at the low counters that fan out around the cooks, you can watch your meal being flame grilled before you. In fact, getting a seat at Isaribi is not easy, which is probably why there are three sister restaurants nearby.
When we were finally seated on a recent visit, our server suggested we try their great hulking prawns, which we followed with scallops and hoke, a type of mackerel, rich in flavor and fish oil. The flame-grilled prawns were served whole and they justified the wait. Make sure to get some of their signature skewer dishes, including bacon, sweet corn and chicken dribbled with barbecue sauce — they were every bit as messy as they were delicious.
There is one more reason to try and get a seat or table at Isaribi: Just after 10 p.m. most nights there’s bingo, and a chance to win your meal for free, but, more than that, the bingo master’s beguiling performance is almost better than winning.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.