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Dempster Fish Market - Take Out Sushi [Pictures]

Dempster Fish Market - Take Out Sushi [Pictures]
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  • Dempster Fish Market - Take Out Sushi [Pictures]

    Post #1 - March 18th, 2008, 12:39 pm
    Post #1 - March 18th, 2008, 12:39 pm Post #1 - March 18th, 2008, 12:39 pm
    LTHForum,

    Recently had a nice lunch at Dempster Fish Market, one door West of TTOWA Dumpling House. From the outside DFM appears full service, though it's actually geared to take out, seeming large amounts of take out if the pace of the two quiet, but pleasant, shop owners is any indication.

    Dempster Fish Market
    Image

    Fish selection is limited, for example no hamachi or saba Monday, though what they had was very fresh.

    Dempster Fish Market Sashimi combo
    Image

    We ate in-house, though I imagine the table and chairs are used mainly by those waiting for pick-up orders, and in addition to sashimi had a spicy tuna hand roll and unagi hand roll. Steve Z, whose company I had the pleasure of at lunch, thought his spicy tuna hand roll had a bit too much mayo, I very much enjoyed my unagi hand roll, especially with the suggested dip in accompanying Korean hot sauce.

    Hand rolls: Unagi (L), Spicy Tuna(R)
    Image

    Dempster Fish Market seems the perfect place for quick pick up dinners and large party platters, and there are lunch time specials as well. I'm looking forward to a return visit.

    Dempster Fish Market
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Dempster Fish Market
    5846 W Dempster
    Morton Grove, Il 60053
    847-581-9220
    http://www.dempsterfish.com/

    TTOWA Dumpling House
    5844 W Dempster St
    Morton Grove, IL
    847-967-0066
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - March 18th, 2008, 1:30 pm
    Post #2 - March 18th, 2008, 1:30 pm Post #2 - March 18th, 2008, 1:30 pm
    Well, I guess the secret's out.

    This is my favorite place to get sushi in the Chicagoland area. I'm not a big fan of their maki (OK, but not rolled tight enough, IMO), but their nigiri sushi is excellent. The fish is impeccably fresh, and their sushi combo platters are probably the best deal around regardless of cuisine.

    There is some seating available, but this is mainly a take out place. I don't live close by, so I phone my orders in and it's usually ready by the time I get there.

    This place is a real hole in the wall; don't blink or you'll miss it. I've been there numerous times and I'm still not sure exactly where it is when I go there.

    The sushi platter comes with wasabi, ginger, wooden chopsticks, paper napkins and Korean soy sauce. It's noticeably different from Japanese soy sauce; being Japanese I prefer the Japanese version that I grew up with and still use. Try it and see if it's to your taste, but have some Japanese soy sauce available to fall back on.

    The woman who answers the phone and works behind the counter is like most Korean storekeepers, a little standoffish at first. She's much friendlier to me now than when I first started going, so if she seems a little cold when you first go there, it's no big deal.

    Once I saw the thread on TTOWA, I knew a thread like this was coming. I find myself being a little ambivalent. Dempster Fish is one of those places that you want to succeed and you want to tell EVERYONE about, yet you don't want them to get too popular so that prices rise and quality falls. The word is out now.
  • Post #3 - March 18th, 2008, 1:49 pm
    Post #3 - March 18th, 2008, 1:49 pm Post #3 - March 18th, 2008, 1:49 pm
    Gary,

    Thanks for the report. Dempster Fish Market is another place I'm constantly passing on my way to somewhere else. My sister and I are going to flip a coin on that block of Dempster tonight--it's either DFM or TTOWA for dinner.
  • Post #4 - March 18th, 2008, 2:05 pm
    Post #4 - March 18th, 2008, 2:05 pm Post #4 - March 18th, 2008, 2:05 pm
    Although the limited selection of fish at Dempster Fish Market was very high quality, I don't think I'd call it a destination. I doubt I'd go back there unless I needed a big tray of Maki for some reason. I suppose it has its charms, but there are so many places with a bigger selection and more atmosphere. GNR Winner Renga-Tei comes to mind.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - March 18th, 2008, 2:26 pm
    Post #5 - March 18th, 2008, 2:26 pm Post #5 - March 18th, 2008, 2:26 pm
    Thanks for the report. I'm in this area around lunchtime occasionally and I'll definitely stop in next time. And I love the design of their website!
  • Post #6 - March 18th, 2008, 3:38 pm
    Post #6 - March 18th, 2008, 3:38 pm Post #6 - March 18th, 2008, 3:38 pm
    Do they have mirugai available as part of the sashimi tray? There was a place on Lawrence, near Pulaski, that my parents used to get sashimi from in the style of the pic upthread. I remember we'd always get mirugai as well!
  • Post #7 - March 18th, 2008, 5:44 pm
    Post #7 - March 18th, 2008, 5:44 pm Post #7 - March 18th, 2008, 5:44 pm
    viaChgo wrote:Do they have mirugai available as part of the sashimi tray? There was a place on Lawrence, near Pulaski, that my parents used to get sashimi from in the style of the pic upthread. I remember we'd always get mirugai as well!


    If you look in the upper left of the picture, hiding under the ginger were some small, very tasty clams. I'm not sure if they were mirugai, but they sure were fresh and good!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - March 18th, 2008, 9:58 pm
    Post #8 - March 18th, 2008, 9:58 pm Post #8 - March 18th, 2008, 9:58 pm
    stevez wrote:If you look in the upper left of the picture, hiding under the ginger were some small, very tasty clams. I'm not sure if they were mirugai, but they sure were fresh and good!

    Steve,

    They were red clams, mirugai is geoduck.

    Dempster Fish Market, Red Clam
    Image

    Chinatown Market, Geoduck
    Image

    Agreed, the red clam was very fresh and quite tasty.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Chinatown Market
    2121 S Archer Ave
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-881-0068
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - March 18th, 2008, 10:03 pm
    Post #9 - March 18th, 2008, 10:03 pm Post #9 - March 18th, 2008, 10:03 pm
    According to their website, Dempster Fish serves hokigai, which is a different kind of clam than mirugai. However, it's not uncommon for fish/sushi places to interchange them because mirugai is thought of as just being any large clam, when it actually is geoduck. It wouldn't surprise me if the place on Lawrence served you a different kind of clam and called it mirugai. Not unlike the recent red snapper/sea bream situation.
  • Post #10 - March 18th, 2008, 10:11 pm
    Post #10 - March 18th, 2008, 10:11 pm Post #10 - March 18th, 2008, 10:11 pm
    stevez wrote:I suppose it has its charms, but there are so many places with a bigger selection and more atmosphere. GNR Winner Renga-Tei comes to mind.

    Steve,

    Not sure Renga-Tei, which I very much like, is a good comparison. R-T is a full service Japanese restaurant, Dempster Fish House is (mainly) take out. I'd more compare DFM to Sea Ranch on Lake in Wilmette. Both are take out, but to my mind Dempster Fish Market wins on price, service and freshness of ingredients.

    Far as DFM being a destination, I'm sure I'll stop occasionally for lunch or dinner take away, but if I wanted three dozen maki rolls and 75 pieces of nigiri for a party Dempster Fish House would be first on my list.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Sea Ranch
    3217 Lake Ave
    Wilmette, IL 60091
    847-256-4404
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - March 19th, 2008, 2:33 am
    Post #11 - March 19th, 2008, 2:33 am Post #11 - March 19th, 2008, 2:33 am
    G Wiv wrote:Not sure Renga-Tei, which I very much like, is a good comparison. R-T is a full service Japanese restaurant, Dempster Fish House is (mainly) take out. I'd more compare DFM to Sea Ranch on Lake in Wilmette. Both are take out, but to my mind Dempster Fish Market wins on price, service and freshness of ingredients.


    I would completely agree on the comparison to Sea Ranch being more appropriate and I'd also agree that Dempster Fish would be a far better choice between those two.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - March 19th, 2008, 7:14 am
    Post #12 - March 19th, 2008, 7:14 am Post #12 - March 19th, 2008, 7:14 am
    stevez wrote: would completely agree on the comparison to Sea Ranch being more appropriate and I'd also agree that Dempster Fish would be a far better choice between those two.


    Fish off?
  • Post #13 - March 19th, 2008, 8:05 am
    Post #13 - March 19th, 2008, 8:05 am Post #13 - March 19th, 2008, 8:05 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    stevez wrote:If you look in the upper left of the picture, hiding under the ginger were some small, very tasty clams. I'm not sure if they were mirugai, but they sure were fresh and good!

    Steve,

    They were red clams, mirugai is geoduck.


    Agreed, the red clam was very fresh and quite tasty.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Chinatown Market
    2121 S Archer Ave
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-881-0068


    Those in the picture very much look like hokigai (surf clam) - one of my favorites. Usually much more tender than mirugai in my opinion.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #14 - March 19th, 2008, 8:17 am
    Post #14 - March 19th, 2008, 8:17 am Post #14 - March 19th, 2008, 8:17 am
    seebee wrote:
    Those in the picture very much look like hokigai (surf clam) - one of my favorites. Usually much more tender than mirugai in my opinion.


    They were very much like hokigai, but they were smaller, less plump and more mild than hokigai is normally. I suppose they could have been from a batch of young hokigai, but I suspect that they were a close cousin. Whatever they were, they were very good.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - March 19th, 2008, 8:58 am
    Post #15 - March 19th, 2008, 8:58 am Post #15 - March 19th, 2008, 8:58 am
    stevez wrote:
    viaChgo wrote:Do they have mirugai available as part of the sashimi tray? There was a place on Lawrence, near Pulaski, that my parents used to get sashimi from in the style of the pic upthread. I remember we'd always get mirugai as well!


    If you look in the upper left of the picture, hiding under the ginger were some small, very tasty clams. I'm not sure if they were mirugai, but they sure were fresh and good!


    Ah, I see...it was camouflaged by the ginger! Those clams look pretty tasty!

    Seebee - you're definitely right about those being more tender than mirugai. But, for some reason, I love that crunchy/chewy texture of the mirugai!

    One more question - I noticed the Korean on the window - do you they also serve you the spicy/tangy dipping sauce as well as soy?
  • Post #16 - March 19th, 2008, 9:35 am
    Post #16 - March 19th, 2008, 9:35 am Post #16 - March 19th, 2008, 9:35 am
    viaChgo wrote:One more question - I noticed the Korean on the window - do you they also serve you the spicy/tangy dipping sauce as well as soy?


    If you mean the stuff that is the color and consistancy (but not the taste) of ketchup, then yes.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - March 19th, 2008, 9:39 am
    Post #17 - March 19th, 2008, 9:39 am Post #17 - March 19th, 2008, 9:39 am
    stevez wrote:If you mean the stuff that is the color and consistancy (but not the taste) of ketchup, then yes.

    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - March 22nd, 2008, 8:34 am
    Post #18 - March 22nd, 2008, 8:34 am Post #18 - March 22nd, 2008, 8:34 am
    G Wiv - wanted to add my thanks to you and your camera, but had to comment on the Dempster Fish Market website :

    http://www.dempsterfish.com/

    I have never seen anything like this ... it the most simple, economical use of web " space" ever, like some clever zen analog of the small, focused storefront it represents.

    I dunno, there is something perfect about this - wonder if the webmaster is the chef ?
    gp
  • Post #19 - March 22nd, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #19 - March 22nd, 2008, 9:13 am Post #19 - March 22nd, 2008, 9:13 am
    gpconco wrote:G Wiv - wanted to add my thanks to you and your camera, but had to comment on the Dempster Fish Market website :

    http://www.dempsterfish.com/

    I have never seen anything like this ... it the most simple, economical use of web " space" ever, like some clever zen analog of the small, focused storefront it represents.

    I dunno, there is something perfect about this - wonder if the webmaster is the chef ?


    One of the people working there (the one who spoke a little English) commented that one of their customers was working on their website.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #20 - March 22nd, 2008, 9:53 pm
    Post #20 - March 22nd, 2008, 9:53 pm Post #20 - March 22nd, 2008, 9:53 pm
    stevez wrote:
    viaChgo wrote:One more question - I noticed the Korean on the window - do you they also serve you the spicy/tangy dipping sauce as well as soy?


    If you mean the stuff that is the color and consistancy (but not the taste) of ketchup, then yes.


    I'm no expert on Korean food, so take this with a grain of salt, but I believe the variety used for raw fish in its various forms (including hwe dup bap, etc.) is chogochujang: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gochujang
  • Post #21 - March 29th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Post #21 - March 29th, 2008, 4:23 pm Post #21 - March 29th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    The web site gas more info!

    http://www.dempsterfish.com/base.html
  • Post #22 - March 30th, 2008, 12:54 pm
    Post #22 - March 30th, 2008, 12:54 pm Post #22 - March 30th, 2008, 12:54 pm
    I sotpped by there today and got a ten piece assortment to go. It was fine until I got to the salmon. The texture of it was so off I spit it out, something I have never done with a piece of sushi before. It wasn't the usual soft with perhaps a bit of connective tissue; it was tough and mealy.

    The rest was ok but I'm gonna stick to the tuna there from now on.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #23 - April 19th, 2008, 4:24 pm
    Post #23 - April 19th, 2008, 4:24 pm Post #23 - April 19th, 2008, 4:24 pm
    Octarine wrote:I sotpped by there today and got a ten piece assortment to go. It was fine until I got to the salmon.

    Mike,

    Both times I've been to Dempster fish, including today's lunch, fresh salmon has been tasty. I'd suggest giving it another try.

    Dempster Fish
    Image

    Image

    Saturday lunch Dempster Fish was doing land office business on take-away sashimi trays.

    Sashimi Tray
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - April 19th, 2008, 4:45 pm
    Post #24 - April 19th, 2008, 4:45 pm Post #24 - April 19th, 2008, 4:45 pm
    Thanks for the reminder, Gary. As I posted in another thread, I think I have just lost my taste for some sushi for a while. DFH was not the only one that tasted off to me. I'm gonna take a break fro mit and try again in a couple months.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #25 - April 20th, 2008, 10:05 am
    Post #25 - April 20th, 2008, 10:05 am Post #25 - April 20th, 2008, 10:05 am
    Octarine wrote:Thanks for the reminder, Gary. As I posted in another thread, I think I have just lost my taste for some sushi for a while. DFH was not the only one that tasted off to me. I'm gonna take a break fro mit and try again in a couple months.


    Octarine, it's not just you. I have had some off sushi at this place. I got the impression that they put their best fish in their large orders and that their smaller orders can be hit or miss, depending on what's available. I was a steady customer for several years, but the ownership changed hands a couple of years back and this problem arose.
    I'm not saying it happens all the time at DFM, but I have switched my business to Renga-Tei.
  • Post #26 - April 20th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Post #26 - April 20th, 2008, 11:32 am Post #26 - April 20th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Camusman wrote:I'm not saying it happens all the time at DFM, but I have switched my business to Renga-Tei.

    Camusman,

    As Steve Z and I discuss upthread I don't think it's an apt comparison between DFH and Renga Tei or, for that matter, another of my neighborhood favorites Tampopo.

    Not discounting your or Octarine's experience, but I've been to DFH twice, both times with good, especially in the price/value ratio, results.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #27 - April 20th, 2008, 11:56 am
    Post #27 - April 20th, 2008, 11:56 am Post #27 - April 20th, 2008, 11:56 am
    There is no excuse for an off piece of fish on a sushi or sashimi platter under any circumstances. Fortunately, I haven't encountered any such problem in the years I've been going there.

    I'm a big fan of Renga-Tei as well, but it's not the same type of dining experience. I'll have a roll or two at Renga-Tei on occasion, but if I'm interested in a substantial amount of sushi (and for me, that's a lot!), Dempster Fish is my choice.
  • Post #28 - April 20th, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Post #28 - April 20th, 2008, 2:45 pm Post #28 - April 20th, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Camusman,

    As Steve Z and I discuss upthread I don't think it's an apt comparison between DFH and Renga Tei or, for that matter, another of my neighborhood favorites Tampopo.

    Not discounting your or Octarine's experience, but I've been to DFH twice, both times with good, especially in the price/value ratio, results.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    I can understand that for some people the comparison is not apt. But for me, when I have a craving for sushi but not the bucks for Katsu, I am willing to make the short drive to Renga-Tei. I used to be able get by with DFM because of the good price/value Gary mentions, but no more.
    YMMV
  • Post #29 - April 21st, 2008, 6:41 pm
    Post #29 - April 21st, 2008, 6:41 pm Post #29 - April 21st, 2008, 6:41 pm
    I found Dempster Fish on here and gave it a try a few weeks ago before the Edens construction began and was really pleased. My office is just off the Peterson exit so now the round trip is almost doubled in time.

    I ordered for 4 on Friday and overall everyone was pretty pleased. Between the 4 of us we had two of the 6 piece/california roll specials, 1 hand roll special and the cali/tekka/kappa special plus Dragon and fried crab maki and a couple extra misc sushi pieces. All total it was $46 which was much less than we would spend at Renga Tei.

    The sushi was excellent as it was the first time I went. I liked the maki rolls with a couple of small issues. I generally like the cucumber pieces to be a little smaller than they cut them and they went a little crazy on the tobiko on the california rolls. The tekka was not whole tuna which is what I prefer, but it was still good. I think someone else mentioned that the rolls were not as tightly rolled as he liked them and I would agree, but it was still good. The hand rolls were excellent though.

    That picture of the sashimi platter looked really good, I am trying to find all the sushi people in our office and order a couple platters for lunch some day.
  • Post #30 - April 21st, 2008, 8:56 pm
    Post #30 - April 21st, 2008, 8:56 pm Post #30 - April 21st, 2008, 8:56 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Dempster Fish
    Image

    Image


    Enjoy,
    Gary


    If i wanted this exact tray, what would I order? and how much is it?

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