Kinozen in Kagurazaka 神楽坂の紀の善

Window Shopping at Kinozen

Window Shopping at Kinozen

The ever-present line at Kinozen

The ever-present line at Kinozen

Kinozen 紀の善

Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 1-12 新宿区神楽坂1-12

Tel. 03-3269-2920

11:00 – 21:00, Monday – Saturday

12:00 – 18:00, Sunday & holidays

Closed the 3rd Sunday of each month

no website

 

Kinozen is one of the cities popular kanmidokoro. Located just next door to Fujiya, Kinozen too often has a line out the front door. Their signature dish is a modern mattcha babaloa. The babaloa made from Uji mattcha is delicate with tsubuan (chunky azuki) and whipped cream is a nice ensemble of flavors and textures. The kakigori in the summer of shaved ice colored with flavored syrups are irresistible and offer a respite from the heat and humidity. There is also a selection of items to go, including the mattcha babaloa.

Fujiya in Kagurazaka

Fujiya

Fujiya

Peko-chan grilled cakes

Peko-chan grilled cakes

Grilling the Peko-chan cakes

Grilling the Peko-chan cakes

Peko-chan

Peko-chan

Fujiya 不二家

Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 1-12 新宿区神楽坂1-12

Tel. 03-3269-1526

10:00 – 22:00, Monday – Friday

11:30 – 19:00, weekend and holidays

www.fujiya-peko.co.jp (Japanese)

Fujiya is a chain famous for affordable Western-style sweets. Normally nothing to line up for, however, this Kagurazaka branch is the only shop in Japan where you can purchase Pekochan-yaki. Pekochan is the darling mascot of the Fujiya sweets chain. The outside is a pancake like dough grilled and filled with azuki, chocolate and some seasonal flavors like mango or mattcha. The windows allow you to watch the process of the cakes being made while you are standing in line.

Tokyo Bargain Dining – Katsukura Tonkatsu in Shinjuku 新宿のかつくら

Katsukura

Katsukura

In Shinjuku Times Square Building are several restaurant floors. Katsukura for tonkatsu on the 14th floor.

Pickles at Katsukura

Pickles at Katsukura

Sesame Seeds in a Grinder

Sesame Seeds in a Grinder

Not every tonkatsu restaurant serves the tonkatsu with a mortar and pestle and toasted sesame seeds. Grind the seeds, releasing the aroma of the sesame seeds, and add tonkatsu sauce and then dress your tonkatsu.

Tonkatsu at Katsukura

Tonkatsu at Katsukura

And the pork, breaded and deep-fried until golden.

There is often a line outside of the restaurant, but it usually moves quickly. If you are in a rush, there are plenty of other restaurants to choose from on the restaurant floors.

Katsukura

Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya 5-24-2, Shinjuku Times Square Building 14th Floor

11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily, no holidays

Ebisu Itchome Horumon 恵比寿一丁目ホルモン for Offal Cuisine

Ebisu Itchome Horumon Exterior

Ebisu Itchome Horumon Exterior

Ebisu Itchome Horumon is a few minutes’ walk from Ebisu station.

Ebisu Itchome Horumon Interior

Ebisu Itchome Horumon Interior

Gas grills are on each table with a strong exhaust pipe over each grill.

Liver Sashimi

Liver Sashimi

Our first course was a rich liver sashimi, very intense in flavor. It is garnished with sesame oil and salt.

Offal for Grilling

Offal for Grilling

A variety of innards to grill. Other tables that had this same item served had little signs in each well describing what each item was. We were told that the restaurant ran out of signs. Regardless, it is a variety of textures and flavors.

Shinji Grilling

Shinji Grilling

Shinji grills the offal. This is always fun for diners who love to cook.

Offal Hot Pot

Offal Hot Pot

Our last course was a hot pot of offal, tofu, and vegetables.

Offal Menu

Offal Menu

To help diners figure out the different parts of the cow a guide is drawn on a chalkboard.

Offal Menu

Offal Menu

The menu is also posted outside of the restaurant.

This simply designed restaurant features a power vacuum over each table’s gas grill to suck up the smoke. The staff suggested we start off with liver sashimi, which was very fresh but cut too thick. The next course of grilled naizo was our favorite, especially the fatty tontoro (neck) and hearty hatsumoto (aorta). Ebisu Itchome’s signature dish, the kopuchan nabe, is filled with vegetables to balance the fatty small intestines. The loud music explains why our phone calls went unanswered while we were lost for 45 minutes, so make sure you bring along a good map.

Ebisu Itchome Horumon 恵比寿一丁目ホルモン
Shibuya-ku, Ebisu 1-22-23 渋谷区恵比寿1-22-23

Tel: 03-6277-0777

Open daily 11:30am-3pm and 6pm-5am

Nearest stn: Ebisu, east exit

http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g431308

Shinjuku Hormone for Offal Cuisine

Personal Grill at Shinjuku Hormone

Personal Grill at Shinjuku Hormone

Shinjuku Hormone 新宿ホルモン

Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-12-3 新宿区新宿3-12-3

Tel. 03-3353-4129

Hours: 17:00 – 24:00, no holidays

www.ishii-world.jp/brand/motsu/shinjuku-horumon/shinjukuhoru/ (Japanese)

Shinjuku Horumon and Saiseisakaba are part of a chain of restaurants managed by Ishii Group. They are the specialists in naizo, evident by the top quality products they serve, their knowledgeable staff and the wide variety of items on their menus.

If you are the type that loves to cook, you will love it here. Each party has their own shichirin (charcoal stove) to grill up their hormones. The sumi (charcoal) roasts better than gas and gives a better aroma to the meats. If you are curious, here you can try things like pai (breast) or sao (tip of the penis) as this shop has the most diverse menu. There is also a great poster on the walls explaining the menu.

Shinjuku Hormone

Shinjuku Hormone

The only downside to this restaurant with all of the personal grills around the restaurant is how smokey the restaurant gets. Don’ go in wearing your nice clothes for you will reek of greasy smoke for the rest of the evening. And, a good idea to take a shower after you come home.

Snout to Tail Offal

Snout to Tail Offal

Shinjuku Hormone has a long menu of offal. There is a poster on the wall with photos of the different parts of the animal. Just point at what you want to try.

Charcoal Grill Shichirin

Charcoal Grill Shichirin

The shichirin grills are not gas (like at many restaurants around the city) but filled with charcoal. The sumi charcoal produces a strong infrared heat that cooks the meat evenly and quickly.

Shinjuku Hormone is a fun evening for the adventurous diner.

Saiseisakaba for Offal Ryori 再生酒場新宿三丁目

Saiseisakaba Shinjuku Sanchome

Saiseisakaba Shinjuku Sanchome

Saiseisakaba 再生酒場

Shinjuku 3-7-3, Marunaka Building 1st floor 新宿区新宿3−7−3

Tel. 03-3354-4829

17:00 – 24:00, no holidays

www.ishii-world.jp/brand/motsu/nihonsaisei/shinjuku3/ (Japanese)

On the back streets of Shinjuku Sanchome is this friendly tachinomi (standing bar). Designed with Showa era items so it feels like stepping back in time. The shop features grilled innards but you can have some items sashimi style. Brains are creamy and the yudetan (boiled tongue) is tender. If you can, grab a spot at the counter and notice how the staff are vigilant at keeping cutting boards spotless. You can also see everything being grilled and what is coming out of the open kitchen staffed with young, handsome men.

Brain Sashimi

Brain Sashimi

Saiseisakaba has branches around the city. I first found them in Monzennakacho on Eitai Dori. There is also a location in the Shin Marunouchi Building (Shin Maru Biru) just outside of Tokyo Station. The staff are always genki and helpful.

The staff behind the counter asked us what we wanted to have and we asked him to surprise us, that we were game for unusual items. He started out with sashimi of brain. I thought Shinji would take the first bite, but he wasn’t keen on it. So I started. It was surprisingly good, almost like shirako (sperm sacs, often from cod, but from a variety of fish). It was creamy, fresh and a great way to start our evening.

Simmered Cow's Tongue

Simmered Cow's Tongue

The gyutan (cow’s tongue) is simmered gently until tender. One of my favorite dishes here.

Saiseisakaba Menu

Saiseisakaba Menu

The menu is written out in Japanese on wooden boards and posted around the bar.

Grilling Offal

Grilling Offal

Then we challenged the grill master to surprise us with five unusual skewers, and he came back with chewy shokudo (esophagus); crispy guts; hizo (spleen), which was similar to liver but with a side of fat; rubbery nodomoto (throat); and meaty komekami (temple).

If you are up for an adventurous dinner, then check out this popular tachinomi (standing bar).