Shinjuku 3-7-3, Marunaka Building 1st floor 新宿区新宿３−７−３
17:00 – 24:00, no holidays
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.
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.
The gyutan (cow’s tongue) is simmered gently until tender. One of my favorite dishes here.
The menu is written out in Japanese on wooden boards and posted around the bar.
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).