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Oct 19, 2011 01:45 AM

Non-Traditional Japanese Food in Tokyo?

Just in Tokyo for a few days, and we've already traveled the country and tried most of the traditional eats (sushi, tonkatsu, soba, ramen, traditional 16-plate meals, etc) to the point where we're looking for something different. Ideally we'd like something still Japanesey, but with a twist. Something like Butagumi seems like a good fit, but I'm already a bit tonkatsu'd out. Anything else people can recommend?

We're staying in Shibuya, but not averse to trekking a bit for something really good. Also, trying not to spend $100 a person, so unique eats on the lower end of the price scale are preferred.

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  1. Bakuro in Ebisu is a fantastic horsemeat restaurant. The charcoal-grilled cuts are especially good, and the sukiyaki-style dish is very filling and tasty, with lots of vegetables. Also, they serve some of the best horse sashimi I've ever had.

    Perhaps more of a casual lunchtime or mid-afternoon meal, the Sendai-style charcoal-grilled beef tongue at Rikyu in Ikebukuro is unusual and very satisfying. The Y1500 Rikyu set includes both grilled tongue and a half-size portion of either tongue stew or tongue curry.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robb S

      Interesting suggestions - I could do with tongue, but I'm not sure I can go for horse meat though. It's a little too unusual...

      I guess I was just looking for restaurants that are more nouveau-style japanese foods or fusion restaurants.

      1. re: waetherman

        Ah, okay. For Asian fusion based on pretty solid Japanese cuisine, I always like Daidaiya in Shinjuku:

        1. re: Robb S

          Solid recommendation, Robb - great find. We had the following with great results;

          Dried tomato and Camembert tempura; **** good separate, great together
          Kimchi fried soft-shelled crab; ***** delicious flavor, though a bit greasy
          Caeser salad w/purple sweet potato; *** overdressed a bit, could have used more of the delicious sweet potato crisps
          Potato & salmon; *** good, but unexceptional

          Grilled chicken w/yuzu salt; ***** ah-MAZE-ing. Moist, delicious flavor, great roast hot pepper sauce, great value too (1400 y)
          Sirloin with truffle salt and watercress: **** exceptional buttery texture, great flavor, rich and delicious. I'm glad I shared this with my wife because a whole plate of it probably would have been too rich for me.

          We probably ordered too much food, but the menu was just too good to pass up. Overall a four-star restaurant with good value - cost us about 5000 y per person. The only downside was there was no non-smoking section, but I guess that's to be expected in Japan.

          PS those looking for this establishment, it's easy to find. Take the JR to Shinjuku station, exit out of the east exit, go immediately right and then down about 1 block. Nowa building is right there, take the elevator to the third floor.

          1. re: waetherman

            Excellent - I'm glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the detailed report.