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Mar 14, 2012 04:44 AM

Help with price points and ordering [Tokyo] (Nodaiwa, Narutomi, Souten)


Continuing my previous post (, I am stumbling unto a bit of confusion regarding 3 restaurants...

Nodaiwa (Unagi) : The prices on their menu ( range from 4,500円 to 15,750円. However Google Translate (although being very poetic) is not much help for understanding the difference between the 6 unagi meals ranging between those prices. What is the "standard/traditional" dish I should order ? What is the difference between the 3 first ones (彩りコース 4,500円 - 鰻丼コース 5,800円 - 鰻三楽コース 6,200円). I will not splurge on this restaurant, but I don't want to feel I didn't order what I should have...

Narutomi (Soba) : If I got it right, their prices start at 1,000 for lunch and 3,000 for dinner... can someone confirm this ? The menu on their website ( is confusing and untranslatable by Google... so if someone could be so kind to advise me on what and how to order.

Souten (Yakitori) : They seem to have 2 prix-fixe menus (, one at 3,150 and the other at 5,250... But says the budget is around Y6000-7000 for dinner with drinks. Unfortunately (and although I plan on learning as much Japanese as I can before my trip in September) I will probably have to go with the prix-fixe menus for lack of communication skills. Can someone confirm to me that I got the 2 menus prices right, and also if the difference between the 2 menus is only in quantity or is it something else ?

Thank you all for your help, both in my previous post and on all the chowhound board, I'm narrowing down all the restaurants I want to go to, thanks to you.

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  1. At Nodaiwa the 4,500 course is a single amuse buche item, a small piece of grilled unagi, an unagi box with pickles, and dessert. The 5,800 course swaps sashimi for the grilled unagi. The 7,800 course has a small kind of foamy soup, unagi and shark fin chawanmushi, and the unagi box, plus dessert. You can spend another 500YEN to swap some grilled unagi for the little hot pot soup.

    The soba place has various offerings for seasonal soba, chilled soba, or hot soba. Toppings are different for each one. There's a small tempura menu as well.

    The more expensive yakitori course offers considerable more than the six skewers and chicken ball soup. You get 8 skewers, a salad, chawanmushi, chicken liver pate, cheese, and ice cream, plus the chicken ball soup.

    1. At Nodaiwa generally the main difference in the menus is a small gradation in the amount of unagi you get . Also, the Y5800 comes with sashimi instead of 志ら焼 (sorry, I don't know what this is - it might be a term that only Nodaiwa uses).

      At Narutomi the prices depend on what you order - I'm pretty sure you can just get a Y1000 order of soba if that's all you want. But it's nice to get some tempura to go with the noodles, and they serve nice sake.

      At Souten the Y5250 prix-fixe includes everything in the cheaper one, plus chawan mushi, chicken liver pate, an "omakase salad", two extra skewers of bird, some cheese (either assorted cheese platter, or Camembert on skewers), and home-made ice cream. Maybe the skewers are different too, they don't say.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robb S

        I read it as an alternative way of writing "shira-yaki", which I was translating as grilled unagi.

      2. Thanks to both of you, everything is clear now !

        9 Replies
        1. re: Rio Yeti

          Unagai Nodaiwa, i recommend you to choose the 'unaju(steemed and grilled eel on rice), and you can order supplement for 'chawanmushi(custard like!)' with shark fin and unagi pieces... the full menu is ok, but the most enjoyable is 'unaju'.

          1. re: Ninisix

            Thank you for your suggestion. So should I just say "Unaju to chawanmushi kudasai" ? (I know, I still have 6 months before my trip, but I'm still eager to learn how to order everything) ;)

            And since I cannot read the menu in japanese, could you tell me how much would cost just the unaju and chawanmushi ? Thanks !

            1. re: Rio Yeti

              Heu ! That is in fact a good question, more difficult than you think, even 'unaju' has 3 different categories, i will recommend the 'chu' with chawanmushi and it will cost around 4000yens (in the Ginza one!).

              1. re: Rio Yeti

                Just a note that when I listed unagi box in the options above, I was translating unaju. So if those interest you, you can simiply point based on the price.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  Oh ok, I misunderstood Ninisix's comment, I thought he meant that unaju is better than the menus, I now understand he meant that the best part of the menu is unaju (and therefore I may not want/need the full menu).

                  Thank you both for clarifying this.

                  1. re: Rio Yeti

                    Yes, your understanding was correct !! I have tried the 6000.-yens menu, and the second time a 'a la carte' unaju medium size + chawanmushi, and this is what I recommend.

                    1. re: Ninisix

                      Ok, I get it (I just thought initially that you meant the menu didn't have unaju at all).

                      Now for the language question, how do I say "medium size" ? ;)

                      Thanks !

                      1. re: Rio Yeti

                        Medium size is 'take(bamboo)', the 3 choices are referred as 'shouchikubai 松竹梅', 松(matsu) means pine, 竹(take) is bamboo, and 梅(ume) ume tree, all are 3 trees and are symbols for celebration..