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Short List Tokyo Recommendations

janethepain Apr 28, 2012 04:24 PM

Tokyo hounds, konnichiwa from NYC hound!

Last-minute vacation to Tokyo for 4-5 days. Have been doing research on this board, but am getting overwhelmed with the choices, prices and language barrier. I've been to Tokyo once before, but had friends take me around, which was amazing; this time, not as lucky. That said, please throw your short-list suggestions at me! Given high prices (esp. with yen strength vs USD) and impossible-sounding reservations, am not even attempting the top-tier restaurants like Ryugin, Sawada, etc.

sushi: of course I've heard of Sushi Dai/Daiwa, but are there better choices at this price level, quality-wise? I'm not terribly keen on waiting on line with a bunch of tourists unless it's something I can't find elsewhere. From this informative thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824180), it sounds like Uoshin might fit the bill. Looking for sushi that's as good or even better at a similar price point, will be eating TONS of it.

The first time I went to Tokyo, we ate three times at Sushi Tsune at Shibuya 109 since it was SUCH a good deal for fresh fish. I'm guessing it doesn't hold very highly on CH, so enlighten me as to others, please.

tonkotsu ramen : Warito

tsukemen: Shinkoiwa (according to Tabelog, which is all wonky after using Google Translate

)

soba: Where to go? Once had great soba at a subway station (!) - don't remember name.

Tsukiji eats: of course will be seeing the Tsukiji market. I always wondered if the sushi places wree more of a tourist attraction - would a fishmonger be interested in eating sushi much? - and I get the feeling there could be better eats there that are non-sushi. Kitsuneya?

yakiniku: Jojoen and Jumbo chains

horumon: Saiseisakaba in Shinjuku? Birdland seems mentioned a lot.

donburi: ??

I'm sure I'm missing some other must-eats, but these are foremost on my mind. Thank you in advance for your help!

  1. Silverjay Apr 28, 2012 07:06 PM

    So Warito is a blended broth, not "true" tonkotsu. I can't think of true independent tonkotsu places off the top of my head, but chains like Ippudo, Ichiran, or Jangara are tonkotsu places that have multiple locations. Warito though is good....Shinkoiwa is the name of a Tokyo neighborhood. Not familiar myself with that as a shop name. Warito is tsukemen though if you are interested....Tsukiji, soba, sushi, donburi we have done threads on already. Department store restaurants are usually solid, dependable fare. I don't think most would make it as a destination.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay
      janethepain Apr 28, 2012 10:42 PM

      Thanks! It's just insane (and depressing) to read about all these amazing-sounding places that get booked six months in advance.

      Re: tsukemen place listed above - must have read the wrong part of the translation. Can someone tell which restaurant belongs to this page? http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1312/A131...

      1. re: janethepain
        wekabeka Apr 29, 2012 01:35 AM

        I think it's Itto, in Shinkoiwa.
        http://kiseki-dream.com/

        1. re: janethepain
          q
          quddous Jul 29, 2012 07:50 PM

          What gets booked 6 months in advance? I have 6 months :)

      2. j
        japanesefoodlover May 2, 2012 05:45 PM

        tsukemen: for a place just a bit closer to central tokyo. menyakisso in kiba.

        soba: lunch at hirosaku

        i would suggest yakitori at toriki (kinshicho station). awesome food.

        yakiniku: already replied ur other post--i'd go for jumbo.

        sushi: i like miyakozushi near nihonbashi. 11000yen/head only with tsumami. of course, if you have a bigger budget, there are quite a few places which would be better.

        u can also do a sukiyaki lunch at asakusa imahan, they have pretty good beef at a reasonable price.

        2 Replies
        1. re: japanesefoodlover
          janethepain May 3, 2012 01:43 PM

          Thank you again! I have looked up every one of those places - Hirosaku looks hard to find, I hope we make it.

          Thank you so much for your help.

          1. re: janethepain
            r
            Ricky May 13, 2012 05:56 PM

            Tsukemen - Check out Rokurinsha in Tokyo Station's Tokyo Ramen street.
            Tsukiji eats - theres a good Aji Fry place next to Sushi Dai
            Yakiniku - 2 blocks from Gotanda Station, near the Tokyo Stay Gotanda Hotel there is a Yaki Horumon/Yakiniku place. Sorry I cant remember the name.
            Horumon - Akachochin in Shinjuku is excellent, think its much much better than Takashi in NYC

        2. janethepain May 22, 2012 12:25 PM

          Thank you all! Our trip is over, and I made it to just a few of these places.

          I can read Japanese but not Chinese/kanji, and can speak just a little bit, so the main problem we had was FINDING the places. Even if/when we found them, we may not have been aware - my research is in romaaji while the signs may be in kanji! Oh well, we did the best we could.

          Where we went:

          Tokyo:
          Gyuubei for cheap yakiniku
          Sushi Daiwa at Tsukiji - we sat in front of the oldest chef, he was very friendly and joking. The grilled shrimp head was great, hubby LOVED the salmon roe for the first time in his life.
          Tokyo Station by Ippudo for ramen
          couple ramen places, including the one where you eat at a desk-style setting - can't remember the names offhand and don't have my research with me.
          Gaaden (?) for tsukemen

          Kyoto:
          Giro Giro for modern kaiseki (great!)
          Kyoto ramen station (got tsukemen and a ramen there, awesome)
          oyako donburi at a suuuuper old-school place - Toriyasu

          2 Replies
          1. re: janethepain
            a
            akated May 22, 2012 08:45 PM

            the desk-style eating ramen should be ichiran (一蘭).

            1. re: akated
              janethepain May 23, 2012 09:28 AM

              Yes, that was it - the way I customized it, I thought it was delicious ;)

              I also went to the Uoshin in Shibuya - tried a lot of things, though their English menu was very limited, and they seemed to start running out of sushi! I asked about a bunch of different pieces, and they were out of/didn't have any of them.

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