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Tokyo - Reasonably priced Robatayaki

OC Mutt Nov 14, 2013 11:31 AM

Would the Japan/Tokyo hounds be so kind as to recommend some reasonably priced Robatayaki restaurants in Tokyo (my Japanese friend has just told me that Yakitori only refers to chicken, and that Robata would have grilled skewers of many different types of proteins - if I am incorrect about this, please let me know the type of place I'm looking for). I found a place in Roppongi on an internet search and cannot reconcile spending $150 per person for grilled skewers so I was hoping to get some help to find the local gems. Thank you for your help!

Disclaimer: YES, I did do several searches for Robatayaki and the only thread that came up was from 2010. I even tried different spellings and separated the words into Robata yaki (one post from 2007).

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    Uncle Yabai RE: OC Mutt Nov 14, 2013 04:48 PM

    I strongly recommend Inakaya in Roppongi. Just kidding. There is this place in Shinbashi which is quite famous and quite modestly priced. It's off the Akarenga doori, on one of the perpendicular streets, halfway down the street between the Akarenga and the train tracks. Coming down from Shinbashi station, make a left at the sushi joint, small place halfway down the block.

    Probably others here can be specific with the name and address, but I really like this place, completely old-school.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Yabai
      OC Mutt RE: Uncle Yabai Nov 14, 2013 07:06 PM

      Thank you! And yes, an exact address would be very helpful. My Google searches have shown a few places with this name Shinbashi and another Shimbashi.

      1. re: OC Mutt
        OC Mutt RE: OC Mutt Nov 14, 2013 07:13 PM

        Is this it? Musashi?
        http://travel.cnn.com/tokyo/eat/domo-...

        1. re: OC Mutt
          u
          Uncle Yabai RE: OC Mutt Nov 14, 2013 10:21 PM

          Yep, that's the one.

    2. Robb S RE: OC Mutt Nov 14, 2013 07:32 PM

      A lot of modern izakaya serve meat, vegetables and seafood that are charcoal-grilled, often over an open hearth, but they don't use the word "robatayaki" because it has certain old-fashioned connotations. Back in the mid-1970s one particular chain of restaurants became very successful using a formula of charcoal-grilling in that style, in restaurants with a farmhouse decor and various rustic bric-a-brac, and then a lot of other restaurants copied that style and called themselves "robatayaki" - some of them still exist today, but the numbers are dwindling.

      So if you're interested in the food rather than the decor, look for places that do charcoal-grilling and have a good reputation. If you like rustic decor, Okajoki in Nakano (03-3228-1230) does a good job with both food and atmosphere.

      If you don't mind good food in a less cliched, more up-to-date setting, I like Sakaeya in Takadanobaba (http://bento.com/r-jap.html#izakaya ) and Ebisu, Shunju in Takeike and elsewhere around town, Hakobune in Ginza (03-6280-6330), Dedesuke in Ebisu (03-3444-5511), and many others.... Just look for charcoal-grilling or "aburiyaki".

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robb S
        l
        la2tokyo RE: Robb S Nov 14, 2013 11:34 PM

        Okajoki is great but I don't think they sell much besides fish. They have some shellfish too, but I don't think I've ever seen them cooking meat. If the OP is looking for "many different types of proteins" I'm not sure that Okajoki is the spot. If you like grilled fish it's a fantastic choice though. Everything they serve is quite good.

      2. j
        Jackalope RE: OC Mutt Nov 15, 2013 12:46 AM

        Do a search for kushiyaki (grilled food on sticks.) I also suggest bento.com which does a pretty job for the cities it covers.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jackalope
          OC Mutt RE: Jackalope Nov 16, 2013 03:57 PM

          Any recommendations for Kushiyaki?

          1. re: OC Mutt
            Robb S RE: OC Mutt Nov 16, 2013 08:10 PM

            I'm a fan of Birdland in Marunouchi (03-6269-9825) - they serve excellent pork, lamb and duck as well as chicken. (Their main branch in Ginza has a Michelin star, and concentrates mainly on chicken.)

            1. re: Robb S
              OC Mutt RE: Robb S Nov 17, 2013 08:14 PM

              Thank you Robb S. I was considering Birdland but didn't know that they served anything beyond chicken. Good to know!

        2. wekabeka RE: OC Mutt Nov 15, 2013 05:24 AM

          Ushi no Yotare, in Shinjuku, is a great option for robatayaki. They grill a wide variety of protein (beef, chicken, fish, tofu) and vegetables in an irori charcoal pit. You can order a la carte or choose from a couple of course options. The staff have been friendly and welcoming to English speaking guests I've sent there in the past, too.

          http://www.yotare.com

          http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A13040...

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