Monjayaki is one of the specialties of Tsukishima in Tokyo. Originally a snack for children, part of the fun of monjayaki lies in cooking it yourself. Here we are going to introduce five restaurants in Tokyo where you can try monjayaki for yourself.
1. Tsukishima’s oldest monjayaki restaurant - Kondo Honten
Established in 1950, Kondo Honten is probably the oldest monjayaki restaurant in Tsukishima. It is said that the restaurant was started by the famous women-owner of the restaurant who decided to sell monjayaki at her sweet shop. The restaurant prides itself on its flavor which is said to have been faithfully passed down over the years. This traditional restaurant, with its long roots in Tsukishima, is ideal for experiencing the monjayaki culture. This restaurant doesn’t just follow tradition, but is regularly adding new dishes to its menu, and is a great example of Tsukishima’s monjayaki restaurants.
Special Kondo Monja: 1,370JPY (inc. tax)
2. Proud of their sakura shrimp - Iroha Honten
Another famous, long-standing restaurant following close after Kondo Honten, Iroha Honten is known for the special texture and flavor of its sakura shrimp. Other restaurants use small shrimp, but Iroha Honten uses only sakura shrimp for their flavor and bright color. In addition, the restaurant has large tables so you can spend some time with your family and friends relaxing in the restaurant.
Monja: 680JPY Sakura shrimp topping: 300JPY (both inc. tax)
3. Also with a branch in Solamachi - Tsukishima Meibutsu Monja Daruma
Built in a refurbished 70 year old building, Daruma has a retro atmosphere to it, but it is not just the interior decoration that they are particular about. Their monja seasoning comes in two types - Japanese stock and chicken bones stock, and their vegetables, seafood and other ingredients are all brought in from Tsukiji. Recently, they have also opened a branch in Solamachi near the Tokyo Skytree in order to bring the appeal of monja to as many people as possible.
Mochi Mentaiko Cheese Monja: 1,460JPY (inc. tax)
4. The fresh seafood here is also delicious - Maguroya Tsukishima Honten
With a name including maguro, the Japanese for tuna, you can imagine that it’s not only the monja that is great here but they are also well known for their seafood, such as the grilled tuna, abalone and oysters. Maguroya is incredibly popular, and its customers include entertainers, athletes and politicians. You can also enjoy beef or pork yakiniku here.
Seafood Monja: 1,280JPY (inc. tax)
5. The varied menu is the selling point - Monja Kura
Out of the many monja restaurants in Tsukishima, the one with the most varied menu is probably Monja Kura. They offer a total of 35 different types of toppings. The Kura Special Monja which comes with 10 different toppings is not only delicious to eat but a real sight to see as well. They also offer a white sauce-based original monja which is popular for foreign people who aren’t used to the typical Japanese flavor.
But Kura’s appeal doesn’t just end there. As well as monja, they offer a wide variety of delicious hotplate dishes, including butter fried oysters and scallops, okonomiyaki and yakisoba, and fried rice.
Kura Special Monja (for 2-3 people): 1,800JPY (inc. tax)
Each topping (35 types): 50JPY - 500JPY (inc. tax)
What did you think? If you are ever in Tokyo, why not visit one of these restaurants and try and make your own monja?
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information.