Shinjuku and Shin-Okubo are known to be areas where there is stiff yakiniku competition. In fact, there are so many yakiniku restaurants that one might not be able to make up their mind on which restaurant to go to. Here are some some popular yakiniku restaurants, ranging from affordable to high-class, where you can be sure to enjoy some good quality grilled beef.
TO.TO.RO uses lava stone plates from Fujiyoshida for its yakiniku. The meat is hand-cut using a unique method in order to achieve the best tasting wagyu beef. The carefully selected meat is grilled over a lava stone plate, which cooks the meat using far-infrared radiation, making the meat nice and crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy inside. A plus point is that the lava stone plate absorbs the excess oils secreted by the meat, making for a healthy meal! Having your yakiniku together with either wasabi, or the 3 types of natural salts provided by this restaurant, can help to elevate the savoriness of the meat. There is also a good variety of course meals to choose from, such as the Shinobue Course A4-Grade Kuroge Wagyu to Meibutsu★Lava Stone Plate (starting at 3,000 JPY (incl. tax)). Why don't you pay this place a visit for a pleasantly unusual yakiniku experience?
2. YAKINIKU BAR NO MEAT,NO LIFE. 1st
The large window concept and stylish interior of this restaurant is perfect for dates! Most seats are counter seats, however. They purchase the high-quality A5-grade kuroge wagyu beef by the cattle, allowing it to serve its customers with premium cuts at affordable prices. For starters, you could try the Meibutsu Shabu Rosu (1,280 JPY (excl. tax)), where said premium cuts are lightly grilled and dipped in select raw eggs. You can then move on to the Meibutsu Shabu Tongue (1,280 JPY (excl. tax)) and the Meibutsu Shabu Akami (1,280 JPY (excl. tax)), both of which are exquisitely good! These 3 items are said to be the three top cuts of this restaurant, and the savoriness of the meat is proof that they are worthy of this title. Be spoiled for choice with the a la carte menu, which also offers bar foods such as ajillo and bagna cauda.
※English menu available
3. Yugentei Shinjuku
The Jojoen Group is well-known for serving top quality meats with top quality service. Yugentei Shinjuku, which is a part of this group, stands at the very pinnacle. The atmosphere within the restaurant is a relaxing one, and there is even a floor with a piano lounge. Dinner course menus are available starting from 14,000 JPY. Diners who would like to eat meat to their heart's content should consider ordering from the a la carte menu. For something a little more affordable, why don't you try the yakiniku lunch (starting at 3,600 JPY (incl. tax))? Said lunch set is available until 4:00 pm on weekdays, and 2:30 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Satisfy both your stomach and heart in this elegant restaurant.
※Menu available in English and Chinese
4. KollaBo Shin Okubo Branch
Said to be the birthplace of yakiniku, KollaBo is an immensely popular restaurant in Korea. It has established its presence in Japan through collaborations, while providing the same good taste as in Korea. Besides having its top-grade brand kuroge wagyu beef transported directly from the butchers, you can also order some Korean cuisine such as samgyeopsal (pork belly), dakgalbi (chicken), as well as seafood dishes that you would normally not be able to get in a typical yakiniku restaurant. The course menu (2,800 JPY to 4,800 JPY), which requires reservations of 2 people and up, is also good value for money. Try paying this place a visit during lunch time, as you can order a variety of traditional Korean cuisine from the lunch menu, which is available from store opening until 5:00 pm daily. Its popularity has enabled it to expand to 14 branches within Tokyo.
5. Horumonsen Horuchan
Horumonsen Horuchan is a reservations-only yakiniku restaurants that serves its grilled meat omakase-style. The staff bring the charcoal grilled meat to you as soon as it is ready. This store only prepares stock for the number of reservations made for the day, so there are no leftovers, and no a la carte menu is available. There are only 2 courses, the 10,000 JPY and the 12,000 JPY ones, and both come with appetizers such as kimchi, perilla, and cabbage salad, all of which are standard in Korean grills. After you are seated, the dishes that come are a surprise to you. This restaurant takes pride in serving horumon (pork and beef innards that have been processed for consumption) that is not only odorless, but also rich in both flavor and texture. While you can expect that there will be grilled meat, trying to guess what dish is going to be served next is an excitement in itself!
These restaurants are perfect for people who want to feast on some glorious meat. Please refer to this article as you decide which restaurant you will be having your meal in the fiercely competitive Shinjuku and Shin-Okubo areas!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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