Monjayaki (a type of savory Japanese meal with various fillings) is said to be the comfort food of downtown Tokyo. Here are five of the most famous monjayaki shops in Tokyo’s Tsukishima area that is lined with about 70 monjayaki joints.
1. Monja Fuugetsu Tsukishima Shop
Monja Fuugetsu is a shop where the chefs will cook the monjayaki, which could be a bit tricky for first-timers, right in front of the guests. You will surely be impressed with how the chefs, who have mastered the delicious way of cooking monjayaki, will skillfully cook your food. Customers can also cook their own monjayaki, so try it after watching the chefs do it. If you visit this shop, the recommended item on the menu is the Gyusuji Negi Monja (beef tendon and green onion monjayaki) (1,200 JPY (excl. tax)) that uses homemade beef tendon. You won’t get enough of the superb taste of the green onions combined with the beef tendon. Another great point about this restaurant is their staff who can speak English and Chinese.
2. Daruma Tsukishima Main Shop
Housed in a renovated traditional Japanese house that was built 70 years ago, Daruma Tsukishima Main Shop is a place where you can relish monjayaki while drinking rare liquor. It is particular about the dashi (soup stock) used on the monja, and customers can choose between the Japanese stock (seafood flavor) and the rich stock made from chicken bones. Here, the recommended item is the Daruma-kun Monja (1,460 JPY (incl. tax)) that is filled with fresh seafood from the neighboring Tsukiji Market. Enjoy your food with specialty beers or some other alcohol that is carefully chosen by the sommeliers of the suppliers who are confident about their perfect compatibility with monjayaki. Mondays and Tuesdays are Ladies Days at this shop, wherein groups of three or more women get to enjoy drinks at half price. So, if you have a group of women friends, then why not come during those days of the week?
Koboreya is a shop that serves the ultimate monjayaki that even gourmands will flip over for, characterized by the use of the shop’s specialty soup stock and overflowing with extremely fresh fish and seafood that are delivered directly from Tsukiji Market. Obsessed about the ingredients, soup stock, flavors and appearance/arrangement, this shop’s unique traits still shine bright among the few shops in Tsukishima. Here, customers love the bestseller Koboreya (Seafood) (1,880 JPY (excl. tax)) that is filled with so much fresh seafood ingredients that you'd find yourself asking if this and that ingredient are really in the mix. The shop is a 5-minute walk from Tsukishima Station, but if you will be coming from Toyosu, the taxi will charge you with fare for just a meter, so you can try that.
※Foreign language menu: English only
Goemon is a place where you can eat not just the classic monjayaki, but unique monjayaki variants, too. Recommended here are the hugely famous Mentai Mochi Cheese (walleye Pollack roe, sticky rice cake and cheese) (1,300 JPY (excl. tax)), along with the Italian (1,100 JPY (excl. tax)) that looks like pizza, and the Ikasumi Risotto (squid ink risotto) (1,100 JPY (excl. tax)). There are also many teppanyaki (grilled on a hot steel plate) dishes such as the Suryogentei Atsugiri Sirloin Steak (thick slick sirloin steak in limited quantity) (200g) (1,500 JPY (excl. tax)). Goemon is the perfect spot for those who want to eat not just monjayaki but other dishes, too, such as okonomiyaki (savory pancake) and teppanyaki.
5. Maguroya Tsukishima Nishinaka Shop
Located a street away from the main Monja Street, Maguroya is a place that is famous for being frequented by artists, athletes, and other famous celebrities. As its name suggests, its pride is the use of fresh maguro tuna that comes straight from Tsukiji Market. Here, the recommended item is the Maguro (1,030 JPY (incl. tax)), a special kind of monja with extremely fresh tuna. You can also try the Saikokyu Honmaguro Otoro Kamatoro Sashimi (premium sashimi of the fat under-belly of the Pacific bluefin tuna) for 2,480 JPY, something which would usually set you back 10,000 JPY in other shops. Enjoy this shop’s specialty monjayaki that uses its secret soup stock, along with an array of luxurious seafood dishes that use handpicked fresh ingredients from Tsukiji Market.
※Shop does not accept credit cards
※Foreign language menu: English only
Watch this video how to make Monjayaki
Pressing the sticky monjayaki against a hot iron plate using a small spatula and then taking a bite is quite difficult to do for the first time! Please savor monjayaki, the comfort food of downtown Tokyo, by enjoying the whole process involved in making it, up to the eating portion!
*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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