Restaurants & Bars


ZENAN Teppanyaki Shinjuku, Tokyo


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ZENAN Teppanyaki Shinjuku, Tokyo

RoyRon | | Jan 5, 2011 01:26 PM

I lived in Tokyo from 1980 to 1987 and have been travelling back there ever since. During the time I lived there my office was in Nishi Shinjku so for many business dinners I would go to restaurants around the Shinjku area. One of my favorites was a small Teppanyaki restaurant close to the west side of Shinjuku Sta. The name of the rewstaurant was Genan and they served various courses that started with several traditional seasonal dishes followed by a fantastic steak. Genan only seated about 15 people around the teppanyaki table and a few more at small individual tables.

On my last trip to Tokyo last November I decided to try to search out Genan to see if they were still in business. By chance I found an old address book that still had the telephone number so I gave them a call and low and behold they were still in business but the name had been changed to Zenan and they had moved to a basement location about a half block away from the original location. The restaurant is still owned and operated by the same husband and wife team.

The restaurant's motto in English is "A steak and the season's good food" and other than it being even smaller and more intimate that it's previous location nothing else had changed and it is still as excellent as it was 20 yeras ago. It never ceases to amaze me that a place like this can survive for so long. Only in Japan!!

They offer a choice of several courses which vary by the number of seasonal dishes and the size of the steak. There were three of us on the evening I went and we ordered the six course set with the 250 gram steak. They also have a beer, Japanese wines and nice variety of sake and shochu. Each course was fantastic in terms of the taste, the quality of indgredients and the presentation. The steak was as good as it can get. They use only the highest quality beef and it is served with sauteed Shitake mushrooms and several dipping sauces. Of course, each person's steak is cooked perfectly to order. There is a choices of oshokuji after the steak include rice and miso soup, ochasuke and the night we were there a type of rice soup with turtle. Dessert and coffee are served in a separate room that reminds me of a dining room in an old hunting lodge. The price was 15,000 yen person excluding drinks. Certainly not cheap but worth every single yen.

I would highly recommend Zenan to anyone looking for a small, intimate restaurant serving only the highest quality Japanese food with excellent service. Zenan is less than a 10 minute walk from the west exit of Shinjuku Sta. It is located in the basement on a small side street. The telephone number is 03-3365-0383. I strongly suggest making a reservation because they can only seat about 10 people at the Teppanyaki table. English is not spoken but the menu is easy because all you have to do is choose which course you would like.

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