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Robatayaki (beyond yakitori)

Robatayaki | Jan 13, 201509:25 PM

My favorite restaurant in Tokyo. They specialize in charcoal grilled fish, vegetables and meat (Robata-yaki). Their grilled onions, potatoes, eggplant are to die for. Freshness and simple preparation lets you taste the vegetables in all it's glory. I've never had a vegetable here that fell short of heavenly, even the cabbage was spectacular (and unbelievably sweet). Same goes for their grilled fish. So much so, that I seldom order grilled meat here, though that was melt in your mouth tender and had a good sear. And the owner likes to play mellow jazz. If you like yakitori, this is the next place for you to try. Other recommendations: the tofu salad, grilled rice ball. It's a good alternative to Inakaya which is where all the affluent tourists go, but at Inakata you're being gouged for the theatrics (translation: Eijiya cost is a third of Inakaya). Eijiya also serves a variety of typical izakaya foods too like sashimi, appetizers, fried foods, tofu dishes, salads, sake...Tab was usually 3,500-5,500 yen per person exclusive of drinks.

The back story is that my mother used to lease the exact same unit when she operated a Japanese antiques store. Curiosity led us to try it and it became a favorite of ours and my mother and I would sit at the bar to watch the owner grill food in ways we've never seen, like an entire onion!?? She asked during her last few days to go there but alas she was too sick to hold any food down (cancer cachexia). I asked the owner to host my family the afternoon following her funeral and he was kind enough to host a private party on his day off. On my latest visit, I brought my mother's old lease and floor plans and the owner and I had a laugh that my mother's store was actually in the other corner of the same floor.

Closet subway station is Roppongi and it is a couple streets in from the tiny police station/MUFJ bank at Roppongi crossing. It's on the second floor of a non descript building and in a corner unit that is kitty corner from a large empty lot / under construction (as of 2014/07 but soon to be the new Azabu police station).

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