Tokyo Food Page
Gotanda: Japanese
Akita Prefecture is
famous for its ex-
cellent sake, but
its regional cuisine
isn't as widely
known. Wattaribozu,
a cozy little base-
ment izakaya near
Gotanda Station, is
a great place to
explore both food
and drink from the
region. Some high-
lights include fish
and seafood flown in
fresh from the Sea
of Japan coast,
chicken dishes made
with Hina-dori, an
heirloom breed that
originated in Akita,
and wintertime stews
like kiritampo nabe,
made with grilled
pounded rice on

As you might expect,
the drinks list here
focuses heavily on
Akita sake, with a
number of labels
from small craft
breweries that are
otherwise hard to
find in Tokyo. Thir-
teen sake by the
glass are listed,
most in the Y580-850
range. You can also
order by the flask
for the table, and
after our first
couple of rounds we
turned to the staff
for recommendations,
and were rewarded
with some very
fresh, limited-edi-
tion seasonal bot-
tles that weren't
even on the menu. If
you're adventurous
you might also want
to check out the
umeshu (plum wine)
selection. There are
at least twenty
varieties, including
unusual flavors like
banana and yuzu,
both of which were
surprisingly good

One main section of
the food menu is
devoted to Hinai-
dori, a native-Japa-
nese breed of chick-
en with striking
red-and-black plum-
age. It's represent-
ed here in the form
of charcoal-grilled
yakitori skewers,
deep-fried chicken,
excellent savory egg
custard, and oyako-
donburi, the classic
meal of chicken and
egg over rice.
You'll also find
some excellent
grilled pork dishes,
including tasty,
thick bacon slabs
and fantastic
grilled pork belly
with toasted garlic
chips. Unexpectedly,
Wattaribozu also
serves some of the
best basashi (horse
sashimi) we've ever
come across Tokyo.

Akita is largely
mountainous and much
of its vegetable
consumption is in
the form of pickles.
The oshinko moriaw-
ase (assorted pickle
platter) here is a
good introduction,
with several varie-
ties we had never
seen or heard of
before. Among our
favorites was the
iburi-gakko (smoked
pickled daikon and
carrots), which went
quite well with the
local sake. We also
had some interesting
and unusual
dishes, very good
bamboo shoots, and
outstanding grilled
shiitake mushrooms.

One challenge here
is simply under-
standing the menu -
many dishes had
unfamiliar names,
and despite exten-
sive consultations
with the waitstaff
we were still in for
a few surprises.
Pretty much every-
thing we tried was
quite good though;
even a rather ple-
bian dish like yaki-
soba was beautifully
prepared, with spe-
cial Akita-style
noodles and other
top-grade ingre-

Budget around Y3500
at dinnertime for
food and drink; all-
you-can-drink plans
are also available
for parties. No
lunch on weekends;
open until 3am on
Friday nights.
Google Map
Map for AU phones
Map for DoCoMo
Nearest restau-

Nearest cafes/

Nishi-Gotanda 1-7-1,
Libio Gotanda Pragma
G Tower B1F. Open
11:30am-2, 5pm-1am
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