Tokyo Food Page
Shousuke/
Shinjuku: Yakitori
3341-2468
Data
You won't find many
chain restaurants on
this block. Unlike
the crowded, higher-
rent districts near-
er Shinjuku station,
this slice of 3-
chome west of Meiji-
dori has long been
the home of quirkier
and more independent
eateries. A nurtur-
ing ground for the
chain shops of to-
morrow, perhaps,
thanks to its combi-
nation of moderate
rents and relatively
easy accessibility
to masses of commut-
ers.

Recently the area
has been going
through a revival,
as hard-core mom-
and-pop joints from
decades past are
joined by glitzy new
neighbors. Fitting
right in with this
trend is the newly
spruced-up Shousuke,
a design-heavy
yakitori-ya that
caters to a genera-
tion of diners who
are style- as well
as value-conscious.

Shousuke is a spa-
cious, two-story
affair - downstairs
there's a big sushi
counter, and up-
stairs are several
semi-private booths
for two, four or
more, separated by
bamboo blinds for
privacy. The decor
is tasteful Japanese
modern, with pol-
ished wood surfaces
and subdued light-
ing.

Given the very pret-
ty setting and the
modest menu prices,
we were quite unpre-
pared for the qual-
ity of the food,
which is simply
spectacular. None of
the many dishes we
sampled was anything
less than outstand-
ing. Our assorted
sashimi starters
were fresh and fla-
vorful, and good
value for money; the
chuutoro tuna was
especially good. The
charcoal-grilled
chicken and vegeta-
bles were uniformly
top-notch. Favorites
included the tsukune
- moist and crunchy
with mixed-in bits
of nankotsu (cartil-
age); the tender,
charcoal-flavor-
infused sasami
(breast meat) com-
plemented by either
wasabi or ume paste;
and the sweet-ish
stewed pork (kaku-
ni), slow-cooked
till every bit of
fat has melted away.
The uni sushi was
some of the best
we've had in ages,
and sweet enough
that it could almost
be served for des-
sert.

Although there's a
de rigeur katakana-
French wine list,
sake and beer are
probably better
matched to the food;
the menu lists 13
relatively unusual
sakes, plus draft
Suntory Malt's beer
(at Y1800/pitcher).
A budget of Y5000
should cover ample
food and drinks,
although it could
run to more if you
order lots of sushi.
The BGM is heavy on
old-school jazz
vocalists, a bit of
a break from the
instrumental jazz
and Brazilian mood
music in every other
shop in town.
Photo
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Nearest restau-
rants

Nearest cafes/
bars


Shinjuku-ku, Shin-
juku 3-10-10.
Open 5pm-midnight
daily.
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