Tokyo Food Page
šRikyu/
Ikebukuro: Yoshoku
₯5952-0404
€Data
One of several Tokyo
outlets of this
popular Sendai-based
beef-tongue special-
ist, this branch
offers an especially
wide menu. The more
than a dozen dishes
range from tongue
sausages, meatballs,
and deep-fried
tongue to curries,
European-style stews
and tongue sushi.
The piece de resis-
tance though is the
excellent charcoal-
grilled tongue - a
popular regional
specialty of Sendai,
where this small
chain restaurant
originates. The menu
is rounded out by
creative and origi-
nal izakaya fare,
with a nice selec-
tion of Sendai-area
sake to wash it all
down.

Conveniently located
in a shopping com-
plex inside Ikebuku-
ro station, Rikyu
stays open all
afternoon for late
lunchgoers and
snack-seekers. Sev-
eral teishoku-style
set menus cater to
diners who just want
a quick meal, and in
particular the "Mar-
utoku Rikyu Set"
(Y1674) is a satis-
fying and budget-
friendly introduc-
tion to the shop's
offerings. It in-
cludes a half-order
each of grilled
tongue and a choice
of tongue curry or
stew, plus oxtail
soup, smoked-tongue
salad and rice.

The tongue curry is
quite tasty - it's a
spicy Euro-Japanese
version, with a roux
made by blending
Indian spices in a
French-style stew
base. (Other options
are the more Indian-
influenced keema
curry or a milder
tongue stew.) The
oxtail soup is
pleasantly beefy in
flavor, with sub-
stantial chunks of
meat and lots of
leeks, and some
demonstratively
spicy miso-marinated
pickles liven up the
grilled-tongue plat-
ter.

If you're not in a
hurry and want to
explore the full
menu, numerous small
dishes are waiting
to be sampled.
Smoked tongue - part
of an hors d'oeuvre
plate - is beauti-
fully spiced, and
the beef-tongue
tsukune (grilled
meatball on a stick)
is much meatier than
the usual chicken
version. Another
favorite on our list
is the kakuni stew
made from beef
tongue. It's sim-
mered in red wine -
an unusual ingredi-
ent for this dish -
but everything works
together well, and
the tender, slow-
cooked meat is full
of vibrant flavors.

In addition to the
usual beer and sho-
chu, the drinks list
includes half a
dozen local sake
brands from Miyagi
Prefecture, which is
known for its excel-
lent small brewer-
ies. Rikyu also
produce their own
house brand of sake,
and we can recommend
their daiginjo, or
the three-glass
tasting set if you
want some variety.

Budget around Y3000-
4500 for a full meal
with drinks, or
Y1200-1600 for a
quick teishoku set.
There's a solid
selection of take-
away tongue too -
from vacuum-packed
charcoal-grilled
tongue to pre-cooked
pouches of stews and
curries. (Other
Tokyo branches are
in Akasaka, Kichijo-
ji, and Tokyo Sta-
tion.)
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Toshima-ku, Nishi-
Ikebukuro 1-12-1,
Esola Ikebukuro 7F.
 Open 11am-10pm
(LO) daily.
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