Renkon
Ueno: Izakaya
Renkon (Ueno: Izakaya)
Renkon
Open 5-11:30pm (Sun 4-10:30) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Lotus-root (renkon) delicacies are the unusual specialty at this old-fashioned izakaya, along with a more familiar menu of grilled chicken, creative small plates, and turtle (suppon) dishes. The restaurant occupies a converted residential-style building in the midst of Ueno's commercial shopping zone, with comfortable booths downstairs and tatami (hori-kotatsu) seating on the second floor.

Ground lotus root serves as a flavorful substitute for potatoes in dishes like renkon hash-browns and renkon gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce. Taking advantage of their sturdy structural qualities, thick lotus root slices are used to form the base of Italian-style canapes with proscuitto and olives - an inspired combination. There are also more traditional dishes like classic Kyushu-style deep-fried renkon stuffed with spicy yellow mustard, chilled renkon tofu, and various renkon-seafood dumplings.

Grilled chicken items like momoniku and tsukune aren't as exotic as the lotus root, but they're very well prepared and definitely one of the strong points here. The drinks menu focuses on well-known (and well-chosen) regional sake and shochu labels, with lotus-root shochu if you're feeling adventurous. Budget around Y3500 for food and drink at dinnertime.



Ueno
Taito-ku, Ueno 4-9-1.
Follow:
Tokyo Beyond Sushi - the guidebook
Tokyo Beyond Sushi
Explore the hidden side of Tokyo dining
Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.
 
Sister sites:
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, retailers and festivals
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Where in Tokyo
Fun things to do in the big city
Shinkansen.com
Popcult, design and cool stuff to buy
Barking Inu
Sushi dictionary and Japan Android apps
 
 

Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended