Shinjuku: Izakaya
Futamata (Shinjuku: Izakaya)
Open 4-11:30pm daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
no smoking: No smoking

Offbeat drink-friendly fare seems to be the specialty at this unpretentious basement drinking spot, with dishes like Hakata-style grilled chicken skin, truffle-infused gyoza dumplings, raw-horsemeat dishes, spicy noodles and a Mentaiko of the Day. Everything we've tried here has been solid - our gyoza were properly crunchy and flavorful, the "Grown-up Potato Salad" was suitably hefty, and the yuzu-infused mentaiko was spicy and well-balanced. The grilled chicken skin wasn't as crisp as some versions we've had, but it was meatier than average and very satisfying.

The drinks list features a good assortment of "sharikin" cocktails - alcoholic slushies made from fruit sherbets and ice-cold shochu. Note that the dining room acoustics are on the lively side, so the setting may be more conducive to drinking-party fun rather than quiet conversation, depending on how full it gets. Budget around Y2,500-3,000 for food and drink (including Y290 cover charge).

Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-7-4, Ichicho Bldg B1/B2F.
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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.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended