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Kushiage is a popular dish that involves deep frying individually breaded and skewered seasonal ingredients. Choosing your preferred ingredients, and matching them with a glass of wine or beer, can be quite an enjoyable dining experience. Here are 10 great eateries for enjoying incredible kushiage in Tokyo!
1. Ginza Rokkakutei Asabujuban (Azabu-juban)
This stylish and high-class restaurant is a perfect fit in the classy streets of Azabu Juban. Based on the chef's wishes of only wanting you to taste the most delicious seasonal ingredients, this restaurant only serves the [Omakase Course], the contents of which are determined by the chef. Of course, each of the kushiage ingredients are painstakingly chosen by the expert chef, so any skewer should provide a similarly satisfying experience. You are sure to enjoy the taste and looks of all their kushiage, including the [Japanese Tiger Prawn] that has tons of deliciousness hidden within its plump meat and the [Salmon], topped with something acidic in taste. They also offer a generous selection of wines, so please try ordering a couple to match your skewers.
Ginza Rokkakutei Asabujuban
Open: [Weekdays / Saturday] Normal Hours 17:30-23:00
Average price: [Dinner] 15,000 JPY
Access: A seven minute walk from Exit 4 of Azabu Juban Station. It is a 2-minute walk from TSUTAYA Roppongi Hills towards the Azabu Juban shopping street.
Address: Hou Bldg. 1 - 2F, 6-11-18 Roppongi , Minato-ku, Tokyo (Map)
2. Kushikatsu Chisen (Roppongi)
Despite being located in the city area, this restaurant carries a strong traditional Japanese air with its Zen temple-style entrance. The ingredients used here are personally selected and purchased by the head chef so that you can experience the seasonal flavors of the sea and the mountains. They deep fry these ingredients at optimal temperatures for bringing out their best flavors, using very little seasoning as they have confidence in the flavor of the ingredients. The [Seasonal Course] (8,400 JPY), consisting of Japanese dishes and kushiage, is a great way to see the chefs' skills at work, as the course items are made and served up at your eating pace. When you want to stop eating, tell the chef. If you find any ingredient that you particularly enjoy, don't hesitate to let them know, as they will prepare some more for just for you.
Open: 17:30 to 23:00, closed during New Year's holidays.
Average price: [Dinner] 10,000 JPY
Access: One minute walk from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Oedo Line Roppongi Station Exit A4.
Address: Toda Bldg. 1F, 7-16-5 Roppongi , Minato-ku, Tokyo (Map)
3. Kushi Agemono Shun's Ginza (Ginza-itchome)
The chefs here are known for using interesting combinations of ingredients in making their original kushiage, so you are sure to be surprised with every mouthful you take. Take the [Kushikatsu Omakase] (approx. 5,000 JPY), which offers a variety of seasonal tastes. Despite mostly consisting of healthy vegetables, it is addicting and feels filling, as each skewer's topping or sauce enhances the ingredient's flavor. Another specialty of this store is the temperature-controlled beer taps that will ensure a sub zero brew every time. What could possibly be better than enjoying your piping hot skewers with a glass of ice cold beer?
Kushi Agemono Shun's Ginza
Open: Lunch 11:30 AM-3 PM (last order 2 PM) / Dinner 5 PM-11 PM (last order 10 PM)
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,000 JPY
Access: A one minute walk from Ginza Icchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Yuraku-cho line.
Address: Ginza Toreshasu 10F , 2-6-5 Ginza , Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Map)
4. Kushiemon (Asakusabashi)
In this restaurant with a strong Japanese atmosphere, you'll find leaf-shaped dishes filled with sauce. Kushiemon's special sauce comes in 10 different types, including matcha salt, mustard, and tartar. You can eat your kushiage with whichever sauce you like best! Another interesting point is that despite being a Japanese restaurant, they provide wine recommendations! They have more than 30 kinds of skewers available, so you'll find several kushiage that go well with wine, such as the [Smoked Salmon and Cheese] (280 JPY) and [Beef Loin and King Trumpet Mushroom] (280 JPY).
Open: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Average price: [Dinner] 4,800 JPY
Access: One minute on foot from exit A5 of Asakusabashi station on the Toei Asakusa line.
Address: B1F, Tanaka Bldg., 1-23-3 Yanagibashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Map)
5. LA MAISON DU ISSHO Vin (Tawaramachi)
This restaurant offers a menu with both Italian and French elements that can be enjoyed in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. The restaurant's recommendation is the [Oyster Wrapped in Beef Belly Kushiage] (800 JPY), in which the French combination of oyster and beef is made into kushiage. By dipping the oyster into red wine sauce mixed with beef juices, you get to enjoy this dish that is rich in both flavor and fragrance. You'll find more reasonably priced dishes like the [Anchovy Garlic Potatoes] (500 JPY) as well, so why not visit to enjoy a couple of drinks with your skewers casually?
LA MAISON DU ISSHO Vin
Open: 3:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Access: 5 minutes walk from exit No.3 of [Tawaramachi Station] on Ginza Line. Turn right at the first block from Kaminarimon Icchome Intersection, go straight for 15 meters along Shokutsu-gai Street then it's on your right side
Address: 1-2F, ON Bldg., 1-9-5, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Map)
6. Kushiage Nakaya (Ningyocho)
This is a sister establishment to Asakusabashi's Kushiemon. The owner founded this establishment with the aim of providing the best hospitality and service to customers. Even though they have private rooms, the counter seats where you may watch the chef's performance are the best seats in the restaurant. It's a lot of fun just watching the kushiage frying away in extremely hot oil. The [Raw Sea Urchin and Fried Seaweed] (700 JPY) skewer that is eaten with a special sauce comes highly recommended. The deep-fried seaweed acts as a crispy plate upon which the sea urchin sits upon. Definitely, it is a recommendation dish to even those who are not usually keen on sea urchin! The light and salty fragrance of the seaweed goes perfectly with the richness of the sea urchin.
7. Daruma Kiwami Ginza Branch (Ginza)
This restaurant's best-seller has to be the [New Caledonian Blue Shrimp in Sauce Américaine], which is kushiage of the highest quality brand of shrimp in France. This deep-fried delicacy is enhanced with a sauce made by simmering juices from the shrimp's shell along with herbs. The kushiage, which number over 30 in terms of variety, are carefully seasoned by the expert chefs at this restaurant. Furthermore, rice oil - known to be exceptionally healthy among the various types of oil - is used for deep frying, so feel free to try several of their kushiage!
Daruma Kiwami Ginza Branch
Open: Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Closed: Irregular *Follows the closing days of Ginza Six
Average price: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Address: 6F, Ginza Six, 6-10-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
8. Nakameguro Iguchi Agaru Azabu Juban (Azabu-juban)
Within this hidden-away restaurant that doesn't have a signboard, you'll find a black interior with a relaxing, casual atmosphere. The thing to look forward to at this restaurant is its specialty, the [Omakase Course] (4,980 JPY), where you can taste all kinds of Japanese deep-fried foods, such as tempura, kushiage, croquettes, and cutlets. This course comes with 23 deep-fried items so that you may try a little bit of everything. The entire course is arranged beautifully, so you can enjoy their appearance as well. One particularly delicious dish in the course is the rich chicken soup, which is cooked for over 8 hours! You can also have it in an a-la-carte dish with ramen (noodles).
Nakameguro Iguchi Agaru Azabu Juban
9. Higashi (Mitsukoshimae)
You'll be able to eat original Japanese cuisine and kushiage in this 2-story restaurant based in an old kominka (traditional Japanese home). The [Pork Skewer] (160 JPY) uses tender and odorless Tsukuba pork, and comes highly recommended. The umami (Japanese savory taste) and tenderness of the pork is brilliantly preserved in its light and crunchy deep-fried coating. Just like the kushiage, which originated in Osaka, the beef tendon stew is another Osaka delicacy that's quite popular with customers. The [Higashi Beef Tendon Stew] (480 JPY) is well stewed in soy sauce, resulting in tender meat, and the burdock root stewed with it has fully absorbed the delicious beef juices.
The drink menu has a couple innovative items that you won't find anywhere else. Examples include the [Homemade Coffee-hai] (550 JPY) that is made by soaking coffee beans in shochu (another type of Japanese alcohol), and the original [Higashi Junmai-shu] (650 JPY per glass), which has a crisp taste. There are also quite a few affordable snacks that go well with the drinks.
Open: [Monday] 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
[Tuesday - Friday] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Closed: Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays, Beginning and end of the year, and so on
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Address: 1-13-14, Nihombashi Muro-machi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
10. Hidariuma Densuke Koenji Branch (Koenji)
This downtown izakaya offers a menu full of popular sides, such as kushiage, yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), oden, and fish. Come along with some of your friends and enjoy ordering a whole bunch of skewers like the [Wiener] (80 JPY), [Shrimp] (120 JPY), and [Camembert Cheese] (180 JPY). One of this pub's charms has to be its unusual offerings, like the [Special Horse Sashimi Assortment] (lean and marbled horse meat for 990 JPY). The incredibly fresh horse sashimi is odorless and incredibly soft. If you've never tried it, here's the place to give it a go!
Hidariuma Densuke Koenji Branch
Open: 12:00 pm - 11:30 pm (L.O. 11:00 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 2,200 JPY / [Lunch] 600 JPY
Address: B1F, Lily Bell Koenji Square, 2-21-1, Koenji Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
In Tokyo, you'll find kushiage being served in chic and high-class restaurants, as well as lively and affordable eateries. Made with carefully selected, seasonal ingredients, kushikatsu offer a taste of the seasons, so do try some!