GAIJIN 5 (GO) - Tokyo restaurant picks
Written by Jeff

5 personal picks for restaurant dates in Tokyo!

A selection of restaurants you could consider taking a date to in Tokyo! .
On this new series 'Gaijin 5 (Go)', I'll be introducing 5 different things for a specific theme every time, from the point of view of a Gaijin living in Tokyo. This time, our theme is "restaurants you could consider taking a date to".
It’s not at all difficult to find good food around Tokyo.
On every corner theres another quaint little restaurant waiting to be discovered, and today I’d like to introduce 5 of my personal picks.

*Images used here come from Tabelog, and they all belong to their respective owners

1. Joumon

With one of their locations a few minutes walk away from Roppongi station, Joumon is my go-to restaurant for dinners with new people.
Joumon specializes in Yakitori (Grilled Skewers) and they are damned-good at it too.
They provide a wide range of different skewers for you to choose from such as Kurobuta, or various Cheeses, each one more fascinating than the last. Other than Yakitori, Jomon also has a wide-variety of mouth-watering side dishes that I could never do justice in a single paragraph. They even have their own version of a scotch egg, which is a party-pleaser to say the least.
Myself included, many Gaijins end up becoming long-time fans of Joumon, and I highly recommend that you check it out.



Yelo is a kakigoori (Japanese Shaved Ice) store with a western twist.
Unlike conventional kakigoori, Yelo serves up a plethora of flavors that you’ve probably never even thought of in this form. From Mango Lassi to Rum Tiramisu, Yelo provides an almost exotic kakigoori experience in a bar-like setting, which is a great end to any night, date or not. On top of all that, they also provide alcoholic options to their kakigoori, to add a slightly more mature twist to the steretypically childish dessert. Take your date to Yelo on a hot Summer night, and it might just win her over enough for a second date.



Zekkouchouteppen ….(wow that’s a mouthful) is a Robatayaki store hidden away on the upper floors of a building in Shinjuku.
Robatayaki, as I understand it, is mostly seafood and vegetables cooked over charcoal. As you may guess from the phrasing, I’m no expert on this method of cooking, so whilst I can’t speak for its authenticity, I can talk about how the food tasted.... and it was phenomenal.
From their assorted entrees to their potato salad was a solid hit one after another. What left the strongest impression however, was their whole-cooked Shiitake mushrooms. To drink stock directly from a mushroom was a delicious experience, and one which I hope our readers could experience as well



If you’re up for some Yakiniku (Japanese meat barbecue), then head on down to Kintan in Iidabashi.
Whilst many other Yakiniku places which have their own blend of rowdiness and local charm to it,
Kintan prides itself in its quality meat and relatively relaxed atmosphere.
With the upper floors having individual rooms and even a rooftop to barbecue in, Kenton provides a high-quality yakiniku experience
with good juicy meat and an environment where you can actually talk to your date.
Furthermore, their lunch sets during weekdays also have GREAT value for money, so I would also highly recommend popping in there for lunch if you are nearby.



When it comes to ramen, there seems to be a different store selling a different type on every corner of Japan.
Most of them provide service at mach speeds, trying to increase customer rotation as much as possible.
Taketora is different in that aspect, seeing as they provide Ramen in individual rooms for you and your dates if needed.
With chandeliers dangling high above the black marble walls, this is as close as one gets to a candlelit ramen dinner.
With a wide-range of ramen to choose from, it can be quite disorienting the first time. Personally, I prefer getting the Ura-Taketora Spicy Tsukemen, with a side of gyoza (dumplings) and a nice alcoholic beverage of your choice. The deep and profound flavors you get from your first sip of the soup, instantly entices you into a second tasting, and will most likely also have you sharing with your date, to both experience the full range of flavors available from the different ramen available. Being able to sit down comfortably in a sofa s

Most of these are more opinion-based rather than official picks, but who knows?

Maybe you’ll find something you like!


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