Yakiniku in Shinjuku

IMG_1095Before we hit up Robot Restaurant, our Valentine’s Day quadruple-date gang headed through Shinjuku in search of dinner. We’d heard the food at Robot Restaurant was nothing to write home about, so instead, we settled down the street at one of the many Yakiniku restaurants lining the road.

Yakiniku essentially means grilled meat, and mainly refers to restaurants where you grill a variety of meat yourself at the table.


This one had My Better Half’s vote on where to stop for dinner based on the sign alone. After six or so years, he still hasn’t adjusted to my mostly-pescatarian lifestyle.


We settled in at a yakiniku restaurant just across from Robot Restaurant, one that could fit the eight of us, close enough to eat and drink our fill and dash if needed to our show.

It was an awesome choice. The menu alone had both the meat-lovers and the adventurers among us delighted.


We ordered a variety to share, plus some udon curry and edamame for the sad vegetarian (me). To start, each of us were served a cold, gelatinous egg that I’ve never known an American to like.


(See all the untouched eggs below).


Then the real show began. After a few beers and a few starters (not the eggs though), the Japanese trusted us to use fire and not hurt ourselves.

MBH and I both love the food in Japan, love the opportunity to try new things, and love especially that there is so much food here that is absolutely wild and completely unlike anything we’d be served in the States.

So of course he ordered the menu item most foreign to all of us: pig womb.


After a bunch of wrinkled noses and disbelieving stares and discussions of placentas and cultures that eat them, once the sliced pig womb actually arrived and he started to cook it, more than a few of our friends started to get curious enough to try a bite.


It wasn’t bad (he said)! Full of antioxidants (he exaggerated)! He probably wouldn’t even be hungover the next day from all of the healthy cells it contained (he lied)!

Aside from the eggs, we left nothing behind except empty dishes and well-used grills.


Then it was off to Robot Restaurant for the experience of a lifetime!

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