As with most addresses in Tokyo, Zenyaren is difficult to find. When your overnight but sleepless flight from London landed only a few hours ago, and you’ve had a scant 1 hour nap since checking into your hotel, it’s doubly challenging. Luckily, Pete and I are with two Tokyo friends, Masamitsu and Voltaire, who manage, with the aid of smartphones, to track down my chosen venue.

How did Tokyoites navigate their city before the era of online maps and satellite navigation?

Japan2013-2316 Japan2013-2313

Zenyaren is down in the basement of an office building, about 10 minutes walk from Tokyo Station. We are late for lunch and far too early for dinner, so much of the large space is empty. We are shown a large table in one of the cosier side rooms that break the space up.

The key attraction of Zenyaren is that it gathers together in a single place cooking from seven yakitori restaurants across Japan, giving you the chance to try regional yakitori favourites.

Zenyaren

Indeed, our waiter tells us that in his home region, yakitori is commonly made with pork (even though the word itself means fried or grilled poultry).

Japan2013-2305 Japan2013-2298

With our drinks (umeshu for me, beer for the rest) come minced chicken balls, given crunch by the addition of finely chopped cartilage. Fabulous, and oddly reminiscent of Swedish meatballs!

Japan2013-2300

We order various mixed platters of yakitori, our waiter explaining the condiments that are intended for each. It’s a good selection, with each of us favouring different skewers, nothing lasts too long. We also try a chicken skin dish, which is very tasty but I’d like better if the skin were crunchy rather than flacid, and some whole fish that are a particular favourite of Masamitsu’s.

Japan2013-2303 Japan2013-2307
Japan2013-2308 Japan2013-2310
Japan2013-2301 Japan2013-2312

With another round of drinks, the total bill for four is ¥10,220 (just under £70 at the exchange rate during our visit). For those planning to make a night of it, the menu also includes some reasonable drinks plans (where you pay a fixed price for unlimited drinks from a specified selection). Zenyaren is a great place to go with a group and I can imagine it becomes far buzzier when busy, during lunch or dinner hours.

Japan2013-2314

  4 Responses to “Enjoy Yakitori From Across Japan at Zenyaren, Tokyo”

  1. Pete looks like a giant in this photo!
    I agree it’s difficult to find anywhere in Tokyo – thank God ttge food most places is so good!

  2. Hi, there! It’s Yuko from Japan.
    I haven’t heard about Zenyaren before. It might be a convenient place because you can enjoy variety of Yakitori. One of my favorites is liver, which gives us a good deal of nutrition. It’s a shame that you did’t try one there.

    Tokyo is really a complicated city. I seldom go there.

    • Hi Yuko
      Mainly we ordered the various set selections, so didn’t have liver this time but I do enjoy liver, and I adore chicken hearts!

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

   
© 2006 - 2014 Kavita Favelle Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha