Torishige (鳥茂), Shinjuku, Japan – Food Review

On our recent trip to Tokyo, one of the to-do things that Ms. Buddha and I wanted to do was to go to one of the higher rated restaurants in Tabelog – for those familiar to the website, there aren’t many that get a rating higher than 4 – so we found Torishige:

4.23 – very excited!

The restaurant is very close to the station and you can’t miss the front door – just look for the Japanese name – the inside is massive and spread across 2 floors.

Because of the recent influx of Mainland tourists – a fair few of the staff spoke Mandarin and were incredibly helpful in guiding us to our seats in what I would describe as a very busy restaurant and explained the Japanese menu to us:

We went for the set menu (9,800 JPY)

After ordering, we were given some side dishes to begin with and also our drinks. Before our mains started to come, we were asked whether we eat raw food, which I confirmed we do, then the lovely staff asked again saying that it was pork – and I just nodded (since that I knew after some research).

The first dish arrived, which was slightly grilled pork liver. People might be a bit squeamish when they see pork and it’s slightly pink, but my theory is that if you’re going to have medium rare pork anywhere – the safest place is definitely Japan in a restaurant famous for it. I can completely understand why this place is famous because the quality of the pork was amazing and the liver just melted in my mouth.

Next up was grilled intestine – which when it comes to pig’s offal, it one of the fatter but guilty pleasure cuts – the texture was amazing and and the grilling soy sauce that they use had a nice acidity to it to offset the fattiness. Meat balls also came with the dish and it was really great quality.

Next up is a dish that I think deserves it’s own dedication – a bed of rice topped with some medium rare wagyu beef, sea urchin and roe – and wow! It blew my mind – no only did everything just dissolved when it hits your mouth, but every ingredient had such excellent flavour that it really stood out.

Just wow…

When I thought that the rice was excellent, I didn’t expect things to continue to impress me, the next dish was similar to sukiyaki beef with a raw egg – the sauce used to cook the beef was incredibly sweet and mixed with the egg, I just could not get enough.

Excellent beef – and I love raw eggs in Japan!

We weren’t expecting what came next but both Ms. Buddha and I ended up loving it – it was slices of raw pork and I never imagined that raw pork could taste so good! For those brave enough, this is a must try!

Make sure you add a dash of mustard

As we continued the dinner, the service did slow down a fair amount because it started getting extremely busy – it was amazing watching the interaction between all the staff. Next up was a medium rare slice of wagyu steak – and I can say that this is one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.

One of the best…just add a dash of wasabi and enjoy

Rice is normally the last dish in a Japanese set course, and to start off – we got a rice ball with nori and caviar – we were recommended to have it in one bite and it was amazing feeling the bursts of the roe mix with the slight saltiness of the nori.

One bite of perfection

The very last dish we got to select whether we wanted noodles or rice porridge, we had one of each and the soup base was a very light but nice soup and finished the night off nicely.

For those who are willing to explore and try something a little different, Torishige was definitely a wonderful way to experience some of the best foods that Japan has to offer, and whilst the service speed can improve a little, the quality is top notch and we weren’t disappointed by 4+ Tabelog rating!

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