Picture this: an unassuming entrance that leads to a world of gastronomic wonders waiting to be discovered. Intrigued? So were we. I had the chance to visit Robata Sho, a hidden Izakaya haven nestled amidst the vibrant streets of Shinjuku, Japan.
Robata Sho specializes in the art of robatayaki cooking, utilizing binchotan charcoal to impart unparalleled flavor to their dishes. Witnessing the spectacle of fireside cooking adds an extra dimension of excitement to the dining experience, making each dish a feast for the senses.
Reservations are a must at Robata Sho, as tables fill up quickly. Timing is everything; arriving punctually ensures you won’t miss out on this gastronomic adventure. Stepping into Robata Sho feels like walking into a scene from your favorite Japanese Film or anime. It’s cozy, communal, and welcoming—all the vibes you need for a stellar dining experience. And let me tell you, the staff made us feel like VIPs, even though it was our first time there.
As we watched the chefs expertly grill our meal, we savored the exquisite taste of high-quality sake—a sweet symphony of fruity notes that set the tone for the culinary journey ahead.
Our adventure began with the sashimi—Fresh, flavorful, and a real game-changer. The tuna stole the spotlight, but every bite was a taste of ocean-fresh goodness. While the tuna delighted our palates, the other sashimi varieties proved to be an acquired taste, albeit bursting with freshness.
And then there’s the grilled corn—simple yet oh-so-satisfying. It’s like summer on a plate, and trust me, you won’t want to miss it. You can really tell the difference with Japanese corn. They just grill it, sprinkle some salt, no butter, nothing else, but it’s delicious and sweet! I still haven’t gotten over this!
Next was grilled rice with kobayashi egg. They grill the rice and brush it with soy sauce while grilling. A harmonious blend of crispy exterior and fragrant rice interior, it underscored the transformative power of quality ingredients.
And don’t get me started on the potato salad. Crunchy, tangy, and downright addictive. It’s the kind of dish you can’t stop eating, no matter how full you are. This also has pink peppers, which added a slight sweetness and spiciness to the flavor. I’m not sure about those orange bits; they might be pickled ginger because they’re a bit tangy.
Now, onto the meats! We had pork steak and wagyu, but honestly, it was just okay; I think I’ve had better. If you have to choose, go for the beef; we kind of ignored the pork at some point. If you’re craving for wagyu I’d suggest to go with the A5 wagyu at Ginza steak instead.
A last-minute indulgence in fishcake tempura – crispy perfection on the outside, and tender goodness on the inside. The crunch was amazing, but be careful because the fish inside is hot. I don’t think it’s seasoned, so you can really taste the freshness of the fish.
And the best part? The bill won’t break the bank. For two people, we spent around 14,207 yen—roughly 5,300 pesos.
As we wrap up our culinary escapade at Robata Sho, we can’t help but reflect on the delightful flavors, warm hospitality, and unforgettable moments shared around the table. From the crackling flames of the robatayaki grill to the exquisite taste of each meticulously crafted dish, Robata Sho has left an indelible mark on our palates.