Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Robata Yaki Grill in Tokyo Shimbashi, Great Food & Value

The last trip to Japan, my father already told me that I must give Robatayaki a try in Japan. Robatayaki is also known as Robata for short. 

Robatayaki is a Japanese style grill whereby the chef sits at a deck surrounded by fresh ingredients. To select the food you want to eat, just point them out to the chef who will serve them to you on a paddle once it's ready. It is really an interesting experience to sit around the open hearth and soak in the lively ambiance of old world Japan.

So began my search for a good Robata Grill restaurant in Japan... but as all would already know, food isn't all that cheap in Japan. And somehow, trying out Robata just didn't materialize when I was in Japan last year.

This year, I happened to come across these 2 online pages with good reviews about a quality and inexpensive Robata Grill in Toyko Shimbashi and decided that I MUST have my first Robatayaki experience in Japan. ;)

The restaurant is called Musashi and is located at Shimbashi Tokyo. I was told by my Japanese friend that Shimbashi is a very local business district and the people around there are very "localized". I'm not too sure I understood her but I think what she meant was that it's a place whereby a lot of local working Japanese go to.

Musashi Shopfront

Shimbashi 2-9-17, Minato-ku
Tel: 03 35803550

She also mentioned that when TV stations want to get a feel of the local economic situation or the working people's sentiments, they'll conduct their interviews on streets in Shimbashi. Anyway, I guess there's a lot of eateries and drinking holes due to this fact and it was nice to venture out there.

Musashi Robatayaki is relatively easy to locate and here's some pics to share:

Serving Food With Robata Paddle

Japanese Name of Restaurant Is 武蔵

It was really lucky of us to get exactly 3 seats right in front of the grill where all the cooking is done. We had the following and guess how much it cost us?

Recommended Online & By A Customer Sitting Next To Us
  • 3 scallops
  • 1 stick of bacon and leek
  • 3 sticks of shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tofu
  • 1 fish
  • 1 snail
  • 4 glasses of sake
  • 1 mug of beer
I wanted to eat more but didn't want to gorge myself silly after eating the whole day while shopping at other places. It is really tempting with all the seafood placed right in front of you. :|

Anyway, it cost only....5130JPY and the food tasted great!! That's about 26SGD per person. Really inexpensive for the kind of quality they serve! I don't even think I can have a Robata meal in Singapore for this kind of price. And I highly recommend this warm and charming Robata restuarant in Tokyo.

To get there, follow the directions on this map:

1) Alight at the JR Shimbashi Station on the JR Yamanote Line (it's the light green circle line)
2) Exit from the Hibiya exit

JR Shimbashi Station Hibiya Exit in Tokyo, Japan

3) Walk towards LABI Shimbashi building by crossing the road, you'll see LABI right in front of you when you come out from the Hibiya exit

LABI Shimbashi

4) Turn left and navigate on your own, hee...

Oh yah, and do get there early around 6pm or so to get a seat. If not, you may have to wait until 7pm+ and the highly sought after scallops may be sold out by then.

I was told that Robatayaki is more popular with the older generation and the younger ones generally do not enjoy it as much. But I do love the lively and laid back atmosphere it gives and what an experience! This is my  most enjoyable meal in Tokyo this trip and do give it a try if you get the chance to. You will love it!


Anonymous said...

My wife and I stumbled upon this restaurant when we visited Tokyo last November. (We stayed at the Sun Route Shimbashi.) We loved the restaurant, too. I think we sat in same chairs you did (near the door). We ordered the squid, but they were out. A gentleman next to us took my wife's chopsticks and shared his squid with us. (We then got him a beer.) Our meal at Musashi was one of the best meals we had, and the prices were very reasonable. We'll visit Musashi again (if we can find it) when we're in Tokyo We enjoyed your review.

Mei said...


I'm so happy to hear that you shared the same wonderful experience like me at Musashi. It's a really good place yah?

You're lucky to stumble in as there's so many other restaurants in that area. And the ambiance is really friendly, I love it too!

Like you, I'll go back again if I ever go back to Tokyo!!

Cheers! =)

Anonymous said...

Any idea if a 4yo would be welcome there?

Mei said...


Sure!! In fact, the average age of diners there are about 40years old and my Japanese friends was saying that the Robatayaki isn't popular with the younger generation.

Cheers! =)

Anonymous said...

Preparing my July trip to Japan, be sure I'll have dinner there !!

Mei said...

You must, it's cheap and good! =)