Tokyo Food Page
šTsukada Nojo/
Ikebukuro: Japanese
regional
₯5928-5611
€Data
At first glance it
looks like just
another cheap and
cheerful budget
izakaya - unpreten-
tious rustic decor,
bouncy J-Pop back-
ground music, enthu-
siastic young staff
and boisterous
after-work drinkers.
But then you notice
that, unlike most
izakaya, the walls
here are decorated
with giant photos of
farms, farmers, and
free-range chickens
going about their
business. A quick
look at the menu
confirms that they
do indeed take their
food seriously here
at Tsukada Farm -
focusing heavily on
top-grade Miyazaki
chicken as well as
many other regional
delicacies from
southern Kyushu.

Charcoal-grilled
Miyazaki chicken is
probably the most
famous local dish
from the area. While
it's very tasty, the
rather muscular bird
also has a reputa-
tion for tough meat,
and so we were
pleasantly surprised
by the grilled
chicken here. It's
still noticeably
chewier than your
typical battery hen,
but many of the bits
were relatively
tender, and every
piece was suffused
with a well-seasoned
smoky flavor that
was nicely balanced
by a spicy yuzu-
kosho served on the
side.

There are around a
dozen more Miyazaki-
chicken dishes to
choose from, includ-
ing grilled and
fried wings, chicken
sausages, wontons,
fried gizzards and
hearts, and chicken
sashimi with grated
garlic. All the
poultry is sourced
directly from
Miyazaki-area farm-
ers rather than
going through the
traditional agricul-
tural distribution
system, allowing
both higher pay for
farmers and lower
prices for custom-
ers.

Another standout
dish is the very
tasty charcoal-
grilled pork belly,
made with SPF
(specific-pathogen-
free) pork. Because
the pigs are raised
under extremely
hygienic conditions,
there's no need for
regular doses of
antibiotics to keep
them healthy.

The Kyushu-style
side dishes at Tsu-
kada make a nice
change of pace from
the usual izakaya
fare. Our otoshi was
a big dish of raw
cabbage and cucumber
served with a love-
ly, chunky moromi-
miso spread. The
gobo chips are ex-
cellent, sliced very
thinly and fried up
very crisply with
simple salt and
pepper seasoning.
There's also raw
horsemeat and tiny
grilled kibinago
(silver-stripe her-
ring), sweet-potato
fries and avocado
sashimi. Most dishes
are simply prepared,
to better bring out
the natural flavors
of the fresh ingre-
dients.

Shochu fans can
peruse a dedicated
shochu menu, featur-
ing an impressive
selection from small
Kyushu distilleries.
If you're not in a
shochu mood there's
excellent sake from
Dassai, plus umeshu,
yuzushu, mangoshu
(!) and other fruit
liqueurs, and of
course beer.

Budget around Y3500-
4000 for dinner and
drinks; prix-fixe
banquet menus and
open-bar party plans
are also available.
English menus are
provided upon re-
quest. On weekend
nights (Friday and
Saturday) the res-
taurant stays open
until 2am. There are
also around twenty
more branches scat-
tered throughout
central Tokyo.
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Minami-Ikebukuro
2-16-8.  Open 5-
11:30pm (LO) daily.
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