Kushiage (deep-fried skewers)
Cuisine and menu-reading guide



Spread out vertically over four narrow floors, this old-fashioned izakaya offers fantastic, very creative kushiage - some of the best we've found in Tokyo - along with a small but well-chosen sake list. Picky eaters beware though - there's no a la carte menu, just whatever special skewers they've devised for your dining pleasure that night. During a recent visit these featured some.... [Continue reading]
One of Tokyo's most reliable kushiage shops, Kushinobo offers creative skewers, a decent sake selection and good value for money. A ten-skewer set menu is Y3240 at dinnertime, while an eight-skewer lunch set with soup and rice is Y1080. The lunch is a nice introduction - it features salmon, green pepper stuffed with ground pork, prawn, chicken with celery and other delicacies, all served.... [Continue reading]
This popular Osaka-based izakaya is the complete opposite of your typical Tokyo gourmet kushiage shop - the atmosphere is lively and often raucous, with every inch of the tightly packed tables crowded to overflowing with trays of food and drinks. And, true to their Osaka roots, prices are very reasonable - most deep-fried skewers are Y100-120 each, with luxury items like asparagus and.... [Continue reading]
Top-quality seafood, meats and vegetables go into the kushiage here, and while the average dinnertime budget is around Y6000, lunch is a real bargain at just Y1000. The set lunch features eight assorted deep-fried skewers, and since it's the only thing on the menu you can just take a seat at the counter and wait for your freshly prepared skewers to arrive, one by one, on your plate. .... [Continue reading]
Suginotama is a serious sake bar with an impressive selection of limited-edition seasonal bottles, produced by craft breweries around the country. The sake is served in smaller, 90ml tasting-size glasses so you can try a few different types at one sitting. There's also a decent food menu, featuring delicate deep-fried kushiage skewers (referred to here as "kushi-tempura"). The drinks list includes nine recommended sake of the day, plus seventeen local sakes.... [Continue reading]
Kushiage restaurants are one of the attractions of the very down-to-earth bar zone around Shinsekai's Tsutenkaku Tower, and there are a lot to choose from. But while other shops are content to serve beer and cheap cocktails with your deep-fried skewers, Iruri stands out from the competition thanks to its well-curated sake list. There are around half a dozen craft sake from small local breweries, all chosen to match the food, and all very reasonably priced. The kushiage itself is beautifully prepared, with a crunchy coating that's.... [Continue reading]
Lightly batter-fried seafood and vegetables
Grilled pork on skewers and other pork dishes
Charcoal-grilled freshwater eel
Deep-fried octopus dumplings, an Osaka specialty
Learn about different ramen styles,and how to use the ticket machine
Savory pancakes in Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo versions
Japan's most popular comfort food
Deep-fried pork cutlet
Sea grapes and other regional delicacies
Quick-cooked stews that are perfect for winter
A glossary of Japanese fish and seafood, plus helpful restaurant phrases
An introduction to different types of sake, plus a glossary of sake terminology

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