Waseda: Yakitori
Kinari (Waseda: Yakitori)
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-11pm (LO; Sat, Sun -10). Closed Sundays.

Kinari serves first-rate charcoal-grilled chicken along with seasonal vegetables and side dishes in a comfortable, stylish dining room. Highlights from the grill include chicken wings, momo (thigh meat), plump tsukune meatballs served with raw egg, and fresh, tender asparagus. Mounds of tasty, chunky garlic miso help bring out the flavor of many of the grilled items.

The nine-part appetizer tray is also highly recommended. The focus is on simply prepared, high-quality seasonal fish and seafood, and portion sizes are big enough for two people to share. Other specialties of the house are mizutaki (chicken and vegetable nabe-style stew) and assorted oden fished out of a big vat on the counter. You can finish off your meal with soba or oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice).

The restaurant's attention to detail extends to their collection of attractive pottery and other servingware, which add to enjoyment of the meal. As in most yakitoriya the best place to sit is at counter, and the one here is particularly spacious - there's no need to squeeze in between other diners, and there's even room to stretch out. There are also a handful of tables for larger groups, but reservations are definitely recommended.

The drinks list includes four or five well-chosen seasonal sake, changing regularly. Wine ranges from Y3,280 to Y32,800 a bottle, and there's also shochu, beer and cocktails. Lunch is served on weekdays only. Budget around Y5,000-6,000 for food and drink at dinnertime.

Shinjuku-ku, Babashitacho 62-18, Waseda Musashino Bldg B1F.
東京都新宿区馬場下町62-18 早稲田武蔵野ビルB1F

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended