Tokyo’s Essential Winter Warming Dishes

Forget shiver-inducing chilled sashimi, when the temperature in Tokyo starts to dip towards freezing, it’s warming ramen and smoky wagyu that are top of the menu. Here are five of our favourite winter warming dishes from across the Nippon capital. Itadakimasu!

Kagiri’s tori-paitan ramen

You might have to queue out in the cold to score one of the eight seats at this back alley Ginza go-to, but it’s well worth it for a big bowl of the fine, delicate noodles in an almost gravy-like soup flavoured with chicken and onion. Toppings include seasonal greens, mushrooms and bamboo shoots, or add a soft-boiled egg for extra indulgence. 4-4-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku. +81 3 3535 7565.

Kamachiku’s kamaage-udon

U-don want to miss a noodle nosh at the Kengo Kuma-renovated Kamachiku, a heritage warehouse that specialises in kamaage-udon served straight from the pot with tasty condiments and dipping sauces. Add tatami seats, serene garden views and an extensive sake list and you’ve got the perfect cosy cold weather retreat. 2-14-18 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku. +81 3 5815 4675.

Otako’s oden

Suited Ginza muckamucks and weary-faced salerymen all pack into this come-as-you-are counter for the famed hot pot oden made the same way for more than a century. Mini meatballs, octopus, tofu, veg, and mysterious cabbage parcels are left to bubble in a rich brown broth until they've absorbed all the umami notes, then they're fished out and popped onto your plate with a side of spicy mustard. 8-6-19 Ginza, Chou-ku. +81 3 3571 0751.

Sumibiyakiniku Nakahara’s yakiniku

Hardcore carnivores worship at this BBQ wagyu wonder where the finest slivers of sirloin and short rib are precision-cut by hand and grilled over glowing charcoals right before your eyes. Book the omakase for seven slices of the day’s best offering or pre-order the legendary beef tongue. 9/F, GEMS Ichigaya, 4-3 Rokubancho, Chiyoda-ku. +81 3 6261 2987.

Yamariki’s nikomi

Morishita izakaya Yamariki has been dishing up its famous hearty tripe stew since 1925. Made from slow-cooked cows’ intestines and seasoned with special miso paste, it’s best enjoyed with a side of the grilled pork skewers and sake. 1-14-6 Morishita Koto, Koto-ku. +81 3 5625 6685.

A version of this article originally appeared on PenCities Tokyo on 26 December 2016.

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