Sharikimon Chawanbu 車力門ちゃわんぶ

Yotsuya-sanchome in Shinjuku-ku is no doubt a food heaven, there are tons of nice and affordable restaurants that the locals love to go after work. Such as Chawanbu, which located on a quiet street called Sharikimon - one of the best and a higher-end Japanese restaurants in that area.

The restaurant is quite narrow, featured a 7-seat counter as well as a table for 6 pax. The interior of the restaurant is a bit old-fashioned compare to most other high-ranking restaurants on Tabelog, but it gives a very warm and homey feeling that makes me relax. There is only one chef and one helper handling everything throughout the meal.

Only one set of menu priced at 14k is served, and the most famous dishes include Saba sushi and Wagyu-katsu. (But sadly no beef for me, i am a pescetarian.)

1. Sea cucumber ovaries, steamed rice 'iimushi'

1. Sea cucumber ovaries, steamed rice 'iimushi'

2. Hyogo crab

2. Hyogo crab

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Chef told us that the crab was delivered from Hyogo this afternoon and was just killed when we stepped into the restaurant. The large amount of fresh and juicy crab meat was incredible, i loved the crab roes and miso inside as well. With a bit ponzu sauce and yuzu twist to bring out the sweetness of the crab, lovely one.

3. Sashimi

3. Sashimi

The sashimi was also very high in quality. The Tako (octopus) was chewy, Uni (sea urchin) was very creamy and sweet, Otoro (fatty tuna) was melt-in-mouth tenderness and rich in oils, Aji (Spanish mackerel) was high in flavor and have endless umami aftertaste.

If you notice the serving ware, you will find them very exquisite and you may even get them from any groceries. While the taste of the food was sincere and honest.

4. 'Owan' Soup of shirako, daikon, grilled bachiko and spinach

4. 'Owan' Soup of shirako, daikon, grilled bachiko and spinach

Followed by a warm bowl of clean but delicious soup. The soup itself was simple as usual, the shirako has a loverly grilled flavor and creamy texture, the kachiko on the top makes the soup very umami. 

6. Deep-fried Amadai

6. Deep-fried Amadai

Very interesting deep-fried dish that topped with a layer of rice puffs that used in Cha-zuke (rice with green tea), however the Amadai was a bit tough and dry for our liking.

7. Ankimo (monkfish liver) - In season yeah!

7. Ankimo (monkfish liver) - In season yeah!

8. Grilled fugu

8. Grilled fugu

Fugu was served before the rice dish to arrived. However, It was quite oily and lack of depth as well as tastes.  It was also a pity that the famous beef-katsu, and saba sushi need to be pre-ordered.

9. RIce: chicken claypot rice

9. RIce: chicken claypot rice

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The steamed rice with chicken wasn't memerable, it was the season to eat new harvest rice but the rice itself was a bit dry. Chicken was tender but not flavorful enough.

But the miso soup with deep-fried tofu was serisouly the best tofu-miso soup i have ever had. It was so delicious,  the chopped baby scallions were very aromatic and balanced well with the deep-fried tofu.

10. Warabi mochi with Kuromitsu syrup and kinako powder - sweet ending

10. Warabi mochi with Kuromitsu syrup and kinako powder - sweet ending

The bill was around 16,000 JPY per head include sake. For the price I have nothing to judge, but I honestly think Chawanbu is overrated. 


Visited: Nov. 2015 (Dinner)

Address: Shima Building. 1F, 3-22 Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Hours: 18:00 ~ 23:00, closed on Sundays and PH

Damage: JPY 14,000++

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