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Upon entering this 92-year-old establishment, you’re immediately smacked with the intense smell of beef stew, simmered for who knows how many hours. The recognisable ‘Yamariki aroma’ makes its presence felt on each of the three levels (and stairwell) of this shitamachi classic, where the speciality is, of course, nikomi. Cooked in a huge cauldron-like cask iron pot, it gets its unique flavour from beef tendons simmered in a miso-based broth from 9am until last orders at 10pm. The intensity of the soup and tenderness of the beef increase over time, so you’re sure to note a significant difference between a bowl ordered at 5pm and one called for at 9pm. Nikomi is usually served with rice, but Yamariki opts for the more sophisticated accompaniment of crusty slices of garlic-rubbed French baguette for mopping up the rich juices.
Besides the hearty signature dish, you can order typical izakaya fare like yakiton (pork skewers) with soy or salt, sashimi, tofu and pickled vegetables. Large bottles of chilli-infused liquid are scattered all over the joint; upon closer inspection, we realised that this is actually a vodka mix that can be added to the nikomi – or pretty much any dish – to give it a special kick. Be warned, it packs a punch. English menus are available, but the restaurant only takes cash.
2-18-8 Morishita, Koto-ku
|Transport:||Morishita Station (Shinjuku, Oedo lines), exit A6|
|Opening hours:||5pm-11pm (last orders 10pm)|