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Tsukishima is a small man-made island in Tokyo Bay, right next to Tsukiji on the mainland. For the bargain hunter, it’s Monjatown. Monjayaki (monja for short) is the uniquely Tokyo variation on okonomiyaki, a dish you cook yourself on a sizzling hotplate set into your table. There are around 80 places specialising in monja and okonomiyaki in the main street (called Nishinaka-dori), or in neighbouring lanes and alleys. Monja Kura is one of a many good options, relatively easy to find as it’s on the main drag, midway down on the left. There is often a queue – if so, write your name on the waiting list by the door and wait until you’re called. There’s an English menu if you ask for it; the menu is split into okonomiyaki or monja. There is no one correct way to cook monja, but there are many wrong ways. We suggest you cook the cabbage down first, create a ring, then add the batter to the centre slowly, a little at a time. Ideally, you should end up with browned patties, not a slick of sticky mess. To drink, there are shochu cocktails and highballs (dilute whisky-soda cocktails served in beer glasses). Don’t wear your best clothes – stash anything you don't want to come out reeking of the grill in the plastic bag provided. Later in the evenings, taxis are permitted into the street to allow groups of partygoers to make their way home safely.
Meal for two with drinks: around ¥5,000
3-9-9 Tsukishima, Chuo-ku
|Transport:||Tsukishima Station (Yurakucho, Oedo lines), exit 7|
|Opening hours:||11am-11pm (last orders 10.30pm) / irregular holidays|