Tokyo restaurant Review: Chicken Speciality Shop - Genkai Honten
Fantastic chicken dishes in a traditional Japanese restaurant located in the heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo!
Genkai Honten is a famous restaurant for mizutaki (hotpot), chicken and kaiseki (traditional Japanese course meal). It has been around for more than 90 years.
It is located in Shinjuku with the Shinjuku Gyoenmae (Tokyo Metro) as the nearest station. From exit 1 or 3, you can get to the restaurant in 5 minutes. You can also walk from Shinjuku Sanchoume Station (Toei Shinjuku Line).
If you are feeling adventurous, you can even walk from Shinjuku Station which has even more lines but it will take more than 15 minutes.
The moment you step in, it is a whole new world!
From the outside, it looks like a normal building that seats 250 people. But the moment you step in, it is a whole new world. It is almost as if you have time slipped backwards and you find yourself in a lovely Japanese traditional setting.
The interior is so well done that you cannot help but stare. Even though it is located in the heart of such a bustling city, once you are inside Genkai, you can almost feel the peace and awe of such a lovely place.
At the entrance, we had to take off our shoes and were given a wooden tab each. The staff will keep your shoes and we headed up two flights of soft carpeted floor. There were so many things to see.
Doesn't it feel like you have been transported to some samurai's residence?
Genkai is actually divided into two parts. The more modern and single floored one is designated for quick lunches but because of the pandemic, they have opened up this side of the building which is reserved for more premium functions to provide more space between every customer.
The moment we sat down, the staff brought a cup of refreshing houjicha and a hot towel. It was perfect on a hot day like this (early June 2021). They even gave us matcha-flavoured meringue. The delicious dessert disappears the moment you pop one into your mouth. The matcha flavour was fragrant and it wasn't too sweet as well.
There was also a starter sort of item even though Genkai serves set meals during lunch hour. This was Eggplant in Agedashi Style. The eggplant was soft and had absorbed all the delicious flavours. It was simple and so ridiculously delicious.
This is one of their classic item that is a must-eat. The eggs are fluffy and flavourful. The tender and juicy chicken is seasoned so perfectly. Everything is wrapped up so wonderfully in a harmony of sauce and hot rice.
The warabi mochi on the side has a lovely texture and taste as well. You can change the miso soup into mizutaki soup with an additional JPY100.
The Mizutaki Set is slightly on the more expensive side for lunch but let me tell you, it is so. worth. it. I cannot stress how insanely delicious this is.
The milky white broth feels like a comforting hug. If it could be this delicious in summer, imagine on cold winter days, this would be the heaven of heaven. You can add green onions and/or garlic into your soup as well. And the black sauce is ponzu (soy sauce and citrus juice) is for you to dip the meat in.
The zosui is rice and egg cooked in the chicken soup. This is another mind-blowing delicious item. It comes with the mizutaki set that's why I highly recommend it because it's like getting a double dosage of delicious chicken soup.
The location is convenient, the interior is so pretty to take pictures and the staffs are wonderfully polite and you can feel their smiles even under the mask.
Overall, I give it a 4.8/5. The 0.2 is because I haven't tried their other items but for the ones I have tried, it's amazing. The whole experience is so lovely that you will definitely want to come again. I highly recommend this.
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