Tokyo’s Jojoen & Yakiniku In Shinjuku

Jojoen is a yakiniku restaurant next to Shinjuku station.  It was my first meal in Tokyo, Japan.

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When I ate at Jojoen, I was on 11th day into my Asia trip.  The 11 days cause an extra 15 pounds to my thighs and butt from all the food I consumed on my trip.  This was my first meal in Japan and I was eager to add another 20 pounds to my waistline.  My Japanese coworker recommended it and told me it was her favorite spot for yakiniku.  It’s a very nice restaurant with modern decor, but the decor had a Japanese touch to it.

Shinjuku Jojoen Decor
Jojoen Decor

The service was great.  However, I was disappointed there wasn’t a service button like Korean spots for me to annoy the staff.  I suddenly realized I was no longer in Seoul but in Japan.  Japan has more Michelin stars than any other country in the world.  Yup.  It’s more than France, Spain or Italy, so I was expecting some awesome food.  That or the Michelin Guide is full of shit.

Jojoen offers à la carte items along with the an omakase style menu.  They called it ‘Kaiseki’.  I went with the Kaiseki menu because I wanted to try as many things as I can.  I try not to judge a restaurant based from one dish unless it’s their specialty.  It’s like dismissing a potential mate based from one aspect.  Who cares if she’s cross-eyed and has a sixth toe?  She could be the love of my life even though I could never tell if she’s looking me straight in the eye.

Now, the food.  The Kaiseki menu consisted of an appetizer, assorted kimchi, yukhoe, namuru, salad, grilled, rice dish or noodles, dessert then coffee.  It wasn’t much food.

[irp]

  • Yukhoe – Yukhoe is beef sashimi.  It’s raw Japanese Wagyu beef cut up in little slices and dipped in sukiyaki type of sauce.  However, the sukiyaki sauce wasn’t as sweet when compared to Imafuku.  It was still buttery and simply high-end quality beef as my bank account balance heads south.
    Jojoen's Yukhoe
    Jojoen’s Yukhoe
  • Namuru – Namuru is assorted seasonal vegetables dress with sesame seed and sesame oil sauce.  Japanese food is simply amazing and the quality to detail they put into their dishes is like no other.  The vegetables were fresh, crispy and clean.  It absolutely made me want to become a vegetarian.  Well, not really.  Organic food cost too much.
  • Grilled – The items included Japanese wagyu beef and some seafood items.  The intense marbling on the beef was pretty much on all the slices of beef.  It was covered in diced onions and placed on the grill.  Medium rare is always the best choice.  I’m from Orange County, CA and people rave about Anjin and Tsuruhashi.  However, those places are mediocre when compared to true Japanese yakiniku with authentic Japanese ingredients.  It’s totally on a different level of amazing like an older women compared to one in her 20s.  Women are like wine unless it’s box wine.
    Jojoen's Grilled Wagyu In shinjuku
    Jojoen’s Grilled Wagyu

Overall, I really enjoyed my dining experience at Jojoen.  The portions in Japan is definitely smaller than what I’m accustomed to in the States.  However, it’s a good thing cause I’ll be gaining 15 pounds instead of 25 pounds.  Must try, folks.

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  • 7.5/10
    Service - 7.5/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Flavors - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Decor - 7/10
  • 7.5/10
    Ambiance - 7.5/10
7.4/10

Summary

Jojoen is a yakiniku restaurant next to Shinjuku station. Jojoen offers a la carte items along with the an omakase style menu. I really enjoyed my dining experience at Jojoen. The portions in Japan is definitely smaller than what I’m accustomed to in the States. Highly recommend.

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