When it comes to traditional Tokyo dining, Komagata Dozeu is the real deal – or rather the eel deal. Famous for serving up slimy miniature eels (a local treat), it’s a gourmet getaway well worth pursuing, although it helps if your palate is on the adventurous side.
No trip to the capital would be complete without a visit to this 200-year-old Asakusa institution, and no time is better to enjoy the working-class delicacy it serves – dojo nabe, a hot pot of eel-like freshwater loaches – than early in summer.
Kick back on the ground floor’s tatami mat seating to tick the authentic box, or venture upstairs for more comfy tables and chairs, joining happy older salarymen keen for a pukka feed. Kimono-clad waitresses take the orders (there’s an English menu), then bring a small charcoal grill to your table to warm up your pre-cooked pot of loaches. As the broth boils, throw in sliced green onions and a choice of chilli or tingly Szechuan pepper to taste.
Order a big bottle of beer to accompany, or opt for carefully curated sakes, and enjoy a real taste of Tokyo tradition. This comfort zone-busting culinary experience may not be for the faint-hearted, but you’ll score top marks for cultural immersion when you post your loach pics on Insta. Expect to spy rad TV chef Anthony Bourdain (‘No Reservations’) chowing down at the next table!
1 Chome-7-12 Komagata / Taito-ku / +81 3 3842 4001 / 11am-9pm daily / dozeu.com