Yakiniku Eatery Manten
Always trust your instinct is what I have learned in Japan. When you are on a hunt for a satisfying dinner while trusting on your intuition, in my case I always succeed. This happened when I visited Manten (満天, まん天), a yakiniku restaurant which I pass daily on my walk to the station. It is a restaurant full of surprises and really does differentiate itself from other places.
It all starts by entering through the fence. Be sure to close it after passing through, since you will be welcomed by at least two little dogs. They won’t serve your dinner, but are happy to cuddle with you, and even take a seat at your table if you did appreciate their warm welcome. These dogs represent an open atmosphere that the restaurant has, and it even welcomes other dogs, offering a pet menu for those who are hungry.
When seated you will realize you have entered a different era since the interior is based on a junk style, mixed with retro looks. The seats and tables are made out of beer barrels and crates, while the walls are covered with browned newspapers. Also the nostalgic Japanese psychedelic retro music from the 80s helps to maintain this unique atmosphere.
Although you would expect dog to be served, it is mostly beef and pork you will eat here. Every table has its own little yakiniku BBQ that can be used to grill several types of meat. The idea of yakiniku is to order different kinds of meat to combine on a plate you will use for your table sized BBQ. We combined for two a plate which contained karubi, harami and rosu beef, shirokoro horumon (pork lung), kimchi and rice. The kimchi, made out of cabbage and daikon (white radish) with spiced herbs, perfectly complemented the meat, together with a lemon sour to offset the spiciness. I would recommend this combination for an average, not too big meal, which cost me ¥2500 including the drink.
Manten can be easily reached by taking the Hibiya line to Minowa station. Take the south exit and after walking just one minute north the “dog café” will be on your right. The restaurant is open daily from 5pm till 5am, and on Sundays from 12pm till 12am. Pets and smoking are allowed in- and outside. Restrooms can be found in the street behind the restaurant.
Address: 1F 2 Chome-15−8, Taito-ku, Minowa, Tokyo 110-0011