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“Authentic and delicious hole-in-the-wall small Japanese restaurant”
Review of Maruya

Ranked #1,195 of 7,518 Restaurants in Shibuya
Cuisines: Japanese
Neighborhood: Shibuya / Harajuku / Ebisu
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Shibuya / Harajuku / Ebisu
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Authentic and delicious hole-in-the-wall small Japanese restaurant”
Reviewed September 28, 2011

This is a very small Japanese restaurant near Shibuya that specializes in fresh fish cuisine, especially sardines. Don't let that scare you off; Japanese sardines (called "iwashi") are not the same as what we eat from cans, and there are plenty of non-sardine options on the menu. All food is prepared by the husband and wife owners, and the quality is quite outstanding. Service at times can be slow as they don't have any additional help. The restaurant is small, consisting of one long counter in front of the kitchen, plus one back room with two large tables; simple but clean and nicely Japanese. The back room is sometimes used by groups of friends or coworkers for banquets.

Highly recommended is the "katsuo tataki", seared strips of sashimi quality bonito fish, topped with thinly sliced onion, green onion, garlic, grated ginger, in a vinegar (ponzu) sauce. Also recommended is the "kaori-age", a sardine rolled up and stuffed with lotus root, plum (ume) paste, shiso leaf, and deep fried (it sometimes has some small bones though; although they are edible if this concerns you you might want to skip it.)

There are plenty of other options on the menu, and not everything is fish, from edamame, cold tofu, fried chicken ("kara-age"), tempura platter ("tempura moriawase"), grilled rice balls ("yaki-onigiri") with soy ("shoyu") or miso flavor, delicious homemade seasonal pickles ("tsukemono"), oysters on the half shell ("nama-gaki"), fresh sashimi platter, etc, etc. In winter you might want to try one of the hot pot ("nabe") dishes, of which I think there are also several types.

They also do lunch and have a lot of reasonably priced set menus ("teishoku") available. I believe they are closed on Sundays, otherwise open for lunch (11-2? maybe?) and dinner (5pm or 6pm to midnight.)

It is run by an older Japanese couple that does not speak much English, but they do have an English menu (ask to see it) and are interested in meeting foreigners. If you're looking for some authentic, reasonably priced Japanese food, and some cultural exchange in a more personal setting, you might want to check it out. If you're looking for a photo menu then you might want to go to one of the big chain restaurants close to Shibuya station.

The location is about a 10-12 minute walk from Shibuya station or a 3 minute walk from Shinsen station on the Inokashira line. From Shibuya station walk all the way up Dogenzaka; at the top of the hill you will pass a 7-11 then a koban (police box). Turn right at the police box down a diagonal road (you will also pass Shibuya Gonpachi on your right). You will soon pass a Familymart on the right. Continue down the hill about 3-4 minutes and turn right on a small alleyway right before you hit the big Maruetsu supermarket. It's a little hard to find, but it just adds to the experience I think.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank upandbeyond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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