One late night stumbling around Tokyo I found a cool place called Kushikatsu Tanaka. I soon learned that Kushikatsu is a Japanese-style of deep-fried skewers originating from Osaka, Japan made with beef. pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables skewered on bamboo. I had been walking in circles most of the night and started to build up a real appetite so I just walked up to see what this place was. At first I thought it was a bar but noticed the food and that they had AC so I was in for sure.
(Kushi means skewer and Katsu means a deep-fried cutlet of meat.)
Having zero idea of what kind of food they had I started to look around at other tables for ideas on what to order. It was getting pretty late but people started rolling in most of which looked like they had just got off from a late night of working at the office. Cold beer and laughter from the tables around me were two things this place had from the get go.
I was brought a menu to clue me in on what they served, pictures are worth 1000 words especially if you do not know the local language. I figured out the specialty was deep-fried skewers/kebabs and at that moment I decided it would be best if I ordered whatever the waitress suggested.
After ordering I was brought my ice cold Suntory beer and a bowl of cabbage, yeah of course this makes sense right? I scrambled back to the menu pictures to figure out what the cabbage was for and just a few minutes later the skewers arrived. I was ready to try this out and I was sure it would be interesting and fun.
The waitress could easily tell I had no clue what to do when she saw me dip my whole skewer into the sauce. I found out it is ok to dip once, but not twice which makes total sense because others will dip with you in a group. This “deep-fried anything and beer combo” works on every level in Japan just like it does around the world. I would go on to drink beer with most meals in Tokyo because it seemed like most people were drinking beer in most places I went so why not.
I used the cabbage as a spoon of sorts to pour sauce onto my skewers of lotus root, beef, pork and onion. I really like them all, but since lotus root was different than anything I have ever had I believe the lotus root was my favorite with the fried onion as a close number two.
This place was a pretty cool stop for a good late night fried meat/vegetable/cold beer craving and it is a really laid back atmosphere. The staff was super helpful and friendly to me as an obvious tourist which was really nice too. I would take anyone there to try it out for themselves when in Tokyo again.
Location: Kushikatsu Tanaka