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As tasty as yakiniku is, there’s a bit of a problem with going out to eat the delicious strips of grilled meat. Restaurants normally offer a variety of different cuts, but each order comes with several pieces of the same thing. Going by yourself means not being able to eat much of a variety, and eating with friends and sharing forces you to negotiate and compromise on what to order.

So we were happy when we found a way to enjoy our ideal meal without feeling like a glutton or a jerk , when we discovered a restaurant in Tokyo that lets your order whatever kind of yakiniku you want, one piece at a time.

At first glance, Jiromaru, with its long counter and lack of seats, looks like the standing sushi bars and noodle joints common to urban Japan, where space is always at a premium. Jiromaru specializes in yakiniku, though. Conveniently located just one minute’s walk away from Seibu Shinjuku Station, it’s tantalizingly close to the RocketNews24 office, so we decided to check it out.

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Jiromaru is technically in Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s nightlife district. But while it’s not too far from a huge selection of dive bars and hostess clubs, Jiromaru is clean and inviting. As with all yakiniku restaurants, customers cook their own food, and you get your own small grill on the counter in front of you, with a refrigerator case of meat showing off the goods just beyond it.

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In contrast to the small dining space, the menu is actually pretty extensive. It’s also extremely reasonably priced. We started with the cheapest item on offer, gatsushin (pork stomach), which was just 30 yen (US $0.28) a piece!

▼ Gatsushin on the right, 80-yen tontoro (pork neck) on the left

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▼ Ready to eat!

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We were just getting started, though. Since we were going one piece at a time, we decided to branch out to other parts of the menu.

▼ 160-yen thick-cut tanmoto (tongue)

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Moving on to a more conventional cut, next up was akami baraban pork belly.

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▼ The small trays everything is served on make Jiromaru feel even more like a sushi bar.

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Looking around, we saw that most customers ordered about a half-dozen pieces of meat, plus rice and, of course, beer, which at 450 yen ($4.13) for Asahi Dry Premium isn’t a bad deal at all for this part of Tokyo.

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Altogether, the bill for our solo yakiniku excursion came out to about 1,500 yen ($13.77), making it the kind of affordable luxury we can see ourselves getting very used to when we’re craving a little meat with our me time.

Restaurant information
Jiromaru /治郎丸
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-26-3, TC #29 Kabuki Building, 1st floor
住所:東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-26-3 TC第29かぶきビル1階
Open 11 a.m.-5 a.m.
Website (Tabelog)

Photos: RocketNews24
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