From the numerous restaurants in Shinjuku, I have picked up those that have nice features for couples, such as delicious food, as well as seats for couples and service that is accustomed to tourists.
Luxury yakiniku restaurant open late at night「Rokkasen（やきにく亭 六歌仙）」
“Yakiniku Restaurant Rokkasen” is famous as a place where you can taste high-quality yakiniku (Japanese-style BBQ) in Shinjuku. It offers all-you-can-eat courses at reasonable prices to enjoy high-quality “Kuroge Wagyu” beef that is superior in taste and meat quality to common wagyu beef and you can also order à la carte meals. If it is a visit to commemorate something, you should also try “Matsusaka beef,” the pinnacle of Kuroge Wagyu. The meat selected by the chef is the best selection where you can enjoy a melting feel on the tongue and a rich flavor. Matsusaka beef is cut 8 mm thick and Kuroge Wagyu 7 mm thick to maximize the taste. Besides yakiniku, you can also enjoy “shabu-shabu” (a dish of thinly sliced meat lightly cooked in boiling water) and “sukiyaki” (a hot-pot dish).
For couples, I recommend a private room offering a sense of privacy or a table seat to enjoy a night view of Shinjuku. It stays open until 5 am, so it is perfect for a late dinner for those who have arrived in Japan on a late-night flight. Because it is a popular restaurant that is full almost every day, it is best to make a reservation before arriving in Japan.
Recommendations for those new to Japanese cuisine「Japanese Cuisine Kurikichi （日本料理 栗吉）」
Although you may feel a bit nervous when it comes to a genuine Japanese restaurant, for couples new to Japanese cuisine, I recommend the “Japanese Cuisine Kuriyoshi” situated on the first floor of an annex to the Hotel Rose Garden, Nishi Shinjuku Ekimae. Besides being a location easily accessible even by foreign tourists inside the hotel, its attraction is a calm, hideout-style, atmosphere. You can also view a miniature garden from inside the restaurant.
A counter seat is a special seat where the cook can be seen dexterously preparing a meal. The warm service of the kimono-clad staff is agreeable, and you can relax and enjoy your meal.
The cooking is seasonal kaiseki cuisine using seasonal ingredients (one of the Japanese forms consisting of sashimi, grilled courses, simmered courses, etc.). The color and arrangement of food on the plate are beautiful, SNS-worthiness is also outstanding, and women are especially pleased. It also has an ample assortment of sake from all over Japan to match the meal, and sake should also be drunk before a meal to appeal to the five senses. A more intimate air than usual will flow between the two.
＊Japanese Cuisine Kurikichi
You can eat fresh seasonal fish「Kisetsu Ryouri Nemoto （季節料理 根本）」
Japan has four seasons, and it is its characteristic that you can feel the season from the ingredients used in cooking. At the “Kisetsu Ryori* Nemoto,” you can enjoy the taste of the Japanese seasons to the full. It is especially known for its delicious fish, and what I want you to order first is a “Selection of raw fish dishes (sashimi)” centering on wild fish purchased in the Tsukiji market. You are certain to be astonished at how fresh it tastes. In addition, “mackerel boiled in miso” that has been slowly boiled for a long time without using a pressure cooker so that it can be eaten whole, bones and all, is also a signature dish not to be missed. There are over 20 menu items handwritten by the chef and changing daily, so please check with the staff what dishes are recommended and have fun sharing various dishes between the two of you.
* seasonal food
For couples, I recommend counter seats where they can watch the food being prepared. It is a restaurant where a casual ambience is agreeable, and where you can enjoy every bit of terrific food in a lighthearted manner.
＊Kisetsu Ryouri Nemoto
Exciting robatayaki*「OEDO AYATORI （お江戸あやとり）」
* Food cooked over charcoals
If you want to enjoy Tokyo-style entertainment-oriented meals, I recommend the “Oedo Ayatori,” Kabukicho, Shinjuku. This is a popular restaurant where you can enjoy robatayaki (meat and vegetable dishes cooked on an irori*-style grilling table). In the center of the restaurant, there is a grilling table that turns 360 degrees and, if you take a counter seat, you can enjoy the live cooking performed by the chef before your eyes.
I recommend “yakitori” (skewer-roasted chicken) using popular brand chickens from all over Japan. Brand chickens such as the Hinai Jidori (raised in Akita prefecture) and the Datetori (raised in Fukushima) are perfect products that can be enjoyed for a juicy taste and reasonable chewiness. In particular, Datetori chicken is worth eating, because it can be had only in a couple of restaurants in Tokyo. There are also plenty of dishes besides yakitori, and more than 30 kinds of sake to match the food.
The interior has a modern atmosphere that makes you feel the traditions of Japan, a perfect space for a dinner for a couple. There are menus translated into foreign languages, so you can order safely. The staff are also friendly, so you can ask them to take commemorative pictures of you two.
Enjoying Japanese meat at reasonable prices「- KANBE- Meat Bar & All-You-Can-Drink Beer! Private Rooms in a Hide-Away （和肉バルビール無制限飲み放題！隠れ家個室官兵ヱ～KANBE～）」
The “Japanese Meat Bar Kanbe,” situated in a prime location a 1-minute walk from Shinjuku Station, is a bar where you can enjoy delicious domestic meat at reasonable prices. The signature dish “Kuroge Wagyu A3 sirloin steak” is a perfect product with a delicious flavor brought out by ripening at low temperature, which you should taste at least once. There are plenty of all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink courses, and they are very reasonably priced, such as 10 courses including Kuroge Wagyu A3 sirloin steaks and all-you-can-eat roast beef and all-you-can-drink courses at ￥4,000 including tax. In addition, there are Wagyu cutlets, made with choice parts with emphasis on taste and thinly coated with batter. These beef cutlets are excellent, prepared to bring out the flavor, with great attention paid to the way and time of frying to make them “medium rare inside, crisp outside.”
Its attractions are that it is close to the station and has a calm and stylish atmosphere. I recommend the window couple seats for couples but, as they are popular, you should make an early reservation. Having a meal while watching a night view of Shinjuku ablaze will leave romantic memories.
＊– KANBE- Meat Bar & All-You-Can-Drink Beer! Private Rooms in a Hide-Away
Making a reservation at Japanese restaurants is easy, secure, and convenient via “SAVOR JAPAN”
Restaurants in Shinjuku are popular, so it is recommended to make reservations before you travel. However, because Japanese restaurants do not necessarily have staff that can speak foreign languages, reservations in other languages present somewhat of a hurdle.
To make reservations at Japanese restaurants, it is convenient to use “SAVOR JAPAN,” where you can make reservation requests at any time 24 hours a day from a website. In the reservation form on the restaurant page, enter such information as the desired date and time, the number of persons, as well as the name, email address, phone number, etc. of the person making the reservation. The help desk staff at SAVOR, speaking four supported languages (English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean), will make reservations for everyone. If you have any questions, you can consult by phone.
– How to use SAVOR JAPAN from here
Among the restaurants listed on the SAVOR JAPAN website, there are many that welcome foreign tourists, so you can make reservations confidently. Also, the site displays information such as menus in foreign languages, staff that can speak foreign languages, Wi-Fi availability in the form of icons that can be understood at a glance. You can also read information such as the chef’s background, and you can watch videos and read columns about manners and culture, and how to eat Japanese food. If you familiarize yourself in advance, your experience of eating food in Japan will be even more pleasant.