A 30-year-old Western-style Yoshoku restaurant that's proud of it's slowly stewed Beef Tongue Stew
Grill Ninjin is situated an 8 minute walk away from Ichijoji Station on the Eizan Electric Railway. As you approach the area you're confronted by a small emerald green sign on a cute carrot-colored building (Ninjin is the Japanese word for carrot, and you can find this carrot motif packed into every nook and cranny of the building, something that you must check out). This is Grill Ninjin, a Western-style Yoshoku restaurant that has been loved by locals for a very long time. Although it's a little away from the town center, thanks to its deep-rooted popularity, it has often been covered by the media. On the contrary to its cute Western-style house exterior, the flavor of the food here is expertly authentic. The restaurant's reasonable pricing is another factor that keeps customers coming back for more. Furthermore, the meat served by Grill Ninjin is also surprisingly tender. All meats served in the meals here are so tender that they melt in the mouth and never fail in making their customers gasp in astonishment. Grill Ninjin's most famous dish, and the one that it's most proud of, is its Beef Tongue Stew. This is a luxurious dish packed with thick slices of beef tongue. You really can't leave without trying it! Give it a try with a little good-quality wine.
Beef Tongue Stew
Beef Tongue Stew / ¥1,550 (+tax)
A beef stew full of thickly-cut beef tongue stewed to melty perfection. At Grill Ninjin they usually provide their customers with chopsticks rather than a knife and fork, but the beef tongue is cooked so tenderly that chopsticks are plenty for pulling the meat apart. This is in complete contrast to the crispy corn on the side. The brown roux used in cooking the meat has a rich and full flavor, but not too rich to overwhelm the flavor of the beef tongue itself. It's a flavor that symbolizes Grill Ninjin's concept of "a filling authentic meal that can be eaten every day". Personally, I really enjoyed the sauted potatoes side that came with it. Mix it together with the stew and the flavor is further enhanced for an even greater taste.
Cutlet of Beef Fillet
Cutlet of Beef Fillet / ¥1,750 (+tax)
The Cutlet of Beef Fillet is one of their Yoshoku dishes born out of unique Japanese cooking techniques and culture. Even though the outside coating is nice and crispy, the meat in the center is incredibly tender. Known for the deliciousness that's enjoyed in the gap between these two textures, it has been well loved by locals for a long time. The texture of Grill Ninjin's special demi-glace sauce is nice and smooth and it doesn't overpower the rest of the dish. The beef cutlet itself is large, so there's plenty of volume to this dish, but as the accompanying sauce is so exquisite, even women will love this. A dish that you'll just want to enjoy with some white rice.
Baked chicken w/cheese Flavor
3Let's Try!
Baked chicken w/cheese Flavor / ¥1,000 (+tax)
A chicken fillet topped with melted cheese. A slightly tangy sauce and rich cheese have been paired together to create a beautiful flavor. The thickly cut chicken is very tender and juicy. With the first bite you will hear a satisfying crunch as the juices begin to leak out. The outer coating has been soaked in oils from the chicken to make it even more aromatic, and most of all, more delicious. I love the scent of this chicken fillet! Surely the volume, taste, and juiciness of this chicken dish is worth way more than ¥‎1,000!
Firefly squid salad
4Let's Try!
Firefly squid salad / ¥630 (+tax)
A salad absolutely packed with firefly squid, red-leaf lettuces, and goya (bitter melon). The dressing drizzled over this salad is the restaurant's own handmade recipe, so you can enjoy an original flavor here that can't be found anywhere else. Goya is a vegetable that is often eaten mainly in Okinawa and has a distinctively bitter flavor. The bitterness of the goya in addition to the full-flavored firefly squid and other vegetables gives this salad a more refined taste.
How to Order

The 1st page of the English menu. Japanese Yoshoku is explained here. It's an introduction page that really conveys the restaurant owner's passionate feelings about what they want foreign visitors to know about Japanese Yoshoku. If you go, please make sure to check it out.

There is an English menu in addition to the Japanese one. Packed with colorful photos, the cover looks like a "carrot-colored" picture book, making the menu cut yet easy to understand.

- Order Tips -
You can also find a wine shop in Grill Ninjin. The second-generation owner has a certification as a wine sommelier, so they can select a wine for you and bring it out with your food. Of course, this wine may also be taken away as a token of your travels. As any wine purchased is placed in an original Grill Ninjin bag, there's no doubt that this will become a great memory of Japan for you.
3.8 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.8
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.7 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.5
I have never eaten Yoshoku food this good! Even though the meat that I ate here was more thickly cut than anywhere else that I have been, I really enjoyed its tenderness. Despite the fact that all the dishes are expertly cooked to achieve authenticity, there was a very easy-going atmosphere throughout the entire restaurant, so it's a place where you can feel free to just stop by. I can understand why the locals from around here have loved this place for so long. The second generation owner is very friendly and I thought that the fact that they inherited and are protecting the original fixations and concept of Grill Ninjin is very cool! The owner says that they would like more and more foreign tourists to visit and is dedicated to being able to serve them at the same level as their Japanese customers. The restaurant is incredibly welcoming to foreign people. Please make sure to drop by Kyoto's best Yoshoku restaurant Grill Ninjin whenever you're in town.
3.8 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere4.0
The Western-style restaurant Grill Ninjin has been loved by locals of Kyoto's Ichijoji for years. It's popular for its authentic food at reasonable prices. Though this restaurant's menu is full of lots of different dishes, and I always have trouble deciding what to eat, my recommendation is the Cutlet of Beef Fillet. As the owner has certification as a wine sommelier, something that is quite rare for a Yoshoku restaurant, you can enjoy your meal with their expertly-recommended wine.
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Grill Ninjin / グリルにんじん
Category Yoshoku (Japanese-style Western Food)
Phone +81 75-711-7210
Address 51-2, Ichijoji Deguchicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-city
Directions 7 minute walk - from Shisendo 8 minute walk - from Ichijoji Station (Eizan Train) 8 minute walk - from Kyoto Zokei Art University 8 minute bus ride - from Ginkakuji 6 minute car drive - from Qanat Rakuhoku
Open Hours 11:30am - 2pm (Close 2:30pm) | 5pm - 9:15pm (Close 10pm)
Reservations Accepted
Closed Tuesdays, Third Monday in a month (Summer, New Year's holiday)
Notes As this restaurant is often covered by Japanese media it is always crowded. If you arrive straight after opening or after 20:00 at night it seems that you will have less trouble getting in.
Price range
Credit cards Accepted
Good for Solo, With Friends, Families with Children
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
The restaurant is very friendly for foreign visitors with an English-language website and menu as well as Instagram updates in English.The staff at Grill Ninjin all seem to be English learners so that they can also give foreign visitors a good time, so you should feel free to start a conversation with them!
Menu English
Lanuages spoken English
Number of seats 45 seats (19 seats at counter, 14 seat at tables, 12 seats at Japanese Tatami room)
Private dining rooms Available
Non smoking / smoking Non smoking
URL1 http://www.grill-ninjin.com/index_en.html
Other Has Kyoto Wi-Fi.
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