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
/ ￥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
/ ￥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
/ ￥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
/ ￥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.