Exiting from Shinjuku Station (West/Central West Exits), we turned right and walked down the main road looking for dinner. Ahhh, upon turning right after KFC, we spotted a lane on our left. It was a long, narrow alley, flanked on both sides by tiny Yakitori shops. Just what I was looking for, authentic Japanese food! And the patrons were mostly Japanese dining after work, and each shop could only take about 8-10 customers. Not really conducive for dinner with kids, but the first shop we saw was spacious and we went back there after walking the entire length of the alley, oooh, the aroma from yakitori barbecues was just so tantalising. I told Eddie we must come out on our own for supper, we never did-lah.
Oh someone took a video of this alley and posted it on Youtube.
I later found out this was known as Piss Alley (Shomben Yokocho); from here, "Nestled in a warren of filthy alleyways in the shadow of Shinjuku station can be found some of the best yakitori and beer joints Tokyo has to offer. Charmingly dubbed "Piss Alley" by the locals for the fact that it lacked plumbing until fairly recently, the place is a shrine to Showa-era grooviness. It's comforting to know that shantytowns like this exist less than a five minute walk from the Jumbotron-festooned techno-paradise that is Shinjuku's east side."
I'm very much a kampung-girl lah, the more filthy the place, the yummier I think the food would be! One of my favourite makan haunts in Malacca was the cockles stalls next to filthy drains in the town centre. Shiok only! After every meal, Brian would turn to me and ask, "So, is that authentic?" haha, cos I told them, go to Japan, eat authentic Japanese food lah, not McD or tourist-trappy places.
Boys in Piss Alley, after a yummy dinner.
One of many tiny shops here.
Part of our dinner: Sashimi specially for me (portion larger than this, whack too fast).
Fried rice specially for Sean.
Salmon teriyaki specially for Brian.
Yakitori Chicken Wings to share. We ordered more cos not enough lah. The chicken wings at the back of the plate look blurry cos Eddie couldn't wait, was attacking them before I could even click my camera.
Yakitori platter to share.
Eddie always orders Gyoza if available.
Tori kara-age (one piece already eaten when pic was taken), some kind of fried chicken nugget, delicious, ordered more too.
More about Piss Alley:
From the article, The 50 Sexiest Place to be Fed by The Guardian UK. Coming in at No37:
37. Shomben Yokocho, Tokyo
Unromantically nicknamed 'Piss Alley', this cramped warren of ramshackle huts tucked between the back of a Shinjuku department store and some train tracks is home to a series of bars and yakitori stalls, serving beer, sake and delicious skewers of grilled meat. Sitting at one of the bars, late at night, watching as tired and emotional salarymen stagger home (hence that sobriquet), the neon flickering, the atmosphere is electric; like eating on the set of Blade Runner.
From other sites, it was said that Piss Alley was the place that inspired Ridley Scott when creating the street food scenes in the movie Bladerunner -- some movie trivia there.