Have you ever had AUTHENTIC Japanese food?
When I say Authentic, I mean, Japanese food that’s true to its original form, not arranged to make go viral on instagram, or having 10 different kinds of dips so that it could satisfy ALL customers?
Tokyo could be an “exotic” city in the eyes of a tourist. When you hear the word “Japan”, you may picture in your mind some multi-colored hair crazy Harajuku fashion, skyscrapers, and ancient shrines and women dressed in traditional kimono at the same time.
But the core of Japanese Culture especially when it comes to food, is deeply rooted in a single word;
Simple, but Rich
I have been cooking for a while now, and I know for sure that Japanese food is the hardest to cook. And since cooking isn’t my passion, I like to get out of my house when I crave authentic Japanese cuisine.
The restaurant I want to introduce to you today, is Rokkakutei – 六角亭
Their signature menu is Kushiage – 串揚げ, which literally means – deep fried food on a stick. And the reason why I am so vague by saying “food”, is because there are countless types of “food” that can be used for Kushiage and everything tastes AMAZING when it’s deep fried by a trained professional.
The restaurant is located in Daikanyama, a high-end fashion street for adults. (As opposed to Harajuku being the one for the younger generation). It’s a popular spot amongst locals who have “style” and also have a high income, and is also a popular area for Japanese celebrity’s homes. It is not necessarily a popular spot for tourists, (there’s not much to do) but it is right next to Shibuya (Who doesn’t go to Shibuya, right?). It is definitely worth a detour from Shibuya if you want to have a taste of REAL Japanese food.
The main hall has 3 tables and a counter. If you don’t have small children, it would be a great idea to take a seat at the counter to see how the food is made. There is also one private room in the back. Make sure you make a reservation. You could squeeze 6 adults in there, but you’d have to like each other very much to dine there with 6 people. So I’d say 3 adults and 3 children would be a good size.
We got the private room!
Inside looks like this
This is a traditional Japanese style “Horigotatsu“, where there is a low table / counter with a very low chair (with no legs) and there is an opening under the table where you can put your feel in, It is so much more comfortable than a regular tatami, because it’s just like sitting on a chair.
Time to Eat
We asked the owner for the specials. Some of the specials change with the season.
How to Tell if you’re at an Authentic Japanese Restaurant : Tip 1 – Menu is different by season, and most of the time the menu is handwritten on paper.
The owner recommended appetizers from their grand menu to start off with.
Potato Salad –
*This is one of the MOST POPULAR Japanese appetizer.
Rokkakutei Signature Salad –
* Their home made dressing was amazing.
Ayu no Shioyaki – Charcoal grilled fresh water fish (Ayu)
So… I admit I do not like looking at the face of what I’m eating. But I could ignore what I’m seeing with its sweet, flavorful taste . Ayu is a tiny fresh water fish and there’s really not much to eat. But the parts you can eat are amazing. Usually, Ayu is cooked on the spot right after it is caught, skewered onto a stick and cooked by the fireplace. It is the most popular camping treat, but since I am not a big fan of camping, I couldn’t have a better place to enjoy it!
How to Tell if you’re at an Authentic Japanese Restaurant : Tip 2 – Presentation of the food is elegant, simple, and color balance is well thought out.
Awa Gyu Steak – an A5 Rank top beef brand from Tokushima Prefecture.
Kobe Beef is NOT the only brand of high quality beef. In fact, I don’t eat Kobe Beef even when I have the choice. I cannot eat marble meat, and one piece of fatty meat can ruin my appetite. I am all for lean meat, and this Awa Gyu Steak with eggplants got me speechless.
How to Tell if you’re at an Authentic Japanese Restaurant : Tip 3 – Flavor is light but rich, and not thick like Teriyaki Sauce.
Rokkakutei is a very unique Kushiage Restaurant. This is why.
Do you ever re-use your frying oil? Well, restaurants re-use their oil many, many times. I am unsure of the average times or even days restaurants could be re-using their oil behind their closed kitchen doors. As you can guess, re-used oil isn’t too good for your health. It also causes heavy, upset stomach.
Rokkakutei is different. Every day a fresh pot of oil is used, and is changed within the day when necessary. This is why I never feel sick after eating lots of fried kushiage here, and refrain from eating kushiage where I have no idea how clean (or dirty) their oil is.
You can see your kushiage being cooked over the counter. They’ve got nothing to hide!
Kids told me I should be a Food YouTuber lol
Rules for eating Kushiage
Rule 1 – NEVER dip twice in the sauce there is a shared pot of sauce. Fortunately, this does not apply to Rokkakutei’s sauce.
From the left, salt, soy sauce, vegetable sauce with mustard. I don’t need to explain the “no double dipping rule” right? It’s just gross to share sauce with 100 other people double dipping what was in their mouths right? But personally, I don’t even like the idea of the pot of sauce sitting on the table for weeks (I mean, they put it away at night I hope), and sharing it with strangers even if everybody follows the “Dip-once-before-you-eat-it” rule.
And this is another reason I LOVE Rokkakutei. Your sauce is YOURS!
Rule 2 – Tell them what you are allergic to or cannot eat BEFORE ANYTHING.
Almost all authentic Kushiage restaurants serve you in “Omakase” style. It is like a course meal, and you don’t get to choose what is in the course. There are usually 20 to 30 different types of kushiage, from veggies, seafood, meat, cheese, and even sweets! (They don’t serve sweet kushiage here) The order of kushiage served, is well thought out, and is the best order to eat them.
Rule 3 – Say STOP when you’re full, or you’ll be served ENDLESSLY
If you have a big appetite, don’t worry about this rule. Kushiage is served until you say STOP. Say it, or you’ll be paying a big, fat, paycheck. What I do is order omakase (you really have no choice), stop after 5~6, and I order my favorites if the restaurant offers a la carte kushiage menus.
Rule 4 – Just give it a try
Sometimes, I lose track of how many I’ve eaten, or I just didn’t hear what was inside the crispy kushiage breading. As long as you told clearly what your allergies are, just give it a try.
Photo above – Fried Ginger
Rule 5 – Eat with “Dry Japanese Sake” or a “Sour“
This is my personal preference. I love drinking dry, smooth drinks with my kushiage. This particular sake is called “Jyu-yon-dai“, which is an extremely rare sake that the owner secretly let me have a taste. I guess I was lucky, because it is known to be a very rare, and expensive bottle. It was extremely fruity, light, and flavorful. It is definitely one of the best I’ve ever had.
A Sour in the Japanese language is Japanese Shochu mixed with club soda and various flavors. The most popular ones are Lemon Sour, Grapefruit Sour, Umeshu (Plum liquor) Sour. I think (not sure) the term “sour” comes from the English word, because most of the flavors are citrus-based. I ordered a Sudachi Sour – A Japanese green citrus sour. It was gooood!
“Donabe” is a traditional Japanese clay pot. It is known as the BEST tool to cook rice in. Once you try rice out of a donabe pot, you will never be the same!
We chose the Corn and Zucchini Donabe Rice for the kids. It was so good I had a bowl after having everything I posted on this blog so far!
Kids were fighting over the last grain of rice, so we ordered some soba as well.
We had amazing tea pudding for dessert.
Rokkakutei has been my favorite restaurant for a while now. I love coming here with my family to enjoy “real” Japanese food. It’s funny how I live in Tokyo, and I don’t know many places where you can get authentic Japanese food. Restaurants either try to target all kinds of people by offering cheap, over-flavored food, or serve authentic Japanese food but with a check for $500 per person.
Rokkakutei serves high quality Japanese cuisine at a very reasonable price. Just don’t go too crazy with the “rare sake”.
The seasonal specials are always amazing, so make sure you ask what they are!
Name : Rokkakutei
Genre: Authentic Japanese Cuisine
Budget (How much we spent) : ¥ (For 2 Adults, 2 Children)
Phone # : 03-3780-4784
Website : No official website in English
• Daikanyama Station – Tokyu Toyoko Line
Lunch: 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM
Saturdays and Holidays
Lunch: 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Dinner: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Closed on: Sundays
Diaper Changing Space: None
Nursing Rooms: None (Can use the private room)
Stroller Friendly?: 5/5
Baby Friendly?: 3/5
Toddler Friendly?: 4/5
Child Friendly? : 5/5
Family Friendly? : 5/5
Foreign Language Assistance?: Not much, but the friendly staff will assist you!
Smoking : Non Smoking
Kids Menu : None but there are many kid-friendly meals