A snazzy joint only a few minutes’ walk from either Tokyo or Yurakucho Station, Yanmo is serving up some delectable cheapo friendly lunch sets.

Yanmo has delicious grilled fish set meals, but it is very popular at lunch time and it’s first in, first seated, so you should turn up early to get a table.

Photo by Adriana Paradiso

Yanmo, known for its daily catching and grilling of fish from the Izu Peninsula, is a perfect spot for a sophisticated lunch against a backdrop of sleek, modern Japanese-style decor and ambiance. And while its dinner prices (5,000-10,000 yen/person) might be a closer match to the swankiness of the place, the lunch prices are an absolute steal. Mainly finely dressed office workers from the area are in attendance, so you might want to slip into something slightly more put together than “shorts and a tee” summer gear.

The Menu

The lunch menu is, unfortunately, only in Japanese. Should you not be able to read it, here’s a handy English translation so you can get by with a bit of pointing.

Photo by Adriana Paradiso

Sawara yuzukayaki (Japanese Spanish mackerel grilled with yuzu) – 1,400
Karei saikyozuke (saikyo-marinated flounder) – 1,400
Menuke misozuke (miso-marinated perch) – 1,400
Saba misozuke (miso-marinated mackerel) – 1,400
Saba shioyaki (salt grilled mackerel) – 1,100

(All sets come with a bowl of rice and miso soup.)

We ordered the saba shioyaki (cheapo instinct to pick the least expensive thing off the menu) and were more than happy with our choice. Seeing as grilling is Yanmo’s speciality (and that saba shioyaki is a commonly prepared dish in Japan), the mackerel was grilled to perfection—a thin, crisp exterior enveloping a moist and flaky interior. It was oily, but not greasy, and the mash-potato-looking ball of finely shredded daikon (usually topped with a splash of soy sauce) was a refreshing contrast to the salty fish.

Photo by Adriana Paradiso

The lunch set (including the soup and rice) was just the right amount of food to feel full, but not stuffed.

N.B. If you plan on ordering from the lunch menu, you won’t be able to make reservations, however, we were met with only a 10-15 minute wait before being seated.

The Service

As expected in Japan, the service is phenomenal. Servers were friendly and continuously filling up glasses of water or tea without intruding on your chow down or your conversation with dining companions.

Finding the Place

Yanmo is in the Shin-Tokyo Building (B1F) found at 3-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Look for the restaurant directory on the main floor of the building that’ll point you down a level and in the right direction.

There’s also an equally good branch of Yanmo located about a 2 minutes’ walk from Omotesando Station in the Minami-Aoyama neighbourhood.

Yanmo’s specialty – grilled fish | Photo by Adriana Paradiso

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