The restaurant Japanese locals don’t want you to know about: Robatayaki Ryunosuke

The restaurant Japanese locals don’t want you to know about: Robatayaki Ryunosuke

Forget the street-side grilling, the new Japanese venue in town puts your local chaun’r to shame
Robatayaki Ryunosuke
The Robatayaki chefs make for a unique welcoming experience.

A great new Japanese eatery has recently opened in Shanghai, but you wouldn't know it from the locals. Shanghai’s Japanese community keeps its secrets very well, and with venues like Robatayaki Ryunosuke (robatayaki is the name for the technique of grilling skewered food over charcoal) we can understand why. Thank god then for CNNGo. Robatayaki Ryunosuke is one of Shanghai's only authentic robatayaki restaurants, and it has become the talk of the local community.

There is a robatayaki restaurant in Tokyo that I always go to. I wanted to create the same atmosphere in Shanghai but with more reasonable price setting.— Nakano, Robatayaki Ryunosuke owner

Step inside the dark exterior and be prepared to be loudly and warmly welcomed by Japanese chefs weilding large wooden paddles as they man an open charcoal grill. The restaurant is centered around a wrapping counter where beautifully arranged baskets of carefully selected beef, chicken, vegetables and tofu are laid out for your choosing.

Robata cooking at its finest

"Robata cooking demands the best and freshest ingredients,” says Nakano, Robatayaki Ryunosuke owner. “Customers choose the food from the display so we can't hide anything. We traveled all over China and Japan to find fresh, safe and interesting ingredients."

Going back and forth between Japan and China, Nakano has been working in a restaurant industry for most of his life and has spent the last few years figuring out the perfect recipe for his next project. "There is a robatayaki restaurant in Tokyo that I always go to. It is a bit pricey but a wonderful place where people eat and drink happily. I wanted to create the same atmosphere in Shanghai but with a more reasonable price setting."

Although catering to the local Japanese community, Robatayaki Ryunosuke is easy to navigate and the renao -- lively -- atmosphere makes it far from intimidating. Chicken tsukune, seasoned ground chicken shaped like meatballs, are always popular, as are the thick green asparagus spears (RMB 20). The fat eggplant slices with the venue's special miso paste are perfectly cooked and melt in your mouth.

For seafood lovers, fresh scallops, oysters and gorgeously grilled fatty tuna abound, carefully picked by Robatayaki Ryunosuke’s local Japanese chef. Aim for the steamed rice with crab meat (RMB 48) to finish for the evening and feel true Japanese hospitality in Shanghai.

Getting there

Robatayaki Ryunosuke
2988 Hongmei Lu, near Wuzhong Lu
虹梅路2988号, 近 吴中路
Hours: 5:30-11pm
tel +86 21 6401 2880

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