Jan 10, 2016

Kushikatsu (串カツ) Buffet

Above - Pre-dipped, coated and fried kushikatsu/串カツ.
Left to right
lotus root, shitake mushroom, enokitake mushroom, beef, bacon, chicken, shishito pepper, shrimp, takoyaki, squid, crab, sasami (chicken), sausage, taiyaki (yes, taiyaki kushikatsu)

Above - The dippin' , coatin' and fryin'.

Above - Leave to sit and let the grease drip.

Restaurant:  Kushiya Monogatari, Nishiarai, Ario shopping mall

Food: Kushikatsu / 串カツ

Price:  2,500 yen 90 mins (machine coffee inc.)

About Kushikatsu:  Article on Gurunavi

Verdict:  Maybe there are two kinds of people in this world; those suited to buffets, and those who are not.  For a long time now, I’ve known myself to be one of the latter.  Just like Big Mac meals, a couple more beers, getting fit .. when the urge takes, buffets sound like a good idea but quickly turn into a thing of regret.  I’m not the best person then to get the most out of an all-you-can-eat situation, the star of which is essentially bits of meat/fish/veg dipped in boiling hot grease.  Still, it was fun to get hands on and do the dipping, coating, and deep fryin’ at the table.  I think I got through about 6-8 kushikatsu before I reached saturation point. It was around the 10 mark that I started to feel a bit nauseous!  

I think, compared with the real thing you might get down in Osaka, the pieces of meat/fish/veg here are so small that the percentage of grease consumed ends up being much larger.  Also, it doesn’t help to get carried away with salad bars, and pasta/noodle side dishes.  Something, I fear, I will never learn.

As I said, the hands-on aspect is fun, but the end result is a table situation that looks like wild bears have raided a picnic (after the humans have left), covered in grease.  Definitely not the scene for a romantic occasion.

Fun experience overall, and one that I would recommend to have a go at once.  Long term though, this buffet is a heart attack waiting to happen!



Traveler, surfer, and scribe. Based in Tokyo for six years.


  • JanglishJerry

    on Jan 11

    Nothing better than deep fried bacon. I love kushiage! Especially if its all you can drink as well ;D

  • Tomuu

    on Jan 11

    @JanglishJerry I think all-you-can-drink would have helped. Deep frying a taiyaki reminded me of the deep fried Mars Bars and Snickers we can get back home. Got me feeling all nostalgic! I've heard they can 'kushiage' strawberries in Osaka.

  • helloalissa

    on May 10

    Looks fun! Another thing to add to the list when I visit Tokyo next time. I wonder if the quality of the oil is the reason you hit saturation so early on. Ten kushikatsu is a fair amount I think, along with salads and drinks. The buffet extremist over here claims he could eat 15 plus sides and 30 without.

  • Tomuu

    on May 10

    @helloalissa Well, I'll be honest, I've never been good with buffets. I'm more of a 'grazer' throughout the day ... little bits at a time. 15 + sides?!! I'd advise having a medical team on stand by!! Definitely check it out though. It's a fun experience, although the table does look pretty horrific by the end!