Drinks ¥500 - ¥800, Meals ¥2000 - ¥3000
- 4 Chome-27-18 Koenjiminami, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 2 minutes from JR Koenji Station, South Exit
- 03-5305-6252 (Japanese only)
- 5:00pm - 12:00am (last order 11:30pm)
- http://kojima-showten.com/jima-kouenji/ (external link)
- The restaurant has an English menu and some staff speak basic English.
Experience Shikoku Through Warayaki
[updated June 2020]
“Crazy Coenzy” Mamma Jima in the southeast vintage area of Koenji offers excellent seafood and meat dishes cooked to perfection with the traditional warayaki method (straw roasted cooking). Warayaki involves burning straw to generate intense heat for short periods of time to cook. Food cooked with warayaki is beautifully seared on the outside while retaining the moisture and taste on the inside, and is therefore the perfect method for cooking meaty seafood like katsuo (shipjack tuna) for a crisp outside and tender inside – which accordingly is Mamma Jima’s signature dish.
The ingredients, sake and shochu at Mamma Jima are mostly sourced from Shikoku, probably the lesser known and least-visited-by-tourists of Japan’s four main islands. The special menu changes daily based on seafood, meat and vegetable availability, but for first time visitors the seared katsuo skipjack tuna, crispy karage (Japan-style fried chicken) with eggplant, and the tempura bamboo roots are fail-proof options. For the more adventurous diners, the roasted fish head is both cooked to perfection and highly instagrammable. Overall the dishes are surely crowd-pleasers for fans of Japanese food.
The real draw of Mamma Jima besides the food and lively atmosphere are the very cool Koenji-authentic rockabilly staff that oversee the warayaki cooking process and action in the kitchen. This combination of the highly visual staff and the fireworks involved with warayaki adds another element of cool to the whole dining experience. Sitting by the counter is recommended if you want to experience the action in the kitchen and witness the warayaki method first hand, but more relaxed table seats are also available.
Mamma Jima is an excellent choice for visitors that have already explored the main cuisines of Japan and are willing to explore the lesser known but equally tasty dishes of Japan, such as warayaki cooked seafood. Give Mamma Jima a go and enjoy the best of Shikoku cuisine paired with a cold beer or dry sake, without ever having to leave the comforts of Koenji!
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