Here is a view from the counter at the smoky interior of Saiseisakaba.
Saiseisakaba's Motsuni is a miso-flavored stew of intestines and other pig parts, topped with negi (Japanese leek).
Diaphragm and Heart
Here are skewers of pig diaphragm (quite fatty) and heart, served with karashi (spicy Japanese mustard).
Trachea and Spleen
These are skewers of pig trachea (crunchy, almost like biting pebbles) and spleen (soft, bloody, and minerally).
This pork liver popped with minerally flavor.
At Saiseisakaba's Grill
Sitting at the counter provides a view of the grilling activities.
Small Intestines and Throat
These are skewers of the pig's small intestines (crispy on the outside and really soft on the inside) and throat (much more chewy texture than flavor).
The pig's large intestines, like the small ones, are crispy outside and melt-away soft inside, though slightly more chewy overall.
This is a sashimi plate of cow's omasum, the third compartment of the stomach. Wonderfully chewy texture and flavored with marinated negi.
The Menu at Saiseisakaba
There's actually an English menu at Saiseisakaba, though not everything is on it (or available).
Saiseisakaba from the Street
You can stand and eat (and drink) inside or outside Saiseisakaba.
Sights at Saiseisakaba
The street scene at Saiseisakaba (and the Shinjuku area in general) is fascinating.
In contrast to Saiseisakaba, Rukumatokyo is more refined. Here's a look shortly after opening.
Amuse Bouche at Rukumatokyo
My meal at Rukumatokyo started with a small salad and consomme gel.
Quartet of Tastes
Clockwise, starting with the spoon: raw pork liver sashimi with natto and koji (earthy and delicious), pork uterus with daikon, sesame seeds, and vinegar (great texture), pork liver sashimi (one of my favorite bites of the night), and pig stomach kombu jime (kelp-infused for extra umami).
Salad, with Pig
This salad is topped with smoked pork liver. Really smoky and really captivating.
Rukumatokyo's Motsuni, but made with katsuo (bonito fish) soup instead of the usual miso-flavored stew. It's topped with miyoga and negi.
These creamy pig brains are coated with rice powder, cooked in butter, and served with balsamic sauce. The chef said the pig was alive that morning, so the brains could have been eaten raw as sashimi.
9 Pork Bites, Ready for the Grill
Top row (left to right): diaphragm (very tender), liver in caul fat (one of my favorites on the tray), tongue.
Middle row: throat (almost crunchy), house bacon, "pai" (mammary gland, chewy texture) with Japanese mustard spinach.
Bottom row: spleen with tare (like liver, but chewier), miso-flavored intestines (very soft), offal sausage.
Here are the diaphragm and liver in caul fat just after they hit the grill.
Rukumatokyo Chef Takes Control
You can grill on your own, but the chef will help you get things just right.
Here's the cooked, smoky bacon, with delicious fat.
Here's a look at the offal-filled sausage slices.
Lo and behold: a vegetable! Grilled asparagus, along with a dip made from soy milk, rice powder, and sake kasu (the lees left over from sake production).
The final course of the omakase meal at Rukumatokyo was a pork-less dessert: brownie-like chocolate cake, topped with purple potato mousse, cream, and sugar.