When it comes to "Yotsuya" in Tokyo, every gourmand will know about Araki-cho area. This gourmet district is located a few minutes’ walks from Yotsuya San-chome Station and is full of small restaurants that attract adult clientele with discerning tastes. The Chinese restaurant "Yuen" opened in September 2016. It goes without saying that very soon after it opened, "Yuen" become one of Araki-cho’s restaurants that have gourmands groaning with delight.
The owner-chef Mr. Masanari Ouchi has 10 years of experience working at Teppan Chinese "Shan Wei," where he rose to the position of the head chef. After working at Engine in Kagurazaka for about a year after its opening, he went independent, opening "Yuen." The restaurant name "Yuen" (enjoying monkey) takes its inspiration from the Chef Ouchi's Chinese zodiac sign and from the year "Yuen" opened, which was the year of the Monkey. Chef Ouchi’s desire for patrons to enjoy his “playground” is also incorporated into the meaning of the restaurant name. The restaurant’s concept is for patrons to enjoy proper Chinese food in a lively atmosphere like a casual izakaya-style pub.
The standard way of ordering food of "Yuen" is to select seasonal items a-la-carte from the dishes that have been hand-written on the blackboard, although the restaurant also prepares courses exclusively for those who have booked through Pocket Concierge. The specialty dishes here are the recommended appetizers that are created using seasonal seafood and vegetables that Ouchi Chef buys each morning at Tsukiji Fish Market. About 7 appetizers are available at any time, and they are served in an assortment on small bowls. The start of the course features an attractive lineup of dishes that will whet your appetite and get you drinking: drunken shrimp (picked in Shaoxing wine) which features a full-bodied sweetness; Kinmedai Nambanzuke in red vinegar, a fried and marinated fish dish featuring a nice acidity; Tataki of bonito from the first catch of the season, a dish that is at its best right now.
A popular dish is the large teppan dumplings, which are the size of a fist.
After steaming them in a rice steamer to lock in the juices of the meat, the preparation comes to a climax when the dumplings are fried in full splendor on a teppan hotplate. These are the kinds of things you will want to eat by the mouthful covered in lots of flavorsome homemade sauce. Yuuen stocks a full range of alcohol, including various beers and wines, together with Shaoxing wine brewed for five years and served from the container and Konan Brand Shaoxing Wine that has been brewed for 8, 10, or 20 years—Chinese rice wines that go well with lively dishes flavored with spices and Japanese pepper.
The concept for the restaurant interior is a small mountain hut. All guests can enjoy dishes in a casual style in this warm space, a woody setting that features ornamental plants throughout. "Yuen" has 6 counter seats at the open kitchen, where you can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the teppan-yaki hotplate cooking and 18 tables where guests can enjoy drinking and openhearted chats with colleagues and good friends. We invite you to drop in when you feel like having a fun time enjoying tasty Chinese food and alcohol.
* The availability of an English version of this page does not guarantee that the restaurant can provide services in English unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that, even if stated, there may still be days when English speaking staff are unavailable.
■A 4-minute walk from Yotsuya San-Chome Station (Exit 4), Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line