A taste of Aomori in Tokyo

What comes to mind when you think of Aomori? Most people know that it is a prefecture in northern Japan. The northernmost prefecture on the main island of Honshu to be exact. Also, many would note that the prefecture is known for it's apples. Aomori apples are widely acclaimed for their quality and flavor. Over half of the apples produced in Japan come from the prefecture. Is there anything else that comes to mind? How about Senbei jiru? Have you ever heard of a dish called Ichigoni? I was hard-pressed to come up with things related to Aomori until I had an opportunity to visit Kinki restaurant in Tokyo. Kinki is a small restaurant that provides a cool contemporary setting that honors the true feel of a small town eatery off the pacific coast of Aomori. There I was introduced to a unique and diverse cuisine. Dishes like Ichigoni, senbei jiru, Shamrock chicken, Kuraishi beef are just a few of the many delicious treats on the menu that the people of Aomori have enjoyed for generations.

Kinki is one of six restaurants overseen by the Hachinohe, Aomori based Kongou group. The first restaurant launched by the group, Kappo Kongou has been in operation for the last 83 years. The restaurant enjoys a stellar reputation amongst customers who appreciate the best of local cuisine from one of Japan's more colorful regions. With an array of newly harvested seafood found off the coast of Aomori, fresh vegetables grown by neighboring farmers, and richly brewed Japanese sake, customers can enjoy the vibrant cuisine of northeast Japan in the heart of Tokyo.

There are course menus that feature popular dishes from the region. Staples like Senbei jiru(senbei soup), Kinki(thornyhead rockfish), and Saba(mackerel) skewers are a few of the more interesting and popular items on the menu. The senbei jiru's salty soup base blends shouyu(soy sauce) with broth from Aomori's very own Shamrock chicken. The soup is accented by Nanba senbei(rice crackers) which is placed in the soup, broken into small pieces, and eaten together with various vegetables. The Kinki is served in a variety of ways. Fried, sautéed, and simmered together with fresh vegetables in a savory soup. My personal favorite is the soup. The sprouts, eggplant, onions, and edamame that are included in the soup are the perfect compliment to the fish. Other popular dishes include grilled Saba(mackerel) served on skewers, Shake donburi(salmon flakes served over freshly steamed rice) topped with ikura(salmon roe), and Hon Maguro donburi(thin slices of bluefin tuna served over freshly steamed rice). The three dishes that I listed in this paragraph are some of my personal favorites. All of the dishes described in this article are offered on both the lunch and dinner menus. Other seafood dishes that include Ika(squid), uni(sea urchin), and awabi(abalone) are also available. Be sure to wash down your meal with some of the best traditional Japanese sake the region has to offer.

Kinki is a perfect place for dates, informal get-togethers, and casual business meals. If you can't make the trip north of Tokyo and want to experience the cuisine of northeast Honshu, Kinki is the place for you.

Operating hours

Monday through Friday
11:00 - 14:30
(meal last order 14:00 drink last order 14:00)
17:00 - 23:00
(meal last order 22:00 drink last order 22:30)

11:00 - 14:30
(meal last order 14:00 drink last order 14:00)
17:00 - 21:30
(meal last order 20:30 drink last order 21:00)

Sunday / Holidays
11:00 - 15:30
(meal last order 15:00 drink last order 15:00)



Marunouchi 1-1-1 Palace Building B1
Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo-To 100-0005

1 minute walk from Otemachi subway station(exit C13b)


Webpage(Japanese only)
Please refer to the map on this page for directions

by KJ