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“Expensive, but you're paying for the experience”
Review of Robataya

Ranked #547 of 10,879 Restaurants in Minato
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Akasaka / Roppongi
Venice, CA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Expensive, but you're paying for the experience”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

As others have mentioned, this place is expensive. If all you care about is the food, you can get the same quality and amount of food elsewhere in Tokyo for 2/3 of the price. What you are paying for is the theatrics of picking the specific things you want from a counter laid out in front of you including live seafood, watching the food cooked in front of you, and sitting in an atmospheric and relatively intimate restaurant. This is like upscale Benihana. Yes it's touristy, but it's not culturally off base, and one reason you go to Japan is for the traditional culture experience.

The food is good, although simple. That my prawns were slightly overcooked was the only negative. A suggestion for alcohol consumption that is true all over Japan - they will charge an arm and a leg for what is U.S. supermarket wine (and a fortune for good wine), so go with sake or local beer.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank VeniceNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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105 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience and food!”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

We went here with a group on a business trip and it was a lively, delicious meal. The staff is fun and gets everyone involved. We ate a ton but everything was fresh and simply prepared.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank KBP125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida, United States
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
220 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“What a fun night”
Reviewed 21 March 2014 via mobile

Yes it is expensive blah blah blah. Ryne and I had a great night and not much more than what we would spend at a nice restaurant in Tampa if we ordered 4 courses and alcohol and tip (which is not a factor in Japan).
It was nice to have a more or less intimate seating arrangement so as to allow for conversation between the other diners - something we always enjoy.
The food was fresh - the fish tank was like "The Green Mile" and I kept wondering if the fish were wondering when their number would be called. The staff are very entertaining. And strong - we tried to hold those paddles up with poor success. All in all it was about 2 and 1/2 hours of entertainment and good food.
The only negative food wise was the whole fish is difficult for a person not skilled with chopsticks to eat and when the chef deboned it the resulting pieces were almost minced and still had some of those I little bones.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Kenneth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Fun, good food ... but ouch, the price”
Reviewed 3 March 2014

We ate at Robataya on our second next in Tokyo, because our hotel recommended it (we briefed them that we wanted somewhere special and we'd like meat along with our raw fish).

Robataya is a small place - tricky to find unless your taxi drops you directly outside. But, unlike the cheap and cheerful teppanaki bar we went to the night before, it's in no way a locals place. It's fully designed for tourists and is all about the show and the experience - they'll happily show you the photo album of the many, many celebs who've dined there. Little Mix were apparently in just hours before us, if that means anything globally.

Back to dinner. We enjoyed the experience. The shouted orders from the chefs, the beers arriving on a wooden paddle, selecting your ingredients from the bowls in front of you. And, for what it's worth, I thought it tasted good too - fresh, clean - as you'd hope.

Every reviewer has mentioned the price and it's absolutely true. It is stingingly expensive. We don't have a problem paying more for a great meal, but I dislike not knowing beforehand. It's not exclusive - it's sneaky. Why put a blot on a fun experience by bringing out an astronomical surprise bill at the end?

It's a shame because otherwise I'd say 5 stars.

I'd still recommend it, but just be fully prepared for the price tag, relax and enjoy it.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank MooMaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
220 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Great one”
Reviewed 22 February 2014

I went on a Friday night with a friend and was impressed by the set up. The 2 big guys kneeling all night cooking the food was a cool sight and the layout of 3 long tables, sitting next to others did not give a too crowded feel.
The food is laid out in front of you with no menu, so as many have said there is an issue with seeing everything that is on offer and of course the price, which is high for what it is but I really did enjoy the food and the ambiance.
It's worth a try for sure if you don't mind a splurge. For 2 guys we had a number of items including some Kobe beef and fish and amazing baked potatoes with butter which gave us memories of a bonfire night and a good few beers. In all came to about S$500.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank SeanHiggins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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