Minato Japanese Restaurant

Minato-Japanese-CuisineI’ve never been to a Japanese Restaurant, so I thought it was worth a try, given the fact San Jose’s Japantown is 1 of 3 remaining historical Japantown’s in the USA. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had a peek at the menu beforehand so I knew a little bit about what to order.

Minato-hoursAs someone who hasn’t tried sushi (I’m so not ready for it yet, even after trying Ahi Tuna Poke in December), of course I’d be the person to order the few chicken dishes on a Japanese menu. Aren’t Eastern Canadians supposed to love fish? Probably. But, I’m not an adventurous eater like some.

minato-miso-soupI ended up staying in my comfort zone and getting a tasting of chicken teriyaki and salad. First came out our miso soup, where I dug out the yummy tofu with chopsticks. Because, yolo. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to drink the miso soup, but I took it up with my hands and drank most of it before our lunch arrived.

Minato is on the smaller side of restaurants, and the menu is nice and short. I admire that, because whenever I go to larger chains I feel like I have to flick through so many pages to decide on what I want to eat.

Minato-lunchThe Guy and I ordered the same thing :) I wasn’t a huge fan of the salad, not much on it to be honest! The dressing was awesome, though I have no idea what they used.

Minato-mainThis is what you see when you walk in the first set of doors before you enter the restaurant. 

MinatoTowards the middle of the restaurant when you walk in, there is an area for kids prizes after they’ve finished their meal. I’m not too sure how the kids get tickets, perhaps after so many visits they can save up and pick out a prize for themselves. This sort of thing reminds me of my childhood, where we used to pick out prizes at a fair, or at a school event. Super fun, and I’m glad Minato is doing it too. After our bellies were filled with lunch, we ended up checking into our hotel at The Fairmont San Jose. Now that is one beautiful hotel, I’ll have a review of our ginantor suite we stayed in (bigger than our old apartment), later on!

If you’re craving a bit of Japanese food when you visit San Jose, come check out Minato, it’s only a 1.5 mile walk from the downtown core in San Jose. Plus, it has a ton of rave reviews on Yelp, so many people have been enjoying it!

Have you ever been to a Japanese Restaurant? What would you normally order?

Are you a fan of sushi?

Minato Japanese Restaurant
617 North 6th Street
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 998-9711

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  1. I love Japanese restaurants! y two favs are always Chicken Yaki Soba and, like you ordered, Chicken Teriyaki. I’m not a sushi eater, so those are usually my two options, but they’re both so yummy that I’m totally okay with that. I’m not sure what your restaurant served, but usually dressings at Japanese or hibachi restaurants serve a salad with a ginger-carrot dressing :)
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  2. I love Japanese food, but we always go to the places where they cook the food right at your table. It’s dinner and a show all in one :)

  3. I’m not crazy adventurous eater, either, but I love Japanese food. The simple flavors and emphasis on veggies is right up my alley. We love going to hibachi restaurants to see our food cooked right in front of us–so fun for the kiddos!
    Amanda recently posted..Totus LinguaMy Profile

    1. @Amanda:

      I have started to like sushi, but only a few kinds since raw fish isn’t too appetizing for me. Since I love shrimp tempura, I tried a shrimp tempura sushi roll and it was delicious–great texture, too. My hubby can’t wait until I get even more adventurous!
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  4. I would like to go for more (veggie) sushi now that we live in the south. Especially since I think of eating sushi when it’s nice and warm out and that’s all the time now haha. Totally pick up and drink the miso soup. I would have been right there with you ;)

  5. I love sushi and could probably eat it every day. My absolute favourite is sashimi (raw fish/ no rice). I was actually thinking about how my husband and I should go on a date this weekend.

  6. I love Japanese food and restaurants and it looks like this place was a great find. I love watching other foodies journey through new places! So inspiring to go out and try a new place and boy did that Miso Soup ever look good! YUMM!

  7. I am a HUGE fan of sushi and sushi restaurants! My favorite items to order are usually the staples spicy tuna & eel rolls. Also, adding the ginger dressing to everything gives all my sashimi a zesty zing! I just love it.

  8. Oooooo this restaurant sounds pretty yummy!!! Japanese food is one of my favorite cusines. Now I have a huge craving lol

  9. When I was a kid we would go to the local Japanese steakhouse every year on my brother’s birthday, his pick. I was like you, I always ordered the chicken dishes! No sushi for me either. It’s neat that they hand out tickets to the kids…I’ve never seen that before!

  10. I’ve never personally been to a Japanese resteraunt but there is one done the road from here that my husband keep hinting about. My daughter loves sushi but I have yet to try it.

  11. I’ve tried Minato. They have such great Japanese food selection! Love the maki and tempura!

  12. This looks like an amazing place to eat indeed. The food looks so delicious and now I am craving some. lol. I still have never tried tofu yet. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Your food looks amazing!!! So odd to see a restaurant that is closed in segments like this Japanese restaurant is! I wish we could make it Japanese restaurants more often the food is always amazing and filling.

  14. it’s good you’re trying new foods! :) i’m actually not a huge fan of sushi in general. i’ll eat it when i go places bc jacob loves it so much.. but if i had to choose.. i pretty much like to stick with the usual chicken, pork, or beef :P i think they always use a ginger type dressing on salads at japanese places.
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  15. I only know of one Japanese restaurant near us and we had a terrible time when we first tried out. Minato seems like a great place though, I wonder if there are more chains across the US or if its only local. It’s probably only local though, would love some recommendations for chains if you have them.
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  16. That looks so good. I love eating food at different cultural websites. In fact, I was at a new Japanese restaurant that just opened in our area the other day. It was amazing.

  17. I’ve only been to one Japanese restaurant, and it was during my first visit to NYC. It was a buffet in Little Korea (ironic), and it was the most unique Asian buffet I’d ever eaten in – I was so excited to get an authentic bowl of ramen! I should start looking locally to see if we have any…
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  18. I’m a fan of Japanese cuisine and sushi is one of my comfort food. There’s so much art put into making this tiny dish. Minato sounds awesome and customers leave happy. Do they also have rice bowls on the menu?

  19. I read your post, but somehow I keep coming back to your first sentence, which is you’ve never been to a Japanese restaurant. Wow! I’ve loved sushi since my parents introduced me to their cuisine when I was a kid. Today I eat all kinds of rolls, but surprisingly I am not a fan of anything with eel.

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