For the Love of Leeks: How Negiya Heikichi is Transforming This Sidekick Veggie into a Culinary Star

While onions and their relatives often find themselves as mere sidekicks in culinary ensembles, there’s a hidden gem in Tokyo’s Udagawachō district of Shibuya that flips the script. This restaurant celebrates the entire spectrum of negi, a term that captures a range of leek- and onion-like vegetables in Japanese cuisine, turning them from supporting characters into show-stopping main attractions.

A chef selecting spring onions for cooking

A chef selecting Japanese leeks for cooking

Savor the pure flavor of Japanese leeks with Senjū Negi no Kuroyaki

Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō (hereafter referred to as Negiya Heikichi) is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the full flavor spectrum of negi throughout the year.

Intrigued by the inviting allure of its facade, Umami bites writer Bensky found himself irresistibly drawn in, stepping through the door with a sense of palpable excitement.

Photo of Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō

The first dish Bensky ordered was the iconic Senjū Negi no Kuroyaki (charred Japanese leek of the Senjū Negi variety), one of Negiya Heikichi’s signature dishes.

This dish allows you to taste the true essence of this vegetable in an unadulterated form.

千住葱の黒焼, Senjū Negi no Kuroyaki 1,078 JPY (tax included)

“千住葱の黒焼,” Charred Senjū Negi leeks 1,078 JPY (tax included)

When you tilt the leek, its juicy white core emerges gracefully from its charred outer layer. Dipped in miso, this tender white part becomes the true star of the dish.

Photo of Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō

It’s actually sweet! I never knew Japanese leeks could be this sweet. The melt-in-your-mouth texture and smoky flavor had me hooked.

Senjū Negi are notably sweeter than typical Japanese leeks. Negiya Heikichi’s slow charring technique concentrates the vegetable’s natural sweetness, bringing out its full flavor potential.

Photo of Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō

You can watch the leeks being grilled from the counter seats

Apart from Senjū Negi, other Japanese leek varieties like Nanpaku Negi as well as white onions can also be enjoyed kuroyaki style.

Why not try different types of negi to taste and compare?

Photo of Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō

Delight your taste buds with Senjū Negi tempura! Best enjoyed with leek-flavored salt…

But we’re just getting started. Many more notable negi delights await at Negiya Heikichi.

For example, Senjū Negi tempura contrasts a crispy, light batter with the tender texture of Senjū Negi leeks.

When lightly dusted with negi-infused salt, these delightful morsels release their aroma in your mouth.

千住葱の天ぷら, Senjū Negi leek tempura 1,078 JPY (tax included)

“千住葱の天ぷら,” Senjū Negi leek tempura 1,078 JPY (tax included)

Another seasonal favorite is the negi kakiage, a scrumptious blend of Senjū Negi and onions, fried to crispy perfection. Kakiage is a traditional Japanese tempura dish where ingredients are mixed in a light batter and deep-fried. The specific type of negi featured in this dish changes with the seasons.

Complementing the kakiage is a distinctive dipping sauce infused with radish and ginger. This zesty accompaniment brings a different dimension of flavor to the table, setting it apart from the smoky richness of kuroyaki.

葱のかき揚げ, negi kakiage tempura 748 JPY (tax included)

“葱のかき揚げ,” negi kakiage tempura 748 JPY (tax included)

It might be worth making multiple visits to appreciate the nuanced flavors of the entire onion ensemble.

Tori Negi Mamireyaki: Why this dish is a hit with international diners

Lastly, Bensky ordered Tori Negi Mamireyaki (literally “grilled chicken with overflowing negi”), a dish immensely popular among international diners.

Negiya Heikichi grills local branded chicken to perfection, seasons it with salt and pepper, then tops it with a heaping serving of Senjū Negi as well as Kujō Negi, known for being particularly fragrant.

Drizzled with lemon and flavored with yuzu koshō (a seasoning made with chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt), Tori Negi Mamireyaki is a delicious masterpiece.

鶏葱まみれ焼, Tori Negi Mamireyaki 1,320 JPY (tax included)

“鶏葱まみれ焼,” Tori Negi Mamireyaki 1,320 JPY (tax included) 


The negi and chicken are a perfect match! The crunchy negi and the refreshing spiciness of yuzu kosho make the chicken taste even better.

This dish really won Bensky over, and when he was done, not a single piece of leek was left on his plate.

Photo of Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō

Negiya Heikichi doesn’t just serve onions; they also offer a selection of shochu and sake from across Japan.

Pairing choice spirits with delicious negi dishes might just be the way to go.

Interior of Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō


Store name 葱や平吉 宇田川町
Negiya Heikichi Udagawachō
Address 36-18 Udagawachō, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access Shibuya Station(SBY)6-minute walk from Shibuya Station A2 Exit
  • JR Yamanote Line(JY20)
  • JR Saikyō Line(JA10)
  • JR Shōnan Shinjuku Line(JS19)
  • Tōkyū Tōyoko Line(TY01)
  • Tōkyū Den-en-toshi Line(DT01)
  • Keiō Inokashira Line(IN01)
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza Line(G01)
  • Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line(Z01)
  • Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line(F16)
Phone number 03-3780-1505
Reservations Accepted
  • Cash
  • Credit cards(American Express・JCB・Master・VISA)
  • Transportation-related electronic money not accepted
  • Electronic money not accepted
  • QR code payment(Alipay・au PAY・Bank Pay・d Payment・Hama Pay・LINE Pay・Merpay・PayPay・Rakuten Pay・WeChat Pay)
Service charge/Table charge Service charge (including otōshi) 440 JPY (tax included)
Only at dinnertime
Hours Mon.-Fri 11:30-14:30(last order 14:00), 17:30-23:00(last order 22:00)
Sat.-Sun & nat’l holidays 11:30-14:30(last order 14:00), 17:00-22:30(last order 21:30)
Closed No holidays
Seating 68 seats
12 counter seats, 56 table seats
Smoking All seats are non-smoking
A smoking room is available
Official website
Other information
  • English menu available only at lunchtime
  • No allergy-friendly, vegan, vegetarian or halal menus
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Take-out and delivery service are not available
  • Luggage storage is available
  • Wi-Fi is not available
  • Posting of food photos and videos on SNS is allowed
  • Separate billing is allowed

※Menu contents, prices, store information, etc. are current as of October 2023.