Tokyo is the destination to be for foodies, pulsing with excitement and glistening with Michelin stars. Foods are made with care and regard for exotic spices, from simple yakitori shops serving skewered chicken breast to multi-course classic kaiseki feasts. However the metro’s culinary brilliance isn’t restricted to Japanese food: there’s fantastic Italian, sophisticated Chinese, and a French-style that needs its category. “It’s becoming difficult to dine anywhere else since Tokyo has everything and does it best,” a globetrotting Brazilian chef admitted recently. We wholeheartedly concur. Scroll on for our recommendations for the top dining hotspots in Tokyo chosen for you to visit, especially after an exhausting week working with custom website designers in Malaysia.
- Ise Sueyoshi
Yuki Tanaka, the kaiseki chef, has a unique background: a community college graduate, he learned the mysteries of Japanese cuisine for four years at Kyoto’s prestigious Kikunoi. Tanaka then came to town, visiting over 15 countries with a bottle of soy sauce and also some kelp with him at all times. These journeys taught him that a town’s food culture is always based on locally sourced resources. Tanaka returned to Japan with the goal of “disseminating Japanese cuisine as an element of this nation’s culture,” so he went back to his hometown of Mie to meet farmers and other suppliers. The prefecture has historically been recognised as a gastronomic vast collection, with abundant fruits from both the highlands and the ocean. In 2015, he eventually built his restaurant, specialising in foods sourced from the old city of Ise.
In Tokyo, there are plenty of soba experts, but few can make noodles as tasty and gratifying as those at Tamawarai. Each batch is created from scratch, with the dough being mixed, rolled, and cut by hand, and with buckwheat grown on the premises. Side dishes like soba miso and the deliciously creamy yuba (tofu skin) are made with the same attention. It does not take bookings, so despite its less-than-convenient position in a residential neighbourhood between Harajuku and Shibuya, you will almost certainly find yourself waiting in line for approximately an hour to get in.
Hideki Ishikawa’s eponymous restaurant in Shinjuku has perfected the art of kaiseki food. Kaiseki, also known as kaiseki-ryori, is a Japanese traditional cuisine in which a variety of dishes are served to guests to prove the chef’s diverse skill set. With great dishes like char eel with lovely sweet onions or rice prepared with treasured matsutake mushrooms, your meals will advance through numerous stages of ultra-seasonal ingredients. The three Michelin stars that this restaurant has earned are well-deserved.
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s culinary education in Italy, France, and Switzerland is evident in his dishes, which are prepared using European techniques. Narisawa is highly concerned about the environment, which is shown in his dishes, which are created to follow the seasons in Japan using fresh Japanese products. The two-Michelin-starred restaurant offers for its peculiar Moss Butter and Bread of the Forest, which rises at the table while you eat the remainder of your meal. Enjoy your meal by looking at the scenery through the glass walls in the restaurant.
After all, the major feature of Hakkoku is the wooden sushi bar, which has six chairs at the bar in the private dining room and two more rooms with bars operated by the chef’s trainees. Chef Hiroyuki Sato stands on the opposite side, meticulously slicing raw fish. Each of the 30 original pieces of sushi (nigiri and maki only) in the omakase is a self-contained masterpiece. The single string note that begins a great Concierto is the initial salvo, a nori roll stuffed with thinly sliced tuna.