Enjoy the creation and presentation of this starred French restaurant
“Florilege” is a 2-star restaurant which is also rewarded as Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Chef Kawate got his experiences in Tokyo’s most famous restaurants such as “Le Bourguignon”(1-star) in Roppongi and “Quintessence” (3-star) in Gotenyama.
Florilege is a 2-star, modern, French restaurant located in Shibuya-ku. Chef Hiroyasu Kawate utilizes the best Japanese ingredients, believes in sustainability, and minimizes food waste. One of the signature dishes is the beef carpaccio from a 13 year old cow from Miyazaki. The abundance of rich natural flavors harmonizes with the perfect degree of tenderness upon entering your palette. Sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms, and rock fish are amongst my other favorite dishes! The beautiful open kitchen allows me to see the meal come together. Chef is able to explains each course directly to us: the inspiration, seasonal aspect and Japanese food culture behind each dish.
A 2-star French restaurant that shows all the respect to its location in Asakusa Tokyo
Born and raised in Asakusa, studied at a 3-star restaurant in France, Chef Arai is now the owner chef of this 2-star French restaurant. Enjoy the refined French cuisine with a Japanese twist.
Hommage is a hidden 2-star restaurant in Tokyo. A restaurant by chef Noboru Arai that features a fusion between French and Japanese cuisine. Hommage is nestled away in the historical Asakusa area. For our lunch, we chose a 10,000 yen set. One of my favorite dishes is the uni dish - uni topped with champagne jelly, carrot espuma and jasmine. It was refreshing and well executed in all ways possible. Next is the shallow fried amadai fish (tile fish) from Kagoshima with canola sauce. It was the definition of perfection, with scales retained for an extra crispy top and soft tenderness inside. All dishes takes much effort to prepare and involves incredible skills. It was very impresive. At the end of our meal, the owner and chef Arai and his wife saw us out at the door, and we took a photo with his signature smile.
A 7 counter-seat only sushi restaurant for those seeking for real sushi
Sushi restaurant Sushi-Sho Masa is located close to Nishi-Azabu crossing. It is distinguished by its bright red doorway curtain. The owner-chef in charge of the 7 counter-seat restaurant is Masakatsu Oka, who came from the famous Sushi-Sho in Yotsuya. He carries himself with such energy that he has deeply invigorates the atmosphere of the entire restaurant.
Chef Masakatsu Oka trained for years under master Keiji Nakzawa. It was our first omakase experience in Japan. The sho-style sushi serves diners alternating between otsumami and nigiri. We consumed 52 pieces of sushi in 3 hours. Chef and his assistant introduced every piece to us in English and Chinese, with a sushi bible to show us what kind of fish and which part were being served. Chef also gave us clear direction of soy sauce, or no soy sauce, one bite, or two bites. It is a joy watching him prepare each dish. You can definitely request small pieces in the beginning, so you can try all the different kinds of fish. One of my favorite moments is when he offers both Aka Uni and Murasaki Uni and teaches us the difference between both uni. One of the best experiences ever!
Kiyama has earned a star within a year of opening. Experience Kaiseki cuisine which has redefined the basics of water and dashi stock.
Quietly located on the first floor of an apartment building, a 5-minute walk from Subway Marutamachi Station and close to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, is the Kaiseki cuisine restaurant Kiyama.
Simply can’t leave Japan without having an excellent Kaiseki experience, especially in Kyoto. Kiyama is located in a quiet residential neighborhood which is a little away from the busy Sanjo area. Once we arrived, we were greeted by Chef Kiyama who is relatively young compared with other Kaiseki chefs in Japan. We started with a glass of sake and some seasonal sashimi. As you may know, dashi is the essential ingredient in Kaiseki, and Chef Kiyama prepared his signature dashi in front of us with 3 types of freshly shaved bonito. Throughout the entire 2.5 hour meal, every dish was nicely executed and presented with a well balance of various flavors. This restaurant is definitely a rising star so better visit before it becomes super hard to make a reservation.
Classic Italian enjoyed in a mature and elegant space
A 1-star Italian restaurant where the concept is to enjoy mature time at a leisurely pace. Honda's style is based on classic Italian, into which he incorporates the Japanese sensibility for seasonal ingredients.
Eating Italian food in Japan? Why not?! Chef Tetsuya Honda was born in Japan and honed his skills in Italy and France before opening his own Italian restaurant - Ristorante Honda in 2004. Located in a quiet street in Kita-Aoyama, Chef Honda brings traditional Italian cuisine with local seasonal ingredients, with a twist of Japanese influence for his customers. The restaurant has only 20 seats with very attentive and foreigner-friendly service. We started with a glass of prosecco paired with stuzzichino (appetizer). The casual 5-course lunch lasts almost 2 hours with a cup of fine Italian espresso to finish off.
Sumibi Yakiniku Nakahara
The fabled “Legendary Tongue,” a specialty only available pre-ordered
Just 2 menu items, of which only one is available to those who don’t reserve prior; Nakahara serves their chef’s course, with only the “legendary tongue” being the exception, a specialty that must be pre-ordered. The kitchen sources only the finest of Japanese Black Cattle, ignoring brand names and other labels to go straight to looking at the quality of meat itself; furthermore, to serve, Nakahara selects only the best of cuts available from their select meats. No questions asked, the best establishment, period, , to invite friends that enjoy a meat nirvana!
Nakahara-san is my favorite Wagyu shokunin in Tokyo. He sources his wagyu directly from producers. You can expect an unforgettable yakiniku experience with premium wagyu slices that is cooked over the best binchō-tan charcoal. Sumibi Yakiniku Nakahara is famous for its legendary tongue in 3 parts, Tan-moto (tongue root), Tan saki (tip) and Tan suji (tendon). It’s grilled to perfection each time I visit. Followed by my all-time favorite sirloin that literally melts-in-your-mouth. Also, the wagyu tail broth is cooked for 50 hours. It is clean and refined, and you can enjoy the true natural jucies of the ingredients. All the dishes are beautifully executed. Remember to pre-order the legendary Wagyu beef tongue because there are only a 100 of these beef tongues available in Tokyo each day, and this restaurant can secure 10 of them.
Modern delightful sushi, with the mastery of establishment inheritance
A single, unvarnished plain wood 7-seat counter; a symbol of the select few allowed seating facing this artisan master. Chef Ryusuke Yamane, a longtime anchor for the renowned sushi establishment Kyubei, decided to go independent in 2015. But ever since, thanks to his artful sushi exuding dignity, and doctrine for bringing the utmost joy to his guests in the limited time and space they share, Sushi Ryusuke’s eminence has only grown higher.
Located in the back street of the busy Ginza district, Sushi Ryusuke is a hidden gem for sushi lovers. We visited this 7-seat counter for a casual lunch (15 nigiri plus side dishes). It's cozy and the bar table is made by a single piece of wood. Chef Ryusuke, who gathered his repertoire of skills at Ginza Kyubey, welcomed us full of smiles and tried his best to explain every piece in English. He switches his shari (sushi rice) depending on the neta (topping) to achieve the perfect balance between the Shari and Neta. Every piece of nigiri is served in room temperature. Overall it is a very solid Edomae-style sushi experience.