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A Gastronomy Ambassador that
Connects Japan's Food Culture with the World:
No.7 OAD Reviewer Robert Driscoll's
10 Restaurant Recommendations

No. 7 OAD Reviewer Robert Driscoll

A scientist and attorney by education and training, Robert has been a connoisseur of food and wine for nearly 3 decades. Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and American father, Robert visits Japan for several weeks each year and has dined at well over 100 top restaurants in Japan. Being especially fond of sushi, he eats at high-end sushi restaurants nearly 100 times per year. He seeks out stellar restaurants around the world and is excited when he discovers a new place before it receives attention and accolades.

What is OAD (Opinionated About Dining)?

Steve Plotnicki hatched OAD in 2004 to address needs identified in accurately identifying the world’s culinary cultures and its advances. Sharing reviews, OAD has grown today to over 5,000 dedicated haute-diners posting thoughts on 16,000-plus restaurants, and has gained international acclaim as a bona-fide go-to dining-guide for all.
Robert's Hope: Make Japanese Food Culture Known to the World

Robert's favorite cuisine is Japanese, with a particular fondness for Edomae sushi. An avid international diner, Robert is among the top 10 reviewers in the world on Opinionated About Dining (OAD), having reviewed over 1,000 top restaurants around the globe. His hope is that more international diners experience Japan both culturally and gastronomically and that more top-tier Japanese restaurants find their way to Europe and the United States.

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Ginza Iwa
A Michelin 1-star sushi restaurant expressing the true season via the technique and discernment

It was opened in 2012 by Eita Iwa, a sushi chef known both in Japan and worldwide, and is currently watched over by Chef Iwa's favorite pupil who trained under him for 10 years. The spot has great reviews and currently is recognized by the Michelin Guide with 1 star.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

Located near Shimbashi Station in Ginza, one-star Sushi Ginza Iwa. The nigiri lunch is a particularly good value here, where the sushi features slightly warm shari amply seasoned with red vinegar and salt, which makes the sushi work well with sake. The nigiri are made on the smaller side, which is especially good for those seeking a less-filling sushi meal or fewer carbohydrates. And, unlike many high-end sushi restaurants, Ginza Iwa is open on Sundays, making it a perfect option for those seeking sushi on a quiet Sunday afternoon or evening.

  

Ginza Iwa

Ginza Kushikatsu Bon
Techniques learned from a highly sought-After restaurant, low-sugar Kushikatsu that uses high-grade ingredients

Located in the Kitashinchi area of Osaka, "Kushikatsu Bon", which obtained a Michelin star in 2011 and achieved its strong desire to “Kushikatsu(Deep-fried skewers) beyond the world” by opening a Paris location, made its first foray into Ginza in Tokyo, Japan’s greatest peak, in July 2014. The Kushikatsu, which are low in sugar, lightly textured and drain off oil very well, are highly regarded for not sitting heavy in the stomach the following day.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

After dining at Michelin-starred Kushikatsu Bon in Osaka, I looked forward to the opening of Ginza Kushikatsu Bon in Tokyo. Forget your preconceptions of greasy, heavy breaded and deep-fried foods and taste the elegant and light kushikatsu/kushiage offered by Bon. Using a vast array of high-quality, fresh ingredients, including seafood, meats, and vegetables, the chefs cook skewers of tasty delicacies in front of you. The restaurant features a deep selection of wines to pair with the food. I suggest a nice Rose Champagne to carry you through the entire meal.

  

Ginza Kushikatsu Bon

Kun
Where celebrities have been known to frequent, you can enjoy the marriage between perfectly matched food and alcohol filled with creativity and ingenuity

This more than 20-year-old restaurant, located down a little alley in Akasaka, is like a private hideaway. The owner-chef, Mr. Koshimizu, is very inventive with his finest ingredients.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

I first became aware of Kun in 2015 from the head concierge of the Aman Tokyo Hotel, who highly recommended this unconventional restaurant in Akasaka. Celebrity chef Haruhiko Koshimizu, whose nickname is Kuma-san (teddy bear), offers an eclectic menu of tasty Washoku dishes without regard for formality or tradition, paired with mature vintages of wine, inventive cocktails, and rare whiskies and other spirits. Step down into this comfy basement restaurant and sit next to the resident giant stuffed bear and dine on the signature foie gras and truffle omelette, or wagyu sashimi, or tonkatsu, and drink a Grand Cru Burgundy from the 1950s or 1960s, while taking in the ambiance that reminds one of a private membership club.

  

Kun

Kurosaki
Exquisite sushi in Shibuya, a perfect place for sushi dates and private dinners

Its black chic exterior stands in great contrast with the interior counter made of pure plain wood, providing a great sense of presence that is highly appropriate for a well-known establishment with a highly skilled chef standing behind it.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

Chef Kazuki Kurosaki's nine-seat sushi counter, a short walk from Shibuya Station, is a restaurant I visit every trip to Tokyo. Although boasting a Michelin star, Sushi Kurosaki maintains a neighborhood sushiya feel and a relaxed, convivial vibe, due in part to the young, stylish, and affable chef offering an impressive array of otsumami and nigiri, which can be paired expertly with a wide array of nihonshu that helps accentuate the fine sushi. Rooted firmly in Edomae sushi traditions, but dabbling slightly with modern trends, Kurosaki presents a thoroughly enjoyable sushi experience using a balanced shari featuring a blend of komezu and akazu vinegars. Chef Kurosaki speaks good English, which makes conversation about the sushi comfortable for international diners.

  

Kurosaki

Palace Hotel Tokyo Sushi Kanesaka
A Michelin 1-star Edomae style sushi restaurant that focuses on the quality of the ingredients

Sushi Kanesaka, located on the 6th floor of "Palace Hotel Tokyo" which is the only 5 starred Japanese hotel in Marunouchi. This restaurant is the only member who remains the name of "Sushi Kanesaka".




Mr.Robert Driscoll

I first tasted Chef Shinji Kanesaka's sushi in 2007 when he was awarded a Michelin star at his original Ginza location. Known also for having trained several of Tokyo's top sushi chefs, including Chef Takashi Saito of 3-star Sushi Saito, Chef Kanesaka opened Shinji in Singapore, a restaurant I visit every trip to Singapore, and then his second Tokyo location in the venerated Palace Hotel in the Marunouchi-Otemachi area. Featuring lightly seasoned shari made using Yokoi Kohaku red vinegar, Kanesaka's sushi focuses on traditional Edomae techniques and fish selection that will please both first-time and experienced sushi aficionados. Being located in a hotel also permits the restaurant to offer both lunch and dinner seven days a week.

  

Palace Hotel Tokyo Sushi Kanesaka

Sushi Shinsuke
Delicious, delightful Edomae sushi brought to you by an owner with honed language and customer service skills

“I can’t create a good restaurant with just my own power. I treasure the love for the customers, food, and staff”, says owner-chef Mizutani. His ideal is a sushi restaurant where guests and staff create an atmosphere for delicious food and happiness.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

Chef Shinsuke Mizutani trained at Sushi Ryusuke in Ginza and was the opening chef at Sushi Ginza Onodera in Honolulu before opening his namesake restaurant at the end of 2017. The restaurant, located just a 2-minute stroll from the Azabujuban Station, boasts what may be the most upscale and handsome decor of any sushiya anywhere. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day, impressive for an essentially one-man operation. The chef is humble and skilled with Edomae techniques but is unafraid to let his creative personality shine in novel and interesting otsumami and ingredient combinations. The aged tuna, sourced from famed tuna broker, Yamayuki, at the Toyosu (formerly Tsukiji) market, is a particular highlight of the meal. The chef speaks good English and offers well-considered sake pairings for his sushi. I was so impressed with his sushi that I visited his restaurant three times in the span of two weeks.

  

Sushi Shinsuke

Sushi Keita
A Michelin 1-star restaurant in Tsukiji with a relaxed atmosphere and Edomae-style sushi crafted with skills honed at noted establishments

Tsukiji in Tokyo is the gathering point of Japan’s finest ingredients, and behind the Tsukiji Hongan-Ji temple, a bit from the market, you will find the Michelin 1-star restaurant “Sushi Keita”.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

I was fortunate to first visit Sushi Keita, located very close to the now-closed Tsukiji market, just a few weeks after it opened in September 2017. As its first foreign visitor, I was able to get a preview of Chef Keita Aoyama's traditional Edomae sushi, which features assertively seasoned akashari, before its popularity skyrocketed. At that first visit I predicted a bright future and a Michelin star, a prediction that came true the following year. Chef Aoyama trained at 2-star Sushi Sai Wakichi in Hokkaido, 3-star Sushi Mizutani in Ginza, and Sushi Taichi in Ginza before going out on his own at the tender age of 30. He and his wife, who handles service and makes sake recommendations, are a lovely couple that make you feel like a welcome guest in their cozy and comfortable 7-seat restaurant.

  

Sushi Keita

Sushi Ryusuke
Modern and delightful sushi by a chef who was trained at a long-established restaurant.

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.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

Known for his signature seasonal croquette (the crab is especially tasty!) and white fish sashimi with grated truffles or caviar, Chef Ryusuke Yamane serves a maximum of seven diners for lunch or dinner at his cozy restaurant in Ginza. A veteran of renowned Kyubey in Ginza, the chef does not conform to the structures of traditional Edomae sushi in his omakase menu. Although it requires more work and skill, nigiri are made with either white or red shari to best match and elevate the particular fish. The chef is very friendly and serves his sushi with a big smile, which makes guests feel comfortable and welcome.

  

Sushi Ryusuke

HAJIME
The world of HAJIME: An artistic presentation of the beauty of earth and life through cuisine

HAJIME has been attracting attention around the world by receiving Michelin 3-star in the shortest period throughout the history of Michelin and by being listed on "Asia's 50 Best Restaurants" and "Foodie Top 100."




Mr.Robert Driscoll

Working at the intersection of art and gastronomy, Chef Hajime Yoneda expresses his cooking philosophy through his unique aesthetic lens, resulting in dishes with plating and presentation resembling artwork, set in a chic and serene dining room evocative of a sophisticated art gallery. The chef's signature dish is named "Chikyu" (Earth). Although its culinary DNA lies in the famous Gargoillou dish of renowned French chef, Michel Bras, Chef Hajime combines about 100 individually prepared Japanese vegetable components in a visually stunning way that tastes as good as it looks. Dining at Hajime over the course of 4 hours, accompanied by thoughtful wine pairings, is a tour de force in modern Japanese cuisine.

  

Sushi Nakamura
A new style of Edomae-style sushi with an unique sense

"Sushi Nakamura" locates in Roppongi, an area with many famous restaurants, and aims to establish a new style of Edomae-sushi; using clever techniques and preparation methods, it creates unique sushi and side dishes which are well received, bringing in many sushi fans.




Mr.Robert Driscoll

Located on a side street in buzzing Roppongi, Michelin-starred Sushi Nakamura makes you feel like you have been transported to a dark and intimate sushiya in Kyoto, providing the diner a serene and comfortable atmosphere for enjoying expertly crafted sushi and limited availability sake, including Juyondai. Chef Masanori Nakamura, who is self-taught. uses a blend of akazu and komezu to provide a pleasing acidic kick to accentuate the variety of fish on offer. Sushi Nakamura is open a bit later than most high-end sushi restaurants, so it is a good choice for those seeking a later sushi dinner.

  

Sushi Nakamura

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