Far from the bustling crowds in the Akasaka district in Tokyo, you can loiter for a moment at a quiet spot called "Akasaka Gosen". The owner-chef is Hayashi Ayumu, who went independent after a long career of working at restaurants in Akasaka and in Paris. He had business in Kenji for 10 years and in Asagaya for 6 years before moving to Akasaka in 2017, a place where mature and sophisticated taste gathers.
At "Akasaka Gosen", he offers the finest cuisine of Shiga--funasushi, soft shelled turtle, together with the high-quality sake Shihihonyari. A delight to both the eyes and the tongue.
Funasuhi is made by using a traditional fermentation technique passed down from the Nara period, even though some people would consider it an acquired taste. But at "Akasaka Gosen", owner-chef Hayashi doesn't just serve it plain, but prepares it in such a way that makes it easy to appreciate its unique fragrance and flavor. Instead of serving it as it is, Hayashi has rearranged it to make it more approachable by taking advantage of its unique umami taste and aroma. For example, he uses funa-zushi rice that has been strained and mixed with egg yolk to make yolk vinegar for white fish sashimi, or adds chopped funa-zushi and blue cheese to sushi vinegar to make bite-size chirashi-zushi, a unique and contemporary dish.
The soft-shelled turtle is stocked year round from the most trustworthy regions and prepared with its natural excellence. "Akasaka Gosen" puts aside the traditional style of simply throwing it into a large pot, but serves it in a small single portion pot for each guest. Applying this clever technique helps bring out the original taste of the turtle, as well as the subtle variations of flavor. Another specialty is turtle rice in a pot, a finishing course which uses the delicious flavor of the remaining broth.
The third pillar of "Akasaka Gosen" is its Shichihonyari sake, where 6 to 8 varieties are available. There are also 3 to 4 other sake varieties, champagne, and Japanese vintage wine to round out its offerings. The interior of the restaurant, with its warm, choice wood furnishings, has a counter seating for nine, a well as a separate private room for up to 6 people. At the counter, which was constructed from a single board from a magnificent Japanese ceder of 200 to 300 years old, you can enjoy conversation with the owner-chef Hayashi's about these techniques as you watch him at work. Of course you can also relax in the private room with friends. From business meetings, celebrations, to simply dining together with beloved ones, this is a house for all occasions.
*The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 7-minute walk from Akasaka Station, Exit 7 (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
A 7-minute walk from Nogizaka Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)