Set in a tranquil residential area a five-minute walk from Nakameguro Subway Station, Nihon Ryori Ensui is an elaborate stage for Chef Ryosuke Itou to display his culinary skills.
Nihon Ryori Ensui explores the culinary secrets of charcoal grilling and stock-making as indicated by its name (“En” means flames in Japanese and represents charcoal grilling, while “Sui” means water in Japanese and represents stock-making). The first brewed dashi stock (soup stock made from fish and kelp) is made from freshly shaved bonito flakes every time a new guest or guests arrive. Because stock-making and grilling are simple and basic techniques of Japanese cuisine, “they are the first and most difficult step,” Chef Itou says. “I would like to learn the techniques honed over generations and hand them over to the next generation.” This is the reason why he continues his culinary journey without stopping.
The soup stock is made with great care from fermented bonito slowly dried for half a year by Sakai Shoten in Ibusuki, Kagoshima, Kurai Rishiri kelp harvested in Kafuka Bay, Rebun Island , Hokkaido, and fermented in chambers under carefully controlled temperatures and humidity by Okui Kaiseido in Fukui, and hot spring water from Tarumi, Kagoshima, known for its super-soft water are used to make stock, to enhance the flavors of seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant’s popular specialties cooked with great care over high-quality Kishu Binchotan Charcoal, such as “Charcoal-grilled Red Snapper Fillet” and “Charcoal-grilled Tilefish Fillet with Skin On,” are simple yet elaborate. Nihon Ryori Ensui also offers exclusive à la carte dishes, such as an assortment of boiled foods served on a bamboo skewer like Oden (various ingredients stewed in soy-flavored dashi) and an assortment of fruits sliced using Japanese culinary techniques and arranged to look like a big peony.
The sake list features some 15 labels of Japanese sake, including those not easily available, such as Aramasa from Akita, while the wine list offers a selection of wines, mainly from Burgundy, curated by Chef Itou, who is also certified as a sommelier. The Homemade Cold Brew Tea, made with the same Tarumi hot spring water as for the soup stock, also enjoys great popularity.
Inside the restaurant, there is an eye-catching, 5.3-meter-long counter made of natural hinoki cypress wood from Sekigahara (Gifu Prefecture) (seating up to eight people). The serving stand on the countertop is very low to allow diners to enjoy as much as possible the rich aroma of bonito flakes shaved in the kitchen. The collection of tableware is also impressive, ranging from antiques to modern pieces and from ceramics crafted by ceramic artists in Kyoto to lacquerware manufactured by Yamanaka Shikki in Kaga, Ishikawa. There is also a private room (seating up to six people).
Please enjoy Japanese cuisine made with highly skilled charcoal grilling and stock-making techniques at Nihon Ryori Ensui with your family, partner, friends, or colleagues.
※ Awarded 1 star on world-renowned gourmet guide Tokyo 2023
* 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 5-minutes walk from Nakameguro Station on the Hibiya Line