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Tokyo Restaurants: Reviews & Recs


Jason Perlow
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Agreed re Imai-ya. Our office uses it all the time for various get togethers. Some others to consider on the upscale-ish side:

Bird Land (Ginza): 5250-1081, superior raw materials, quite a bit of attitude, still some of the best yakitori I've ever had. Easily accessible from Roppongi via the Hibiya line.

Shamo-sho (Nishi Azabu): 3498-3271, not a yakitori-ya per se, but has excellent shamo yakitori. Easy walk from the Grand Hyatt.

Both places will require reservations in advance, Bird Land much more so than Shamo-sho.

I still prefer to wander down to Yurakucho or Shinbashi and walk into the smokiest, noisiest place I can find. Enjoy.

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Hi all, I want to try Imaiya, but are there cooked food there? How come you guys can eat raw chicken in Japan? In the US, it'slike a big no no!!!

I am a little chicken about raw chicken. ehehehe

Anyways, I am not looking for any upscale restaurant, I actually prefer where the locals go (not expense a/c kind of deal, love hole in the wall places).

I went to one in 麻 布十番, and it was absolutely the best, lots of man went there after work, it was noisy, smokey, love it. Wondering if there are other ones that I may be able to try.

Also, i'm debatingwhether to have a Kani meal (is that chainwith a big crab decent? ) or have any other type of hot pot, cook at your table kind of meal. Is it special enough to have?

I already tried fugu (yum and fun), whale (didn't like it at all), soba, ramen, yakitori, Ume no hana, okonomiyaki, any suggestions? Looking for japanese food, not interested in others.. Thanks!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finaly managed to get over to Gordon Ramsey at the Conrad Hotel in the Shiodome Complex/area. Felt like half the taxi-ride was in the complex in itself. Hotel Lobby on the 28th floor together with the restaurants, very stylish.

My wife and myself ordered the 8-course prestige menu. Substitutions were ok, although I only made one. A summary of what we had

Canape: Toasts with Foie Gras and Cream Cheese Spreads

Good way to start the evening while deciding what to order.

Ameuse Bouche: Melon Soup With Crab

Very nice, the melon soup and the crab meat was a perfect match.

Mosaic of Foie Gras

Foise Gras with Duck-Meat linings. Very good quality FG, but i still found this dish somewhat boring.

Lobster Ravioli

Disappointment. The pasta and the lobster meat were both of good quality, but somehow this dish did not deliver and felt very bland.

John Dory with Sea Urchin Risotto

A very nicely dish, enjoyed it a lot. The risotto in itself without the fish was also an experience in itself and the match with the Fish was perfect.

Wagyu with Mushroom Ragout

The meat and the mushroom matched each other very well, but I was somewhat disappointed in this dish. The Wagyu was of average quality (for being Wagyu, far better than most beef in other words) and having tasted other creations of Wagyu in international restaurants in Tokyo I have come to expect more.

Cheese Plate

Around 20 cheeses on the trolley, selected around 12-13 tasting bits. Lovely

First Dessert (I forgot what it was)

A bland dessert, don't even remember what was served.

Basil Creme Brulee

Very nice dessert, the basil flavor did not overwhelm this dessert and was perfectly balanced.

Petit Fours:

Finished off the meal with a selection of 4 types of homemade chocolates and cookies.

Service was competent and the sommeliers suggestions were good.

All-in-all, an uneven meal. Some very good dishes mixed with some disappointments and I did expect more from the restaurant. I might visit the restaurant again since I believe that it has yet to make full use of the local produce available and has an unfilled potential.

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  • 1 month later...

I found an interesting seaweed tsukudani.

gallery_6134_1960_19247.jpg

It is a nori tsukudani (similar to the product gohan desuyo) but this includes habanero peppers. A little bit goes a long way. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 4 months later...

I've searched on eGullet and other places, and frankly, the choices of dining in Tokyo are a bit overwhelming. I'll be there in a couple of weeks for one night only. I'd like a great dinner, just not sushi as my partner doesn't enjoy seafood (though I love it). Anything else is fine such as kaiseki, robata, tempura, etc. One contact gave me the following suggestions:

Rokusan-tei-Michiba Rokusaburo

Poisson Rokusaburo.

Plaza Mikado, 2-14-5

Akasaka.

Nishi-Shinjuku

3-7-1-2 Park Hyatt

Takamura

3-4-27 Roppongi, Minato-ku

Shunsenbo

1-1-40 Hiroo, Ebisu Prime Square Plaza

Restaurant Name: Kamon

Address: 1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho

Location On the 17th floor of the Imperial Hotel, Ginza & Hibiya

Thoughts on these or other places for one great meal in Tokyo? Price isn't a major concern.

Thanks for your help.

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Hi JH

I did check out that thread, and found it interesting. However, many of the restaurants were in Kyoto, and the others didn't have a lot of commentary. I'm hoping someone can comment on my choices listed above. Thanks much!

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One thing I'd say (and I'll admit that I know nothing about the actual places you named) is that I find dining in hotels a bit of a sterile experience. I'd always go for an independent restaurant.

The other is that even if you narrowed your choices down, it would be a hell of a task to make a worthwhile suggestion.

It IS overwhelming, even if you live here. You could pick up some ideas from Metropolis online magazine, which has its reviews archived, Tokyo Food Pages, and Tokyo Q. The emphasis is a little different in each, but it's a good place to start.

P.S. Poisson Rokusaburo? These guys look ready to beat the living crap out of anyone who doesn't like seafood.

http://r.gnavi.co.jp/fl/en/a058200/

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OK - let's try to narrow it down. You can do this 2 ways. First - limit the area geographically. Where will you be staying (you don't want to spend more than half the evening getting to where you'll be dining)?

Second - most forms of non-vegetarian Japanese cuisine are only seafood or emphasize seafood. If your partner truly wants to avoid seafood (as opposed to raw seafood) - and you're looking for something relatively high end (as opposed to a tonkatsu or yakitori place) - you're pretty much left with a Japanese steak restaurant. So let us know how much you want to avoid seafood. Robyn

P.S. I assume you're looking for Japanese food. If you aren't - there are endless possibilities (French - Italian - etc.).

Edited by robyn (log)
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I've searched on eGullet and other places, and frankly, the choices of dining in Tokyo are a bit overwhelming. I'll be there in a couple of weeks for one night only. I'd like a great dinner, just not sushi as my partner doesn't enjoy seafood (though I love it). Anything else is fine such as kaiseki, robata, tempura, etc.  One contact gave me the following suggestions:

Rokusan-tei-Michiba Rokusaburo

Poisson Rokusaburo.

Plaza Mikado, 2-14-5

Akasaka.

Nishi-Shinjuku

3-7-1-2 Park Hyatt

Takamura

3-4-27 Roppongi, Minato-ku

Shunsenbo

1-1-40 Hiroo, Ebisu Prime Square Plaza

Restaurant Name: Kamon 

Address: 1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho 

Location On the 17th floor of the Imperial Hotel, Ginza & Hibiya 

Thoughts on these or other places for one great meal in Tokyo?  Price isn't a major concern.

Thanks for your help.

Some comments: Rokusan .... is, I believe, the restaurant of one of the original Iron Chefs. As already pointed out it probably emphasizes seafood. Not one I would choose

The Park Hyatt has several restaurants. The Japanese restaurant Kozue is excellent but very expensive. The staff speaks English and can explain the dishes. Fixed menus at variable prices are offered. But this is a place if contacted in advance could build a menu to suit both of you.

Takamura: practically no English.,very exclusive and probably impossible to get into on short notice, top-notch

I know nothing about Shunsenbo. I haven't been to Kamon but I would take Kozue over it for hotel Japanese.

My choice would be Seryna which has both steak and seafood at its Roppongi site. Full information here.

http://www.seryna.co.jp/index-e.html

The menus shown are only indicative as there are daily specials. You can check out what each dining area offers for that day when you get there.

Shinjuku site is high up and offers a view. I haven't been to it.

Edited by pirate (log)
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Jason:

Year, it is tough. Sushi restaurants in TOKYO exceed ramen

shops in number. Even out of them which are receiving

the ultimate praise, it still is difficult to tell which is

the best.

Here are some lists which I have been dreaming of visiting.

They must be really good, but quite expensive as well.<p>BENTENYAMA MIYAKO

2-1-16 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo

81-3-3844-0034<p>SUKIYABASHI JIRO

4-2-15-BF1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

81-3-3535-3600<p>KOZASA ZUSHI

8-6-18 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

81-3-3289-2227<p>If you are looking for the cost-perfomance, the best choice

is DAIWA ZUSHI in Tsukiji fish market.Though you must wait in

line, it's worth.<p>5-2-1 Tsukiji,Chuoku, Tokyo

81-3-3547-6807<p>The quality of sushi is basically depending on the freshness

of NETA(seafood material). In that DAIWA ZUSHI is enjoying the

advantage of its location.

We ate at both Kozasa Sushi and Daiwa Sushi. The concierge at the hotel reserved the former (we requested a recommendation for a high end sushi restaurant) - and we ate at the latter by mistake (we were looking for Sushi Dai and wound up in the wrong restaurant).

I will be the first to say that I am no sushi expert (although I have eaten high end sushi before a few times in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Hawaii). I hadn't realized how famous Kozasa Sushi was until I got home and started reading about it!

Both restaurants seemed excellent to me in their spheres (one is very high end - about $130 for lunch - and the other is more "middling" - about $35 for breakfast). The main difference in terms of cost is probably how expensive the raw ingredients are (and I didn't recognize a lot of them at either restaurant). Plus the preparations are different. Those at Daiwa are "rougher". It is perfectly acceptable to dip your sushi in soy sauce at Daiwa. On the other hand - the sushi at Kozasa is perfectly seasoned. No one would dream of dipping it in anything.

Note that English isn't spoken at either restaurant. You can get away with pointing at Daiwa (locals eat there - but there are a fair number of tourists too) - but it's best to take someone who speaks Japanese with you if you go to Kozasa (we had told the concierge that our party would include a person who spoke Japanese before making the reservation).

Also note that I'm not a large person - and Daiwa was a bit claustrophobic in terms of seating. And Kozasa is hard to find (bring a map - and when the cab driver lets you out - go up the alley he lets you out in front of).

I recommend both of these restaurants. Robyn

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Thanks much all. We're staying at the Imperial Hotel. Seafood is ok but prefer Japanese, seafood not emphasized (but a little ok).

Are you looking for somewhere expensive? If you like Tempura and if you don't mind the price, I will recommend Tenichi. They make tempura in front of you, and it is very good. If you don't like seafood, just tell them you don't like them or point at things you don't like.

There are 6 locations in Tokyo, and one is in Imperial Hotel.

http://www.tenichi.co.jp/supreme/imperial-hotel.html

Edited by ankomochi (log)

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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I'm wondering if anyone has any rec's for okonomiyaki restaurants in Tokyo...

Are Tokyo-style okonomiyaki similar to the ones made in Osaka? I'll be back in Tokyo in a few weeks and I've been craving them ever since I had my first (and only) one in Osaka. :wub:

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Having never eaten okonomiyaki in Osaka I am not really sure of the exact differences between the general types in both areas.

Most okonomiyaki restaurants in Tokyo though will give you a variety of options from the version with noodles inside, to negi-yaki (scallions insteead of cabbage) to monjyayaki (Tokyo's cousin to okonomiyaki).

Not to long ago Food Zealot and I went to Sakuratei (in Jingu-Mae) and enjoyed a nice variety.

Their English homepage can be found here, they also have menus in English.

We both posted pictures on this thread.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I am a Japanese born and grew up in Kansai and have lived in Tokyo for over 10 years. So my preference for taste is different from yours.

BUT...If you want to taste real Kansai-taste okonomiyaki in Tokyo, I recommend "Kiji" in Tokia near Tokyo station.

KIJI is originally from Osaka and it seems to me most of the staff are from Kansai-area because of their accent. Kiji at Tokia is very clean but its taste are same as the one I ate in Osaka.Be careful, there is usually a long line.

KIJI

2-7-3,Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku (Kiji is in "Tokia" building opened last December and located next to Tokyo Central Post Office)

Tel:03-3216-3123

Lunch 11:00~15:30 Dinner 17:00~23:00(Order Stop at 22:00)

Japanese female born and grew up in Kansai area (western Japan incl. Osaka,Kyoto) now living in Tokyo for 10 years. Love to cook and go for dining esp.Italian,Korean and Chinese.

My blog themed on cooking and dining in Tokyo:http://travel.web.infoseek.co.jp/blog

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Hi Peter,

If you crave okonomiyaki and have only had the Kansai style then I would suggest trying to find a place in Tokyo that serves the Hiroshima style. Very different but equally delicious.

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I found one that serves Osaka-style okonomiyaki at Odaiba, Tokyo:

Tsuruhashi Fugetsu.

http://www.walkerplus.com/english/tokyo/go...nts/jam062.html

I've never been there, though.

You can find some other information here:

http://www.gnavi.co.jp/kansai/en/k109706h.htm

There are several other shops in and around Tokyo.

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Tsuruhashi Fugetsu.

http://www.walkerplus.com/english/tokyo/go...nts/jam062.html

I've never been there, though.

I've been to Fugetsu in Osaka(Tsuruhashi, famous for Japanese biggest Korean town). The shop has been very famous since I was a young little girl and its taste is nice and typical Osaka-style okonomiyaki. Having been disappointed at okonomiyaki in Tokyo, I prefer to make okonomiyaki at home. I don't know how the okonomiyaki at Fugetsu Odaiba branch is, but sometimes the taste are different( less attractive to me) even when the shop has HQ in Kansai(Osaka area)

Japanese female born and grew up in Kansai area (western Japan incl. Osaka,Kyoto) now living in Tokyo for 10 years. Love to cook and go for dining esp.Italian,Korean and Chinese.

My blog themed on cooking and dining in Tokyo:http://travel.web.infoseek.co.jp/blog

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I might just have to make a trip to Osaka to try their okonomiyaki, I have never had anything but Tokyo style... :sad:

nagitokyo,

welcome to eGullet and the Japan forum! I just spent some time looking at your great blog! in your yoshoku (western foods) section alone you cover quite a few of the dishes we have recently been discussing, Sasebo burger, Turkey rice, omuraisu, etc. :

http://travel.web.infoseek.co.jp/blog/archives/cat_14.html

I can't wait to hear more from you.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Kristin-san,

Thank you for your welcoming message :biggrin:

Until when I moved to Tokyo at the age of 18, I had never eaten Tokyo style "monjya yaki" simply because I don't know any one of the restaurants in Kansai that serves "monjya yaki".

If you have chance, please go to Osaka for okonomiyaki and negiyaki, and also Kyoto for Issen yoshoku.Some people say "issen yoshoku" is the mother of okonomiyaki and monjyayaki. (I don't know the story is true or not)

Japanese female born and grew up in Kansai area (western Japan incl. Osaka,Kyoto) now living in Tokyo for 10 years. Love to cook and go for dining esp.Italian,Korean and Chinese.

My blog themed on cooking and dining in Tokyo:http://travel.web.infoseek.co.jp/blog

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