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There is no doubt that sea urchin is the star ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It is a known expensive ingredient colonized in Japan, so popular that it is even noted in a phrase as “You are an independent person only when you can majestically order sea urchin in a sushi restaurant.” Sushi has always been the most common way of eating sea urchin, but nowadays creative chefs are competing with each other to propose “new” ways to eat sea urchin. Here we will introduce some restaurants that will let you enjoy everyone’s favorite sea urchin in a “new” and “fun” way.

Sushi Tokami “Warm and cold sea urchin gunkan sushi roll”

Chef Sato created this original dish inspired by the warm and cold oolong tea served at the famous French restaurant, L’Effervescence. Warm sea urchin sounds a little gross, but be amazed at the taste. The two different temperatures pull out different characters of sea urchin, and the taste is completely different from that of an ordinary sea urchin gunkan roll.

Kanemasu “Wagyu and sea urchin roll”

The combination of Wagyu and sea urchin has become a standard in restaurants around Tokyo, but this is where it all started. The elegant sweetness of sea urchin pulls out the deep flavor of Wagyu. This menu is simple, yet we think it is a masterpiece to remember in the history of modern Japanese culinary art.

Tominokoji Yamagishi “Sea urchin norimaki”

This menu is called the “Sea urchin dog” on SNS sites. Apparently you can enjoy this with your eyes before even taking a bite. It is rather scary to imagine how high the food cost is for this dish, because they use high quality Bafun sea urchin from Hokkaido. It’s acting as a great marketing item for this restaurant, though.

Japanese cuisine TAKEMOTO “Rice cooked with sea urchin”

This is the hidden specialty of this hide-out restaurant run by the chef who served his apprenticeship at the famous “Kanetanaka.” Sea urchin rice and sea urchin rice bowls are served everywhere, but this is one of the very few places that serve one that really tastes great. Creamy sea urchin and delicious smelling rice steamed with dashi create a perfect match.

Tempura Motoyoshi “Sea urchin on shiso tempura”

This is another one of the sea urchin creations that you can’t forget. The shiso leaf tempura is fried to a crispy touch, and combined with sea urchin it triggers the sweetness and rich flavor to its maximum. Tempura from a tempura restaurant, but in this case it acts as a sidekick to let you enjoy fresh sea urchin.

Ginza Shimada “Sea urchin covered with rock lobster jelly”

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“Shimada” is a standing restaurant that assumingly has become popular within the restaurant scenes of Tokyo, and this is their signature starter. The smell of the ocean bursts inside your mouth when you put the sea urchin, fish egg and jelly all together with one bite. This is not a menu that features solo on sea urchin, but it’s worth a shot.

Italian bar Marte “Sea urchin pasta”

This is the signature pasta of the Italian restaurant produced by a known art director in the marketing business, who is famous to be a gourmet. It is a must for people who want to enjoy sea urchin casually in a Western style. The rather thick pasta is covered with rich creamy sea urchin sauce, and the taste is wonderful! Be sure to mix it well before putting it in your mouth.

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Everyone's favorite food, sea urchin. A carefully selected list to introduce you to some restaurants where the sea urchin is at its finest.

about 5 years ago 1480898971

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