Tokyo Table Trip

Logo discover 8a060a5a25d78a2d81322b0a16884eb1c05869ebadb772a16350e198984e5cfb

The world of Japanese cooking has been described as the "MMA of cooking."
Perhaps it is because apprenticeships typically last over 10 years, but new Japanese restaurants tend to be established at a much slower rate than sushi restaurants.
Despite this, thanks to several combined factors there was a large wave of new traditional Japanese restaurants that opened in 2018.
This article will introduce 7 new kappo-ryori restaurants that have been bestowed with high expectations to advance within the world of Japanese cuisine.
If any of these restaurants stand out to you, be sure to visit soon before it gets hard to make a reservation!

1. Kutan

"Kutan" is run by Kotaro Nakajima, who spent 10 years working at Michelin 3-star kappo-ryori restaurant "Kanda."
The omakase course here is a bit pricey for a new restaurant at 23,000 yen and up, but it has received excellent reviews from foodies who heard rumors about a great new restaurant after its grand opening, and some people have gone so far as to call it the "#1 new restaurant of the year."
Chef Nakajima is also acquainted with Chef Hiroyuki Sato of "Hakkoku," and the famous "Maguro no Tossaki no Hoso-Maki," made with meat from the head of the tuna, from "Hakkoku" is included in the omakase course at "Kutan."
Considering the clear talent that is behind this restaurant, it's only a matter of time before reservations are hard to come by.
If you're a fan of Japanese cuisine and are visiting Tokyo this winter, we highly recommend visiting this restaurant.

◆Kutan
Address: 2-5-5 Shintomi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line's "Shintomi Station"
Phone: 03-5543-0335
Hours: 17:30~
Budget: 30,000 yen and up
Closed: Sundays, holidays
Credit cards accepted

2. Yamazaki

The owner of "Yamazaki," Shiro Yamazaki, worked at famous restaurant "Morikawa" for 7 years.
He had previously run a chicken specialty restaurant called "Kashiwa Kappo Shiro" in Nishi-Azabu, but he has now decided to get a fresh start and open a full-fledged kappo-ryori restaurant with his name on it.
While only done in a short amount of time before "Yamazaki" opened, Chef Yamazaki frequently stopped by the kitchens of iconic Japanese restaurants "CHIUnE" and "Aca" to brush up on his grilling techniques. As such, the delightful flavors of charcoal grilling on the suppon (soft-shelled turtle) and unagi served in the omakase course (20,000 yen and up) are absolutely top-notch.
Enjoy your meal paired with sake and wine recommended by Chef Yamazaki, who is also a qualified sommelier.

◆Yamazaki
Address: 1-15-3 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line's "Nogizaka Station"
Phone: 03-6812-9848
Hours: 17:30~
Budget: 20,000-29,999 yen
Closed: Mondays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, AMEX)

3. Kasumicho Yamagami

Chef Tomosuke Yamagami worked for 10 years at "Kasumicho Suetomi," which was closed by its owner this spring to much sadness from its fans.
Chef Yagami inherited the restaurant, its staff, and all of the cooking utensils from his former boss, opening up his own restaurant that stayed true to the kappo-ryori style "Suetomi" was known for.
Regulars from "Suetomi" have praised the omakase course (15,000 yen and up) at "Yamagami," stating that the high-quality dishes have "truly been passed down." The suppon at Yamagami is carefully grilled over charcoal while being coated in a special house-made tare sauce, leading to an intense aroma and delightful texture. Just one bite and the rich flavors coat your tongue with deliciousness!
If you were disappointed in the closing of "Suetomi," rest assured that "Yamagami" is a true successor and rejoice!

◆Kasumicho Yamagami
Address: 3F 4-2-13 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line's "Hiroo Station"
Phone: 03-5466-1270
Hours: 18:00-23:00
Budget: 30,000 yen and up
Closed: Mondays

4. Nishi-Azabu Towa

The owner of "Nishi-Azabu Towa" is Chef Takaaki Tsuneyasu, who has worked at famous restaurants "Kikunoi" and "Kanda."
Chef Tsuneyasu has stated that he "loves wagyu beef more than anything," and his new style of Japanese cuisine made using high-quality wagyu beef has caught the attention of gourmands.
The contents of the omakase course (18,000 yen and up) change by the day, but you're sure to find great wagyu beef, like fillets, rib roasts, tongue, and sirloins of "Tamura" brand wagyu beef.
Chef Tsuneyasu's great sense allows him to come up with unique combinations and preparations, like pairing beef tongue with sweet oval squid, making him a pioneer for new dishes using wagyu beef.
It's rare to find a restaurant where you can enjoy both wagyu beef and high-quality Japanese cuisine together, so there's no doubt that "Nishi-Azabu Towa" will continue to gain more and more popularity as time goes on.

★Nishi-Azabu Towa
Address: 2F 4-11-25 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line's "Hiroo Station"
Phone: 03-6433-5680
Hours: 18:00~
Budget: 20,000-29,999 yen
Closed: Sundays
Credit cards accepted

5. Nihon Ryori Wakabayashi

Chef Koji Wakabayashi spent 10 years working at Michelin 3-star restaurant "Aoyama Esaki," which has now closed thanks to the loss of its owner.
"Wakabayashi" sources and purchases its seafood the same way that "Esaki" did, and its vegetables are hand-selected by Chef Wakabayashi himself from local farmers.
The omakase course (9800 yen) includes the same "Kinki no Nitsuke (Simmered Kichiji Rockfish)" that had many fans at "Esaki."
The skin on the rockfish is crispy while the flesh is tender, resulting in a must-try dish packed with delicious umami flavors.
If you're looking to enjoy high-quality Japanese cuisine for under 10,000 yen, be sure to consider "Wakabayashi"!

★Nihon Ryori Wakabayashi
Address: 2F 4-9-3 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line's "Gaiemmae Station"
Phone: 03-3408-4723
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00-15:00 (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays only)
[Dinner] 18:00-23:00
Budget: 10,000-14,999 yen
Closed: Irregular holidays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

6. Nishi-Azabu Otake

This restaurant is owned by Chef Tatsuya Otake, who trained for 16 years at "Takada Hassho" in Gifu.
He is the younger pupil of Chef Haruhiko Yamamoto, the owner of popular Tokyo restaurant "Haruyama."
The omakase course (15,000 yen) here is distinctive thanks to its inclusion of some western-style dishes among the traditional Japanese dishes Chef Otake learned from his training. While the omakase course is not particularly flashy, foodies and gourmands all agree that the flavors of the dishes are top-notch.
Otake is a full-fledged kappo-ryori restaurant rather than an izakaya, so it's even more surprising that it stays open past midnight, something not too common even in metropolitan Tokyo.
It's still fairly easy to get a reservation, so be sure to keep Nishi-Azabu Otake in mind if you're looking for a convenient kappo-ryori restaurant to visit!

★Nishi-Azabu Otake
Address: 1-4-23 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line's "Roppongi Station"
Phone: 03-6459-2833
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00-14:30 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only)
[Dinner] 18:00-25:00 (1am following day)
Budget: 20,000-29,999 yen
Closed: Irregular holidays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

7. Araikawa

This restaurant is run by Chef Tomoya Araikawa, who spent over 20 years working at restaurants such as "Kyoto Wakuden," "Azabu Yukimura," and "Ginza Shimada."
The omakase course (13,000 yen) at "Araikawa" is lauded for being of great value, and it includes a variety of dishes that pair well with sake, including shiba shrimp cream croquettes, charcoal-grilled young sweetfish, and fried tiger puffer fish.
Their super-popular dish "Karasumi Soba," a legacy brought from "Yukimura" and "Ginza Shimada," has a deliciously hearty flavor.
As we've heard from you readers of TokyoTableTrip that the quality at "Shimada" has gone down, we strongly recommend trying "Araikawa" as a replacement.

★Araikawa
Address: 1-5-7 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station: Toei Oedo Line's "Azabu-Juban Station"
Phone: 03-6804-1445
Hours: 18:00~
Budget: 20,000-29,999 yen
Closed: Irregular holidays
Credit cards not accepted

Add a comment

  • Add photos

Comments Icon comments 20b52f1dd59ace07b92433da2a385e6f7392eb2937032eebc2a0bd0b67c69516 2


Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Yamazaki, which is already booming in popularity, seems to have been awarded one star by Michelin Tokyo 2019 within three months of its opening.
We recommend that you visit the restaurant once if you are interested before it gets hard to even get a reservation.

almost 2 years ago

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 1
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

guest

saito san
How was your meal at Morikawa?

almost 2 years ago

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

2018 is the year of Japanese cuisine in Tokyo!
Many highly anticipated restaurants have opened.

about 2 years ago

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 1
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

guest

Leo, what are your top 3 musts restaurants NOW in Tokyo and Osaka? Thank you!

over 1 year ago