Tokyo Table Trip

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Happy New Year, everyone!
Since the new year is here, I'd like to announce the restaurants I'd like to visit this year.
Looking at it this way, there are many restaurants outside of Tokyo.
I hope that you will be able to visit Japan in 2022.
I hope this helps you choose the right restaurant!

1. Ensui (Kaiseki Cuisine, Tokyo)

Chef Ito, who underwent training at Ryugin, started this Kaiseki restaurant in December 2020. The restaurant received a star from Michelin Tokyo 2022. The dashi-making performance at the counter is reminiscent of the popular restaurants Kiyama and Kataori. The style of cooking, which is based on choosing high-quality ingredients and bringing out their flavors without overcomplicating things, is quite impressive. Currently the only Kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo that I frequent is Hoshino, so I'd like to visit Ensui in the near future as a possible contender for a new favorite.

Reservations can be made by phone or on omakase.
Phone: 03-5860-7530

2. Suetomi (Kaiseki Cuisine, Tokyo)

This Kaiseki restaurant was unfortunately closed at the height of its popularity in March 2018, but it has since reopened at a new location in Shibuya. Everyone says that their level of cooking is still one of the highest in Tokyo. Unfortunately, this time guests are accepted on an introduction-only basis, which makes it hard for first-timers to get a chance. I myself am also trying to get a reservation through an acquaintance, but no luck so far...
I'd love to visit sometime this year.

Address and phone number undisclosed

3. Sushi Sanshin (Sushi, Osaka)

This rising star restaurant was born in Osaka, a city long known as a barren-land for authentic Edomae-style sushi. The sushi is quite creative and made by the handsome owner Ishibuchi who has trained his craft for 21 years. I've heard that the chef's handiwork is so advanced that it will win over even sushi enthusiasts who have sampled Tokyo's most famous sushi restaurants. As usual it seems like the monthly race to book reservations on omakase is extremely competitive, but I'd love to have the chance to visit somehow.

Reservations can be made on omakase.

4. Kappo Chokichi (Duck Cuisine, Niigata)

This humble establishment located in the countryside of Niigata Prefecture is a two-hour ride from Tokyo by bullet train, but apparently their roasted duck cooked on an iron plate and served with grated radish is to die for...
The peak season for duck hunting in the area is in late December, so I missed it last year but I definitely want to visit this year.

Reservations can be made by phone.
Phone: 0256-86-2618

5. Seirin (Kaiseki Cuisine, Shizuoka)

This new Kaiseki restaurant is gaining popularity in Shizuoka, the prefecture which is also home to the famous unagi restaurant Sumiyaki Shun and tempura restaurant Naruse. Apparently the owner is only 32 years old. From what I've heard, they use local ingredients that are quite high-quality. In particular, it seems their early-Autumn menu featuring fresh, morning-picked matsutake mushrooms and wild eel is superb, so I'd love to visit them sometime during that season.

Reservations can be made on omakase.

6. Kyodai Sushi (Sushi, Niigata)

This popular restaurant is famous for its highly creative Edomae-style sushi that uses local fish exclusively. It is interesting how they are so particular about using local Niigata products, and not only the fish, but also the vinegar for seasoning the rice. "Since Niigata blackthroat seaperch feed on shrimp, we use shrimp miso for our blackthroat seaperch sushi." Stories like this about unusual sushi that can't be eaten anywhere else make this restaurant a must-try!

Reservations can be made on omakase.

7. SEZANNE (French Cuisine, Tokyo)

This was one of the most talked-about restaurants in 2021. English chef Daniel Calvert honed his skills in gourmet cities such as New York, Paris, and Hong Kong, and he has been highly acclaimed by chef Alain Ducasse. His arrival in Tokyo drew much attention. He has received much praise among gourmets for his unique interpretations of Japanese ingredients in the numerous dishes he creates. This is a restaurant I definitely want to try out in 2022.

Reservations can be made by phone.

8. Maruyasu (Fugu Cuisine, Hyogo)

When it comes to fugu, I prefer it grilled rather than as sashimi or hot pot. A certain foodie informed me that at Maruyasu, "everything is delicious, but the grilled fugu in particular is out of this world." The cost of a meal plus round-trip transportation from Tokyo would add up to about 100,000 yen, but I'd really like to visit sometime in the winter.

Reservations can be made by phone.

9. Nawaya (Kaiseki Cuisine, Kyoto)

A 2.5-hour train ride away from Kyoto Station makes this restaurant a challenge to get to, and although I haven't been there yet, it has long been on my list of places to try. Nawaya's cuisine is both delicate and sumptuous, and it is rated highly by prominent chefs. If possible I'd like to visit when the famous Taiza Snow Crab is in season.

Reservations can be made by phone.

10. Ramen FeeL (Ramen, Tokyo)

Opened in February 2021 by chef Watanabe who trained at the famous Iida Shouten shop, this restaurant is all the rage. The fact that it is run by a top student of Shota Iida, a famous ramen master of Japan, is enough to garner media attention. But it's not for nothing; rumor has it that the flavor of the soup and texture of the noodles have reached such perfection that they are ranked one of the best in Tokyo. The far distance from the center of Tokyo (just under two hours by train) is a hard pill to swallow, but...
I want to try it out sometime.

11. Oryori Fujii (Kaiseki Cuisine, Toyama)

Oryori Fujii, along with Kataori, is one of the Hokuriku region's most famous Kaiseki establishments. According to a famous chef who has been there, the food is absolutely stunning. If you decide to visit, crab season is the time to go. (Everyone says that Fujii during crab season is amazing!) I'll have to try hard to snag a reservation in November.

Reservations can be made by phone or Pocket concierge.

12. Shinkobe (Yakitori, Tokyo)

This is one of the restaurants that grabbed the attention of Tokyo gourmets in 2021. It received wide acclaim for its novel approach of grilling chicken over a wood fire instead of charcoal, bringing new appeal to the yakitori genre. Unfortunately, even though it's only been open for six months, they are completely booked. I suppose I just have to be patient and wait for my chance...

Reservations can be made on omakase.

13. (Tonkatsu, Tokyo)

This is a new restaurant by tonkatsu restaurant producer Sanasugi, who manages popular restaurants such as "Hinata." This restaurant is his love letter to pork. In addition to the familiar pork brands used at the tonkatsu restaurants I have visited so far, such as Tokyo X, Iwanaka pork, and Dorobuta pork, the restaurant is said to use pork from pigs all over Japan: Olive Pork, Saddleback Pork, Amagi Kurobuta Pork, Swabain-Hall Pork, Nasu Tsutsuji Pork, Awayuki Pork, Azumino Genki Pork, Izu Taiko Pork, Suzuki Farm Pork, Kinako Pork, Happiness Pork, and many others. The cutlets have a delicate batter coating and are highly rated. As a fan of tonkatsu, this is one restaurant that I'll definitely check out.

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Comments Icon comments 20b52f1dd59ace07b92433da2a385e6f7392eb2937032eebc2a0bd0b67c69516 4


It’s a pity that I didn’t know Saito san would like to visit Suetomi. I should have invited you along.

2 months ago 1664895768

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I actually like Ensui much better than kiyama. Thanks for the rec Saito San!

3 months ago 1662896817

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

So you went! I am looking forward to my fiirst visit next month!

3 months ago 1662942344
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@Leo Saito.
Yes! It is relatively easy to grab a seat right now but I imagine that will change soon. I saw there were at least two other male assistants behind the counter in addition to the chef couple, I assume they are doing pretty well (great!). The fish quality was high among newer restaurants, and sake was very reasonably priced (Kokuryu shizuku was 4000 per carafe, for example)

3 months ago 1663157442

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Here's a list of the hottest restaurants I would like to visit in 2022.

11 months ago 1643181390

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Look forward to seeing your impression of these restaurants in the coming days!

10 months ago 1643706767
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they all look super delicious! bon appetitsaito san!

9 months ago 1647102540
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Saito san, have you visited ENSUI yet and if so how do you think about it? Sounds like your expectation was very high to put it into your rotation with Hoshino! Thanks

3 months ago 1661637305


Any new sushi places in Tokyo on your radar?

9 months ago 1646730391

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Among the new restaurants that have opened in the past year or two, Ao, Ryujiro, and Shimazu seem to stand out by a head or two.

9 months ago 1647213482