Fantastic Kaiseki in Tokyo
I'm in Tokyo for two weeks, and I've got enough budgeted for one more really nice meal before I go home on Friday.
I'd prefer it to be a traditional Japanese kaiseki type meal, and was wondering if someone could recommend a good place to go for it. I'm staying at the ANA Hotel in Tameike/Akasaka, but I'm willing to travel a bit. Must be able to start as late as 7:30 or so since I'm working days.
Price range preferably 15000-20000 yen, although I can go a little higher if need be (or lower if something good can be had for less!)
Looking forward to some great suggestions. Thanks!
So I ended up at Kikunoi on Tuesday night... what a great recommendation!
The meal and restaurant were, in a word: fantastic! One of the most beautiful--and delicious--meals I've ever had. I've had only one kaiseki style meal to compare it to, at Hashimoto near Toronto. Hashimoto is very special for what/where it is, but doesn't even compare to the "real thing" in tokyo.
Service was top notch, each course was beautifully prepared, and the restaurant itself was a gem in the middle of Tokyo's urban-ness as well. I can't really begin to recall each individual course... although the ones that stood out were the most 'unique'... they brought out a pair of flopping fish in a basket, for example, and seemed to be asking my approval about something (in Japanese)... I just smiled and nodded, and moments later, the fishies show up on my plate, crispy grilled. Now that's fresh!
Other courses were fantastic as well, from sashimi/sushi to various types of mushrooms that came with their own wood grill, and on and on. The only semi-disappointing dish of the night was dessert, but perhaps only in comparison with the rest of the meal. In general, I find Japanese desserts are not my bag, so I may be biased.
Anyway, as I said, it was incredible from start to finish, and I even got to meet some nice people sitting at the counter (and one rather interesting, rather intoxicated older businessman with a very young companion who tried to make me guess how much he'd spent on dinner at the 'number one' kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto).
Major downside was I felt guilty my wife wasn't here to share it with me, as she would have loved it as well, but we'll definitely be making a non-work journey back here in a few years or so, so hopefully it will still be around.
Thanks again for the recommendation, steamer, and for all the other suggestions I sadly don't have time to try out.
PS - Coincidentally, I bought Chef Murata's new book on kaiseki two days before I'd ever heard of his restaurant, and didn't realize the two were related until I got there and he was showing it to some other customers. Funny!
A Japanese friend recently had kaiseki for LUNCH at Ichimatsu near Asakusa. It was 3,500 yen for lunch, and they also had a 5,000 yen lunch. Apparently it is much more expensive at dinner for the same thing. Reservations are highly recommended.
Surprisingly, they have a Web site.
More surprisingly, there is an English version.
Prices listed on the English web site are higher than what my friend paid, so maybe they have a "tourist rate." In any case, confirm prices when you reserve.