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Ryugin in Roppongi

I went there last night and was totally blown away. The chef Seiji Yamamoto and Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz are soul brothers and Yamamoto recently amazed everyone at the Madrid confab with his squid ink silkscreens. Though the presentations are witty and sort of avante garde, he is firmly grounded in Kaiseki and shows some serious Wa shoku skills. The customers are wrapped up tight in brand name goods from their shoes to their sunglasses, but the atmosphere is totally casual, and Yamamoto himself could teach the Hawaiians a thing or two about aloha. The check for the course menu and 4 or 5 glasses of wine was about 200 US. I'm broke but happy. Has anyone else been to Ryugin? If so what did you think of it? I have to rate it a must-visit place. I will be posting more about this place with photos on my blog:

http://www.omoshirogourmet.blogspot.com/

I also want to make it clear to the moderators and anyone else, that I have no interest in this restaurant except as an amazed and satisfied customer.

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  1. Nobody knows this place? I've asked around and he doesn't have a big reputation in Tokyo I can't figure it out. Anyway I've posted some pretty lame photos of most of the courses on my blog if anyone cares. I think I'm going back there next week if he's open during the holiday Golden Week.
    http://omoshirogourmet.blogspot.com/i...

     
    1. Hey Steamer,

      I've been there. I went in January 2007 because I met one of the luckiest, most talented young chefs who happened to be doing an apprenticeship there. I had a 13 course menu with wine, sake, and shochu paired with the food. Highlights: Anglerfish liver with Bourbon-Mustard foam and poached spring onion. Spicy wild boar soup with saffron. Sashimi - including the best piece of toro that money can buy. MAN.

      I'll shut up, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And what other crazy food/wine freaks have the nerve to pair a Sancerre with toro - it worked too!

      One of the best meals I've ever had in my life. Best 200 bucks I've ever spent on a meal.

      -Nate

      Currently eating my way around SE Asia: http://benetnate.blogspot.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nate Uri

        Cool, Nate, glad to hear some one else agrees. I was beginning to wonder if it was just my imagination. You can't dis Yamamoto for the foam either because he makes it with an aquarium air pump. That Sancerre really works well with the Japanese tastes . I was dying to do a cookbook featuring the place but the suits where I work gave it the thumbs down saying: He's not famous or highly rated.
        Go figure, Yamamoto might not be famous now but it won't be long. Look forward to following your travels on your blog.

        13 courses, 13 drinks? sounds like a lucky number.
        Cheers
        Steamer

      2. Hope this thread is still alive. I am going to be in Tokyo for Golden Week and was thinking of giving this place a try. I am guessing this is the restaurant you went to? http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com/rese...

        Also is there a time limit on table? Looks like there are only a few seats in the place.

        5 Replies
        1. re: I make my own pickles

          According to that website, they have 12 table seats, 6 counter seats, and a private room for up to 8 people. They're huge!

          I seriously doubt there's a time limit at those prices. You usually only see time limits at all-you-can-eat places.

          1. re: I make my own pickles

            I just went there on Monday again, that is the place, No time limit--I think it took us about 3 hours to get through the course. It was very good the second time but did not totally blow my mind like the first time I went, maybe because the market is closed?. When I hit the lottery I'd love to do the matching drinks course.

            1. re: steamer

              Am booked at Ryugin next week thanks to all the reviews here and am really excited. Which menu should I pick? Am debating between the 15k or the 21k one. Would like to spend some money on wine as well and not sure if it is worth it to splurge for the 21k.

              1. re: HKTraveler

                Don't know how to advise you here, I've fallen on hard times and have taken to hanging out at a butcher shop that fires up the grill for a couple of hours in the evening and sells cans of beer out of a fridge for 250 yen.

                Ryugin does have wine by the glass if that's any help and I don't think you would go wrong with the cheaper course. Last time I was there Asashoryu was sitting at the next table.

                1. re: steamer

                  Wind up picking the cheaper course since some friends of mine are going as well. Don't want to give them a heart attack when the check arrives! Will let you all know how it goes.

          2. So I have the option of going out to eat next week with my boss and he has instructed me to choose any place I want. This is fabulous since I can barely afford to eat out here in Tokyo. I'm very torn between Ryugin (after reading the fab reviews) and the Tapas Molecular Bar at the Mandarin Oriental. If anyone here has been to both can you provide any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

            3 Replies
            1. re: taryn

              Been to both and would recommend Ryugin. Molecular Bar is a more fancy experience in that you get to try the miracle fruit, low temperature cooked beef for 24 hours and other fancy items like that. But for tastiness, I prefer Ryugin.

              1. re: HKTraveler

                I'm going tonight, woo hoo! To Ryugin that is.
                I forgot my camera unfortunately, if it's that delicious then I'll go back and take pictures next time.

                1. re: lost squirrel

                  I shouldn't have had 上ランチ today because I'm not hungry now.

            2. I booked a table for saturday based on your recommendation.
              why are they asking me now which menu i want?
              i picked the seasonal one ....
              will write a short report when done...

              22 Replies
              1. re: Hot Chocolate

                They asked because they have different priced menus 15000, 21,000, 26,000
                and they need to figure out how how much of what and when is needed on any given night. All the menus are seasonal so I wonder what you actually ordered. Hope to see your report.

                1. re: steamer

                  sad to say i missed Ryugin ... tried to reschedule but they were closed sunday and fully booked mon...then they closed shop thurs and fri to go to korea for some kind of festival. i was in kyoto tues / wed .... next time. went to their blog to check out your pics. looks interesting and i wanted to go there ... from your pics looks like a japanese WD-50 (NYC restaurant). i wanted to try the cork thing you photographed haha.

                  1. re: steamer

                    Hi Steamer, thanks for your review. I am going to Tokyo soon and want to try Ryugin based on your recommendation. Do you recommend 15k, 21k or 26k menu? Do you know what is the difference between the 3 selections?

                    1. re: FourSeasons

                      FourSeasons
                      You are lucky, in my opinion fall is the best season for eating in Japan and the weather has finally cooled down a bit.

                      Go for the 21k or 26k if it won't break your budget. The 26k includes a meat course.

                      If you make a reservation after 9 pm you can order ala carte, but for your first time you ought go the whole 9 yards.

                      You might also ask the maitre d if you can see the kitchen, very interesting, and if you can speak Japanese you can have a brief chat with chef Yamamoto if he is in.

                      Cheers
                      Steamer

                      1. re: steamer

                        Hi Steamer:
                        Thanks for your quick reply. I will definitely make a reservation once I check into the hotel. Maybe you can provide a free preview of what is so interesting in the kitchen as this is the first time somebody asked me to check out the kitchen as well.

                        1. re: FourSeasons

                          Well as a former chef the kitchen was pretty interesting to me, but if you aren't interested in that sort of thing, it might not be all that exciting. It was just a kind of unique set up and there were a lot of people working back there in a very relaxed atmosphere. I like his foam making machine which was a plexiglass box hooked up to a buzzing aquarium pump.

                          1. re: steamer

                            Hi
                            I just came back from Tokyo (my first time) and read this review before i went and decided to go for it. Many thanks to steamer for posting this tip here. My Monday and Tuesday were dedicated toward eating my way through Tokyo, and I think Monday will go into my personal history of best eating day ever. Went for lunch to Kyubei in Ginza, and ate the 11 course sushi menu (unbelievable, and I have been to masa, marimoto etc in NYC, this is almost three steps above!). And then at night to Ryu GIn.

                            Totally worth the experience. I had the 21k menu plus a sake pairing. FYI to give other reaing this an option to rate my comments, my family is in the wine biz and I deal and eat a lot with many famous chefs, I have eaten several times in many of Europes 3 star restaurants and the 5 star ones in the US (the usual suspects) so I have some sort of comparison scale, though unfortunately not a perfect palate as many of my family members.

                            Not being able to read kanji and not familiar with the restaurant I didn't know what to expect, but was glad to have taken a risk.

                            I have eaten similar food prepared by Ferran Adria - El Bulli, Spain - and in Chicago (name just escapes me) plus some borderline deconstructed food such as by Rick Tramanto from True, also Chicago and some of Thomas Kellers sur vide cooking.

                            My review (please note we are talking here on a very high level, most restaurants will never get there - general recommendation is, go as long as you can still get in!)
                            The food holds up very well for every course with both Keller and Adria, as a matter of fact, some courses exceed in my opinion. His fig foie gras combo paired with the sake was outstanding (I don't have my notes with me, so I can't report details) and the opener of edamame foam with pulvericed ice cream was one of the best things ever. the sushi course explored new taste options by adding a plum sauce and three different home made salts (one crushed shrimp salt) which really brought you to new levels of palate experiences and revealed the different taste components in each piece of sushi depending on your new combo of salt and sauce.
                            The main dishes sort of lacked a bit in comparison to appetizer and desert. The fish rice dish was a bit disappointing (on a high level though), maybe because it came after so many very defined tastes and our palate was over stimulated, dealing then with a simple rice dish, thought the hint of lime still was very fresh at the end of the menu. Not being a desert person, and never expecting to much of desert, because it is a tough thing for most high end chefs - the surprise was the last course the pulverized ice cream with truffels. This one dish could have well been worth the whole visit. If it would have been for the foie gras and the sushi already before.

                            But one of the most amazing experiences for me was the sake pairing with each course. I can only URGE every wine person, who is like me not that experienced with sake to spend the extra 5k per person. the sommelier is excellent, and your learnings about sake and the different tastes and menu pairings will be fast forwarded on a speed you can't imagine. That said drink carefully - or at the end of 7 full sake glasses you'll be hammered ;-).

                            An outstanding experience overall, the sommelier speaks excellent English (a blessing in the sky with this menu) has superior pairing skills - again, if you can spend the extra money go for his sake pairing!!! - , and the food is really an experience even for the most jaded eater. Japanese cuisine seems to lend itself much better to semi-deconstructed food then western food. also if the standards of French high cuisine are applied - to taste every single ingredient - Yamamoto achieved it in every course. the tastes don't blend they linger and each reaches you after the other so you are well aware of each separate ingredient you are tasting.

                            Summary: worth the insight for any westerner in modern Japanese cuisine, and worth the experience for a traveling foodie.
                            Price: $$$

                            1. re: nimmersatt

                              Hi nimmersatt: thanks for your review. I have made a reservation for next Tuesday based on the review of steamer. I am really having high expectation now based on the great reviews from both of you. Anyway, may i just know why you picked the 21k menu instead of 26k. And did you request the sommelier to choose the 7 different sake or did you order directly from the menu? Appreciate your reply. Thanks.

                              1. re: FourSeasons

                                we choose the 21k menu because we couldn't read the menu and just went with the middle ground - lol. for the sake pairing we asked the sommelier to pair sake according to the menu. I don't really know anything about sake and would not have been able to pair it myself - even if I could have read the menu ;-). it was 5k per person, which i thought was very reasonable, considering that if we would have ordered a good bottle of wine (also hard without knowing what you will eat) it would have been a similar price or more.

                                1. re: nimmersatt

                                  Interesting to hear what you thought about Ryugin. The food has a certain pacing there, not every dish is a knockout, he does something good to very good but not Earth shattering then the next course he blows you away. His Tai meshi is a perfect rendition of a classic dish-- not flashy at all--but subtle, I was impressed by the way he handled that dish, my Japanese x-wife was less impressed, but they wrapped it up for us to go and we shared it with her uber-Japanese mom who thought it was the best. As you found, you don't need to be an expert in Japanese food and drink to enjoy Ryugin. But if you are knowledgeable it does add another dimension of enjoyment.

                              2. re: nimmersatt

                                "the sushi course explored new taste options by adding a plum sauce and three different home made salts (one crushed shrimp salt) which really brought you to new levels of palate experiences and revealed the different taste components in each piece of sushi depending on your new combo of salt and sauce."

                                when we had this dish, I thought that some of the combos just didn't work though we were encouraged to mix and match any variation. it was definitely fun to eat, but our white fish (sorry can't recall what type) was very "tendony" and quite difficult to chew.

                                I did feel that the tai meshi was a bit underseasoned. I think it would have benefited from a tiny bit of salt, and then I think it would have been perfect.

                                lastly, it seemed that a majority of our dishes were cold custards, and while they were exquisitely flavored (really!) and delicious i was surprised at the similarity in texture and temperature of so many dishes on one tasting menu.

                                1. re: taryn

                                  Hi tary, so do you recommend this place at 21K or more for their tasting menu ? Thanks.

                                  1. re: skylineR33

                                    if i were to go back i would get a more expensive course just to see what i missed :) i was being treated when i went, so we all got the basic one.

                                    report back if you go!

                                    1. re: taryn

                                      Wow! I have heard nothing but PRAISE about Ryugin on this board!! With the impending release by Michelin of its ' Tokyo Guide ' in November, I wonder how many stars will they award Ryugin?! Just out of curiosity, which Tokyo restaurant (s), if any, will get 3 stars?

                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        I agree - not all sushi/salt/sauce combis worked equally good - but as far as I understand the trick of a sushi tasting meal (or course) is that you also have a taste amongst it which might not please your palate. it is meant to higthen the pleasing tastes. at least thats the explanation one sushi master gave to to me.

                                        My sushi course was excellent, and I found the new combis quite inspiring. Also, our tasting menu had lots of different textures and dishes.

                                        reading your review and steamers second post, I come to think that maybe the quality differs quite a bit depending who's in the kitchen. At our night it Yamamoto himself was in the kitchen, because he came out and talked to the people at the table next to us. If that's true, he has to get a handle on it for being put into the two star Michelin category, since consistency is one of their big pet peeves.
                                        Three stars might be still a a real stretch, but he seemed to be very young so theres tiem to mature. Though again, I am not so experienced in Japanese cuisine so I might not judge it from a correct perspective.

                                        1. re: nimmersatt

                                          [quote]I agree - not all sushi/salt/sauce combis worked equally good - but as far as I understand the trick of a sushi tasting meal (or course) is that you also have a taste amongst it which might not please your palate. it is meant to higthen the pleasing tastes. at least thats the explanation one sushi master gave to to me.[quote]

                                          I'm not sure I understand this. Do you mean that if you try something bad, it makes everything else taste better?

                                          I will agree with Taryn about the white fish, it was not good. The texture was definitely off.

                                          1. re: nimmersatt

                                            How did you find out Ryugin is a Michelin 2 stars? I thought the guide won't be out till mid-November? Apart from Ryugin any more pre-released results?! Any 3 stars in Tokyo?

                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                              I don't know, I took a wild guess... (about the stars). do that always with my chef friends and coworkers. bet on the stars and then see what happens. lost big time just now in NYC, thought Per Se would go down one star (thought it was sort of worn out and to restricted in the choices). Also had some bets out who would get one or two stars which didn't come through. But craft was finally stripped ha.

                                              And its not something bad, it is something which might not please you personal palate. big difference. And again, my white fish was fine.

                                              Anyway I am the proverbial fish out of water here, because clearly i don't know enough about Japanese food to really make definitve staements. So I will retract to my regular hunting grounds... until my next eating trip to Tokyo in January. Thanks to everyone for posting their insight here so I could have those great Tokyo eating experiences. If it would have been for everyone on this board, I would have been (sorry to use it) lost in translation!

                                              1. re: nimmersatt

                                                I don't think anyone has shown any vast knowledge of Japanese cuisine in this thread, but if they keep eating in places like ryugin it won't be long before they do learn a lot. The "sushi course" is actually a sashimi course and one time my white fish was sinewy and one time it was not. As for the different salts, like em or not is all a matter of taste, I enjoyed them all but I probably liked the yuzu salt best. Should be interesting to see if the Michelin folks even made it there. Nimmersatt have a good trip next year.

                                                1. re: nimmersatt

                                                  I just tried Ryugin last night. Thanks to steamer for recommending it. Thanks to nimmersatt for recommending the 7 course sake course (I only managed 5 though) which I found out was not in the menu. It turns out that Takeo-san (the sommelier) remembered nimmersatt-san and provide the same service to me.
                                                  Yes, I find Ryugin outstanding and the chef to be extremely creative, both with the food and the presentation. Some dishes were simply amazing, such as the fioe gras with seasame (???), kobe beef. There were 2 courses that I find average, such as the sashimi (perhaps I just had sushi Kyubei for my lunch on the same day) and the smoked oyster. But overall, I love it and will come back again on my next trip.
                                                  On the issue of 21k vs 26k, the difference is the kobe beef, which not only melts on your mouth but have a soupy feeling. There is also a Special menu course which cost 30k, and the difference is an addition caviar course. For those willing to splurge, I recommend 26k course as the kobe beef is simply unbelievable.

                                                  1. re: FourSeasons

                                                    Took the cheapest course last time i was there. Will have to give Ryugin another try next time with the 26k course and sake pairing! Thank you for the recommendation.

                                                    1. re: HKTraveler

                                                      This reply is not necessarily just for HK Traveler but I was intrigue to know if anyone ever tried the 15k course? iIf yes, what was included in the 15k course? Perhaps it is a vegetarian kaiseki course?

                      2. Just back from a week in Tokyo and wanted to try this place out on your recommendations, and I was very impressed. It was a rainy Monday night so the place was pretty quiet, but all the better to spend time with the sommelier, who definitely speaks the best English in the restaurant (I know 5 words in Japanese), and who seemingly devoted himself to making sure I had a good experience. Within the last month they have added an English menu, and although the descriptions are fairly lean, it does give you an idea about what you'll be eating for the next 3 hours.

                        I ended up selecting the 26k menu, since who knows when I'll make it back to Tokyo, and I have to say that I thought the beef course was really outstanding. Chef Yamamoto did a Miyagi beef sous vide... it was extremely tasty. Yamamoto chose the Miyagi beef since it has a much lower fat ratio than the Kobe/Matsuzaka cows, and so when you bite into it you get more juice and beef than that buttery fat from the other cows. It was great. The 13 or so other courses I had were equally amazing; I wish I took some notes because the sake pairings definitely enhanced the blissful state I was in after eating the food. Some of the other dishes I remember vividly though were: an oyster with a citrus jelly on top and smoke-infused sauce underneath; a shark fin soup with matsutake mushrooms; a whitefish with shaved chestnuts and citrus foam; a candy apple frozen at -168 degrees, with powder inside that became apple pie on your tongue. The sushi course was very delicious, with 3 different salts and a sauce to choose from, and I thought the squid was even tastier than the piece I had at Kyubei the following day.

                        I was a little disappointed I didnt speak Japanese when I saw Yamamoto chatting with some of the other tables, but when I was leaving, he came out to say goodbye, and the sommelier did some quick translating for me. He is an extremely hard-working chef, putting together so many exquisite dishes each night, constantly trying to remain innovative while incorporating seasonal, fresh ingredients. It's certainly not inexpensive, but if you can afford it, it's a very unusual experience that will not leave you disappointed.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: JS0720

                          Hi JS0720, how's your meal at Kyubei ? Thanks.

                          1. re: skylineR33

                            While I dont want to draw focus away from Ryugin on this thread, I thought that Kyubei was awesome. It was my only upscale sushi experience in Tokyo and I was sort of nervous about the language barrier while sitting at the counter, but the chefs are extremely personable and did their best to make me feel at home. I did the set menu which included 10 or 11 pieces of sushi and one roll. The fish was all top quality (the prawn was literally squirming on the plate before it was served to me), and I am still dreaming about the o-toro they served. It was heavenly. I was prepared to pay around 10k, and I think with tax the meal was under 6k. Not cheap... but I might have considered going back at that price! Definitely a worthwhile experience.

                          2. re: JS0720

                            Good news bad news. Yamamoto got 2 Michelin stars. He was stoked and vowed to do even better in the future. The bad news? It's going to be mighty tough to get a seat at Ryugin.

                            1. re: steamer

                              Hi Steamer: how did you know that Ryugin get Michelin 2 star? How do we get the official list?

                              1. re: FourSeasons

                                I just happened to see Yamamoto on the news last night. If you check out another thread on 3 stars there is a link to a list of all the starred restaurants in Japanese. Guess I will have to pick up the guide in Japanese.

                              2. re: steamer

                                That would not be good. The place is small already and I can't imagine getting on the wait list as a out-of-towner. Will be there soon and will try to squeeze another meal in before the flood gate opens!

                                Do you know who the other 2 or 3 stars are?

                                1. re: steamer

                                  Some foodies might based their dining decision solely on Michelin for guidance, but, with 8 three stars, 25 two stars and a whopping 117 eateries with one star, choices for fine food/dining in Tokyo is simply mindboggling. I don't think there'll be a mad rush to Ryugin

                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                    This is status conscious Japan and the Michelin guide will carry a lot of weight. When good places come on the radar in Tokyo they tend to get packed, and Ryugin has only 18 seats plus private room. The Michelin guide only touched the surface, there still are a lot more good places to eat than you can shake a stick at.
                                    Earlier this year I wanted to do a Ryugin cookbook, but the rubes where I was working said, "no way this guy is not famous," well he sure is going to be famous now. Oh yeah, it looks like Nimmersat was clairvoyant on the 2 stars.

                              3. Has anyone been since the introduction of the late-night a la carte menu? What are prices like? Are specialties like the Ayu(when in season) and -196 Apple/Pear available?

                                17 Replies
                                1. re: AK21

                                  i was there for dinner a couple of weeks ago. went for the dinner omakase.

                                  group of 4, was seated in a nice little room, that was a nice touch. However, and especially seeing ryugin was the one blow-out dinner i wanted to try during the trip, the experience was slightly disappointing, and this is why:

                                  - sashimi starter. chef served "tai". unfortunately, it was the most stringy (connective tissue) two pieces of fish i (and my friends) have had. in fact, my 3 other friends felt it was so chewy that they only ate one of the two pieces. as a 3 star restaurant, and when you remove the plate (seeing 50% of the food left behind from 75% of the table), that should have sounded alarm bells. they didnt really ask, so my friend took the initiative of giving feedback. service staff explained that they are aware that the tai is stringy, her explanation was that "japanese people like stringy sashimi"...

                                  i'm not sure if that's the case, but i thought that wasnt the best of explanations. also considering, when we were there, the bulk of the clientele that night were not speaking japanese.

                                  - stuffed braised squid. lovely taste. but, the chef preparing it left bits of the "plastic-like" spine of the squid in it. this, unfortunately, is also not what you would expect from a 3 star michelin restaurant.

                                  - overall service. they tried to give the place a french style, straight face 3 star michelin service. ie, place is not inviting, no warm smiles, no thoughtful gestures, no genuine "i really want to share my food with you", good ol' japanese hospitality that one would receive elsewhere. too commercial, too cold, too hard. compare them and my lunch at ginza okuda - miles apart. special mention to the guy at the front desk in okuda. amazing thoughtful service. Having a stoic cold service image is fine, but if that's the case, make sure there is no mistake in your food. pple tend to be less forgiving to those who are less forgiving.

                                  to cap the night, the service staff said that they had told the chef our feedback, and the chef will definitely come out to say bye as we leave. 1-2minutes later, the same service staff was standing at the reception desk as we were walking out. we were expectant (to see the chef), but it was as if she never mentioned anything about the chef. bizarre.

                                  paying the kind of prices you do at ryugin (with alcohol etc.), one would expect the food and service to be tip top. unfortunately, i did not have that level of experience there that night. maybe the sous chef and service crew were having an off day.

                                  (ak21, the apple/pear has now been changed to a strawberry. still innovative, still good.)

                                  1. re: comamos

                                    what was the menu priced at?

                                    i was there on new years eve, and it was priced at 32k yen -- was wondering if that was a special new year's thing, or their new price.

                                    1. re: comamos

                                      Sounds like it could be an off night. I don't know, ultimately I wasn't at your table so I can't comment. I've never had outright cold service at Ryugin, so it surprises me that they came off that way.

                                      I can however say that as far as sashimi goes Japanese people do appreciate different textures in fish including the firmness/chewiness of Tai or say the crunch of Engawa. It doesn't all have to melt in your mouth. I've had "stringy" pieces of fish at a lot of higher end restaurants in Japan so I don't think the server was lying to in that case.

                                      1. re: comamos

                                        re: tai, i had tai at two sushi-ya during my recent trip to japan (taichi / kanesaka). the tai at both places were "stringy". perhaps that's the nature of the fish? although i must admit that i don't have it often enough to say for sure; we don't really get tai as sashimi/sushi in singapore, where i live.

                                        1. re: akated

                                          if it was merely crunchy, i'm fine with - and in fact, many white/transparent sashimi does taste like that (tai, fugu even) and i actually like the crunchy texture. However, to have stringy/sinewy slices of sashimi at a 3 star restaurant, and for the staff to do nothing about it (after they cleared 3 plates of unfinished sashimi - clearly a sign of displeasure) is not saying alot about the food/service. Unfortunate experience i guess...

                                          heard they've just opened a ryugin in hong kong as well - hopefully standards are higher there. I heard they will be as pricey...

                                          1. re: comamos

                                            Or, again, it could just be the Japanese Palate.

                                        2. re: comamos

                                          Hi. I'm planning a trip to Tokyo and after reading your review, I will probably not be
                                          trying Ryugin. I was wondering, what were your most positive dining experiences in
                                          Tokyo, recently?

                                          1. re: EZM

                                            Just fyi mine and most other's experiences at Ryugin where the polar opposite of comamos' so to write Ryugin off on the strength of this negative review among a trove of generally positive ones is a bit ridiculous.

                                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                              I agree. In the same vein, you can forgo all restaurants since you will be able to find naysayers even for the best restaurants.

                                              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                                Thanks for your perspective. You are right...I'm sure.

                                                1. re: EZM

                                                  Ditto to the Notorious PIG. While my favorite meal on a very recent trip to Tokyo was Aronia de Takezawa (a more intimate, personal, and "molecular" experience), RyuGin was terrific. It was also named to a top 50 worldwide restaurants list yesterday, so book RyuGin now if you want a spot.

                                                  1. re: marcf

                                                    Thanks for the perspective. I'm looking into both (Aronia and RyuGin).

                                                    1. re: EZM

                                                      on a side note, does this mean you have secured reservations for Aronia? and therefore it's not closing?

                                                      see here (last few posts):

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/507444

                                                      1. re: akated

                                                        No, I have not. And, I have not decided. I am just doing research in advance. I would not be going to Japan until next year, but read that some reservations need
                                                        to be in place at least 6 months in advance. Still sorting out my priorities, so I cannot speak to the future of the restaurant.

                                                        1. re: akated

                                                          I just replied to my original query/comment. It seems Aronia de Takazawa is closed, but it has reopened as Takazawa. Not sure what that means in terms of the cooking style (or the style of the restaurant), but they mention a focus on Japanese products (didn't they already focus on Japanese ingredients?).

                                                          Anyway, the website is currently undergoing an update, so there's not much information about the new place right now. Hopefully someone can go soon and report back!

                                                          1. re: prasantrin

                                                            ginza ozuda was pretty good for lunch. impeccable service, and food was top quality and well thought-through.

                                                            with ryugin, as I said... I think kitchen wise, it was an off-day for them. Service-wise, I think they need to learn how to better handle customers. (although, i did have a friend who visited them recently, and was not impressed as well. I think it's the cost to satisfactor ratio, at the end of the day).

                                                            that said, my friends tried ryugin in hong kong recently, and said it was fantastic though - suspect the chef has been paying more attention in hkg during the time I was there.