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Apr 4, 2007 11:55 PM

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:

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.

    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.


      Currently eating my way around SE Asia:

      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.

      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?

        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. The original comment has been removed