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Aug 21, 2009 07:25 AM

Outstanding dinner in Japan recommendation, please

I'll be headng to Japan next month and want to try a fantastic fine dining meal. I've looked at the board to make a choice, but just wanted some more information. Some suggestions have likend a few picks to french standbys in New York ( Le Bernadin, Daniel, so on). So also by comparison (if one can be made) I'm looking for a Corton. Corton has been described better than I could here: http://nymag.com/restaurants/reviews/.... But simply stated it is new crop of fine dining, young chef, daring cuisine with french roots, excellent execution, and a bargain at $78 dinner prix fixe menu. Anything like this in in Japan- I'm not limited to Tokyo? Thanks, chowhounds!!!
So, also, if you haven't been to New York's Corton- do yourself a favor and go!!!!

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  1. If you want to have an outstanding meal in Japan, Kyoto is the place.

    I think that Western food is best eaten in Western countries. Why come to Japan to eat French food? No one goes to France to Japanese food!

    Kichisen ( http://www.kichisen-kyoto.com
    )I recommend Kichisen in Kyoto for the finest Japanese cuisine, and most authentic Kyoto style cuisine. The chef and owner, Yoshimi Tanigawa is one of very few chefs to defeat Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Nobu fame.

    Iron Chef - Battle Pike Eel

    Tanigawa-san is very friendly and open and gives foreign guests excellent treatment. They have an online reservation system for English speakers too.

    Michelin is publishing a Kyoto guide this autumn and rumor has it that Kichisen will get no shortage of stars.

    I sent a friend here the other night and this is what she had to say:
    "Dinner was amazing, the best ever. I have been to many 3 star Michelin restaurants in my life and they all look like kindergarten in comparison to Tanigawa-san. Truly amazing."

    Another legend is Nakahigashi, near the Silver Pavilion. This restaurant is oustanding but it is nearly impossible to get a reservation, even for Japanese. They say that you have to call on the first of the month to make a reservation. (That might be a Kyoto urban myth.) You can ask your hotel to try to make a reservation for you.

    For outstanding Kyoto-style sushi, don't miss Izuju in Gion. Kyoto sushi is different from Tokyo sushi and not widely available abroad. Tokyo style is slap some sliced fish on some rice then dunk it in soy sauce. Kyoto sushi is ancient and was developed in the landlocked capital. It usually involves vinegared and/or salted fish that has been wrapped in some kind of leaf, sea vegetable or bamboo sheath and allowed to sit for a day or so. They say that with the passing of some hours Kyoto sushi gets better while Tokyo sushi just rots. That is why they use wasabi!

    The owner is very friendly and they have a decent English menu. It is right across from the gate of Yasaka Shrine. There is a map here: http://kyotofoodie.com/izuju-best-kyo...

    Izuji is an old restaurant with huge character but it isn't something super fancy. You couldn't hire a restaurant consultant or designer to just 'make' an Izuju, it is organic creation, something special.

    An outstanding place to stay in Kyoto would be the Tawaraya Ryokan (Inn).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peko.Peko

      Thanks for your fantastic advice, Peko peko. I am in search of great Japanese food not French, I suppose that I was likening it to my experiences in NY.
      Thanks, so much!