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Sep 23, 2009 12:08 PM

Christmas + New Year

Hi everybody,
My wife and I will be going on a 10 day trip to Tokyo.
We are MAD about food and definitely want to try some high class restaurants, perhaps some Michelin rated places.
We will be there during the Christmas and New Year time, I loved to receive some suggestion to were we should/could be eating during this period (we love both Japanese and French cuisine) and if most restaurant will be open during this time. Or maybe most are already fully booked????
We are going crazy reading the Tokyo Michelin guide, drooling all over it. ;)

Christmas eve and the 1st and 2nd Christmas day, including new years eve are of course the main days for us to eat at a wonderful place.

Between Christmas and new years we will be visiting Kyoto with the bullet train, so eating at a top kaiseki restaurant would be super also.

Hope you can give us some info, so love to hear from you. ;)

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  1. Usually, the japanese like to go out and more on december... Won't be lazy time !
    The french restaurant TROISGROS and JOEL ROBUCHON will be open in year end (referred in japanese as ''nenmatsu''). Most of the small bistro or 'izakaya'' won't be open.

    1. Lots of restaurants will close for a few days around New Years, I think usually from the 1st till the 3rd or 5th depending on the place.
      Otherwise, from the 28-31st of December there may be special Xmas course menus and the requisite price increases as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lost squirrel

        Oups ! On the 31st, I have forgot the temples and the food stands ’yatai’, here below a link to Tokyo countdown :
        Christmas lunch, of course with price menu increase, on December 25th was a home family classic. A romantic accommodation, a true moment of love ! The 24th of December is more a couple romantic day and will be crowded

      2. Well, we finally finished making all the reservations for Tokyo.
        Luckily our hotel helped us with it.
        On the first Christmas day we will be visiting Kondo (awsome introdution to world of tempura).
        The second christmas day w'll be going to La Bombance (heard some great things about this place).
        On the 31st of December we are of to Restorante Aso, for a pre fix dinner.
        We will also have lunch at Gordon and Tateru Yoshino.
        And luckily we could reserve a place at Quintessence, really looking forward to this place. ;)

        Kyoto hasn't yet been filled in, so any suggestions for some good Kaiseki dinners would be great.
        We will be staying there for 2 nights.

        6 Replies
        1. re: repoman2u

          I'm lined up for a lunch at Aso on the 31st. They're cooking with gas overthere, only closing for New Year's day (January 1st.) However, place already fully booked for January 2nd and 3rd. Smart move, not many upscale places will be open those two days.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            Just had my New Year's lunch at Aso. As usual, did not disappoint, although dinner is probably a tad better (and 3x the price, so can't complain). First up was 6 kinds of bread and 3 types of butter, but don't fill up!

            Opening was a very hearty pasta fagioli, up next was a poached egg with hollandaise and truffles instead of the foie gras, which was probably good but decided to swap out of. Dish #3 was a very very good asari clam pasta al dente with roasted onions. Main course was a spectacular piece of grilled wagyu with some mushrooms and a mascarpone sauce on the side. Dessert was a 5-type sampler, followed by coffee and the usual "flower" arrangement of mignardises. Two-hour affair. Cost? 5,500 yen per person. Superb value for money.

            1. re: Uncle Yabai

              Agree. I thought Ristorante Aso's lunch is value for money. Never tried the dinner though...

              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                Dinner. You need to have dinner there. Lunch is fine, but the dinner... Arrrgh. God I love that place. Did you have the choice at lunch to have their foie gras, sea urchin and truffle sauce? I love the she sheer decadence of them scooping out the (live) uni, pan frying it and marrying it with the pan-fried foie gras and the thick, satisfying truffle sauce. And the beef tongue? Did I mention the beef tongue??

                1. re: Asomaniac

                  No, but my wife had this amazing poached egg with Benedict sauce and truffles that was just killer. They only have one course set at lunch, but I know that you can really order whatever you want, I saw another table have their own special menu set aside, and they had some different dishes.

                  No beef tongue, but they had this incredible wagyu beef cheek that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.

                  Having said all that, I do think that dinner is more accomplished, but for 3x the price, so your tolerance may vary.

                  And we missed their hiyashi mikan dessert (basically, a frozen yokosuka mikan, eaten whole and with the skin, unreal). It is only available in November.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    You should not have mentioned the beef cheek. Now I will think about it for most of the evening.

          2. So many great places in Kyoto. Highly recommended are Kitcho, Kikunoi, Gion Maruyama, and Tankuma Kitamise.

            1. And while in Kyoto, don't miss the Nishiki Ichiba, the market in the heart of the city.