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Visiting Tokyo in Feb 2010

My wife and I will be visiting Tokyo for 8 nights in Feb. We are staying in Asakusa area. We are primarily interested just in Japanese food (or mostly Japanese food). We're very open-minded with food, and we love traditional, classic cooking as well. Neither of us speak Japanese; we can make reservations in Japanese via a friend but when we're there it'll be just us. So far we have reservations at

Molecular
Some Ninja themed bar that apparently is sort of kitchy but the food's supposed to be pretty good and the overall experience is supposed to be fairly legit fun-wise

Other places we're considering:
Sens and Saveur (I think that's what it's called but maybe wrong on that)
Mizutani
Esaki
Kanda
Daigo (I know by now you're realizing I haven't made it that far down the Michelin list, guilty as charged but I'm getting there)

For dinner, we want one or two absolutely top notch Japanese food experiences ($200-$350/person including drinks), a few really good but less than $150/person including drinks sort of experiences, and a few less than $100/person including drinks places. For lunch, we want about the same only cut those numbers in half.

We also want to make sure that we hit up all the small bites essentials, and we'd like a mix of current hype/well established and totally solid.

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  1. This Ninja place? http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/top_main....

    I've seen some reviews but I've never tried it, let us know how it is.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lost squirrel

      I think the Ninja thing is vastly overpriced and for me not worth it. Quite fun if you are going on client entertainment money, which i did, but I would be horrified if I had to pay for it myself.

      1. I would skip Sens and Saveurs. Reasonably unmemorable and not particulary worthwhile.

        1. If you find yourself near Meguro, my favorite restaurant in Tokyo is a family run restaurant called Tonkatsu Tonki. The menu is three varieties of tonkatsu (pork cutlet): lean meat "filet," slightly fattier "rosu," and "kushi," which has onion battered with the meat. The cutlet comes with rice and miso soup (both with a free refill), otsukemono (japanese pickles) and infinite refills on shredded cabbage. They also make their own tonkatsu-sauce. Every aspect of the meal is delicious.

          Very reasonably priced for a complete and very Japanese meal. Kushi (my favorite, for the contrast of texture and taste that the onion contributes) is ¥1,350 while filet and rosu are ¥1,800.

          Sit at the counter, and you'll definitely have a dining experience unique to Japan that will leave your stomach, taste-buds, wallet, and cultural curiosity very satisfied.

          東京都目黒区下目黒1−1−2 << Punch this address into Google maps if you're interested. Very close to Meguro station on the Yamanote, Namboku, and Mita lines.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kiwiwerewolf

            I would second Tonki as the staple Tonkatsu spot to hit.

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

              Third it. I rotate between Butagumi, Tonki, and Maisen, and then the gym!

            2. Also, if you're interested in okonomiyaki, Botejyu is a delicious and reasonable option for lunch. They have locations all over Tokyo, including two in Shibuya. I always get the pork and kimchee okonomiyaki, but the yakisoba is also delicious.

              CHECK IT! http://www.botejyu.com/group/

              2 Replies
              1. re: kiwiwerewolf

                Hi everyone - I just cancelled my reservation at Ryugin because the cancellation fee is quite steep if I can't make it and I would have to rely on my plane to land at Narita on time to make the dinner reservation. I'm only in Tokyo for 1 night on a layover and will be staying at the Peninsula. Does anyone have any recommendations for a restaurant similar in quality to Ryugin? I'm looking for something fantastic for my one night in Toyko but I've been to Tokyo many times. Thanks in advance!