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Fine Dining around Tokyo Station - Nihonbashi area.

towkay Aug 16, 2010 09:13 PM

Will be staying around Tokyo Station ( Nihonbashi area) for a few days. Would really appreciate recommendation for great breakfast/lunch/dinner places? PLEASE. THANK YOU.

  1. Peech Aug 16, 2010 11:02 PM

    uh... can you please be a little more specific?

    23 Replies
    1. re: Peech
      rockrock Aug 17, 2010 10:48 PM

      Sixth floor of the Maru Building has a yaki sakana place that is quite good, and reasonably priced at lunch. Get the gindara--best I've ever had.

      1. re: Peech
        towkay Aug 18, 2010 03:44 AM

        Have to try some of the fab bakeries for breakfast/afternoon tea. Ramen/Soba/Udon for lunch and go for bust for dinner.
        May have to venture further than the Tokyo Station for all these exciting places!

        1. re: towkay
          Robb S Aug 18, 2010 04:45 AM

          There are hundreds of places within a few minutes walk from Tokyo Station. Here are some listings covering all price ranges for the Nihonbashi/Yaesu (east) side: http://www.bento.com/ra-nihon.html
          and for the Marunouchi (west) side: http://www.bento.com/ra-maru.html

          Some of my favorites on the east side are Sant Pau, Tapas Molecular Bar, Sense, Joshu Tontokoton Club, Ryutan, Daruma, and Dhaba.

          1. re: Robb S
            towkay Aug 18, 2010 12:57 PM

            Great site. Thank you.
            We will check out the Tapas Molecular Bar, as the restaurant pops out often. Also Ryugin, if we can get reservation.

            1. re: Robb S
              kersizm Aug 18, 2010 02:11 PM

              Robb it might be worth it's own thread but can have you done any reviews of Sant Pau?

              1. re: kersizm
                jem589 Aug 18, 2010 06:01 PM

                I went for a year-end lunch last year:

                I also tell anyone that will listen that they should try Merveille, which is just south of Takashimaya in Nihonbashi. Sorry, no pictures.

                The big Illy cafe just north of there is good too (between Takashimaya and Coredo, same side of the street). I got into Illy coffee when I lived in Australia, and still think it's the most reliable / best chain. There's another, smaller branch in the extreme northwest corner of Tokyo Station.

                Shin-Maru is mostly better than Maru. Viron in Tokia Building is another of my favorites.
                Robb, I got to Il Ghiottone for a business lunch last Friday and was kinda let down again. One really great dish though, so I can totally see how if you went for dinner, or to the Kyoto one, and they strung together a whole meal of those, it could be awesome.

                1. re: jem589
                  prasantrin Aug 18, 2010 06:14 PM

                  I'd go to Viron for the kouign aman. They have the best kouign aman I've had in Japan.

                  1. re: jem589
                    Robb S Aug 20, 2010 05:35 AM

                    Jon, sorry to hear that - I guess I just had good luck, or you had bad luck, there.

                    I agree with you on Merveille; I've been only once, but I was quite impressed.

                    1. re: jem589
                      towkay Aug 20, 2010 03:46 PM

                      WOW! Sant Pau (Spanish) or Merveille French) . If you have to choose one, what would be your choice?,

                      1. re: towkay
                        Robb S Aug 20, 2010 09:03 PM

                        Hmm, it's not really a fair comparison - Sant Pau is maybe 4 or 5 times the price, and there's so much more they can do because of that.

                        1. re: Robb S
                          jem589 Aug 22, 2010 05:02 PM

                          All this talk got me excited and I went to Merveille for a colleague's farewell lunch on Friday.
                          The top lunch course is Y6500 (although someone else was eating a secret super-special course...), and compares pretty well quantity-wise to the Y8500 lunch at St. Pau. The main difference is probably that SP goes for the 'Michelin approach' - lots of amusements and small bites in addition to the main plates, which are smaller and more technical. The maitre d' at SP is also one of the single best service people I've ever encountered; my colleague (same one for both SP and MV lunches) said he's gone back there 5-6 times since our first lunch, partly because of her.

                          Honestly, I think Merveille has stepped up a notch in the last few years. For me, the cooking was a little better than my one Sant Pau visit, and also a bit more elaborate than it used to be.

                      2. re: jem589
                        towkay Sep 12, 2010 01:16 AM

                        Merveille has 3 tasting menus ( Menu A, B and Deluxe) for dinner.
                        Had tasting menu A (Y7000) & B (Y8500), and both were plentiful & delightful under Chef Matsumoto.
                        Nice ambience, great service. A pleasure to spend a special evening.

                        1. re: towkay
                          jem589 Sep 12, 2010 06:58 PM

                          Glad to hear it! That's a little more expensive than it used to be for dinner - I think the set menu was under Y6000. For years I always got that because it seemed like such good value.

                        2. re: jem589
                          towkay Sep 22, 2010 08:04 AM

                          We certainly will return to Merveille/Chef Matsumoto should we ever get back to Japan. It is one of our most memorable meal in our 10 day trip, exploring Tokyo,Hida Takayama, Shirakawa. Best meal in Takayama was gourging in Hida beef. Some considered better than Kobe.
                          Will try elsewhere before Ryugin. But definitely will attempt Sant Pau.
                          Shin-Maru has some interesting and good restaurants (unagi). And Viron, some of the best pastry.
                          Tks for your posting.

                        3. re: kersizm
                          Asomaniac Aug 18, 2010 07:49 PM

                          If he hasn't, I hope he will. Sant Pau is excellent. Innovative, original and with a fantastic Spanish wine list that makes me salivate just thinking about it.

                          The only downside is that it is quite expensive. Even in the context of a restaurant with two Michelin stars, I thought prices were a little steep. Not crazy, but definitely rather steep.

                          1. re: Asomaniac
                            Robb S Aug 20, 2010 05:42 AM

                            Well the way I look at it is that it's cheaper than a trip to Spain. (Although depending on which wines you order, maybe only barely....)

                            1. re: Robb S
                              Asomaniac Aug 22, 2010 06:05 PM

                              That is an excellent point. And one I will use when I try to persuade my wife to go again despite the price tag.

                            2. re: Asomaniac
                              towkay Aug 21, 2010 04:45 PM

                              We WILL! It's always interesting to find out how they incorporate local produce in their style of cuisine.
                              Thanks for the assurance.

                              1. re: towkay
                                AWESOMEKETCHUP Nov 1, 2010 12:29 PM

                                this is easy... Sant Pau is the best choice. dont go to Tapas unless u have never tried molecular gastronomy before in your life. i feel it is lacking if u want a full "fine dining" experience in that area. ive been there twice in the past 4 months. It is a fun place if you go with a bunch of your friends. But if you want impeccable service in that same hotel, i recommend Signature restaurant. its just a 1 Michelin Star. but i thought the service was so amazing it is what Mandarin Oriental is known for. if not Sant Pau, check out Hamadaya.

                                1. re: AWESOMEKETCHUP
                                  towkay Nov 7, 2010 01:37 PM

                                  Really tried to make it to Sant Pau without success because of time constraint.
                                  Will have it at the top of the list for the next trip 2011, and return to Merveille.

                                  1. re: AWESOMEKETCHUP
                                    Asomaniac Nov 7, 2010 08:13 PM

                                    Hamadaya, seriously? We've had this debate elsewhere before, but just in case I can protect an innocent chowhounder from a bad but very expensive dining experience:

                                    Hamadaya do have excellent service, but I'd only go if service is all you want and don't care the least bit about the quality of the food. No. 106 on tabelog for kaiseki in Tokyo, and that's generous.

                                    1. re: Asomaniac
                                      edozanmai Nov 8, 2010 02:28 AM

                                      I need to write something in defense of Hamadaya. One thing that some people may have missed is that there are two Hamadaya, the original ryōtei in Ningyōchō and the restaurant in Roppongi Midtown. The Ningyōchō honten is the one apparently reviewed in the Michelin guide for Tokyo. I think both are outstanding, although I do prefer the ryōtei. As for a low ranking on taberog, this is most likely due to the fact that this is a ryōtei, a place where people go for a good, traditional meal and night out, often with geisha, and places people prefer to maintain their anonymity. In other words, the people that frequent Hamadaya, such as politicians and CEOs, are highly unlikely to ever write about it on a blog. I would be a bit surprised if many foreigners would be able to get a reservation there without a local person taking them or at least giving them an introduction. Please let me know if I am wrong about this. The Midtown restaurant is easily open to all, although the food is, from what I know, always made for Japanese tastes and not, as with some other places popular with foreign visitors, altered to suit non-Japanese tastes.

                                      1. re: edozanmai
                                        babreu Dec 30, 2010 02:20 PM

                                        Maybe they had their bad days, but my experience at the Midtown Hamadaya is also very positive. I've been there twice, at lunch, and both times I had a flawless meal. No technical errors at all, unlike a review I've seen elsewhere, but all around great cooking, top quality ingredients, beautiful presentation and service. Better than some 3 Michelin star kaiseki I had.

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