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Nov 5, 2012 04:31 AM

Non-Michelin Star Restaurants Worthy of a Detour


I am going to be in Tokyo this weekend and looking for a place for a Japanese dinner on Sunday with a budget of up to JPY20,000 per person. I know there was a previous thread on what is open on Sundays. The focus there was on Michelin star restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I would not (and have not in the past) turn/ed my nose up at a Michelin star dinner. But my own experience, particularly in London, is that the Michelin guide does not always point to the best meals.

Does anyone have Tokyo restaurants for Japanese food that you think are worth a detour and missed by the Guide? It's a birthday dinner so something more than quick meal would be good.

Many thanks

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  1. At 20,000.-yens, you will have a range of choice of classy ones, the fact that Mimi(=Michelin) does add restaurant every year is the proof.,so as their list of the visit ones are not published, let's say that these ones 
    - sushi Kozasa Ginza -if more well balanced 
    - Kappo Jootaro Akasaka -if less chinese/western style 
    merited a visit., as my sushi Taichi.. 

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ninisix

      To come back to the list, in the board, the yakitori Torishiki in Shibuya (difficult to book!) has been quiet recommended with good comments, as for my little sushi Taichi.. Also, I think sushi Kurusu in Roppongi is nice.. look at the photos, click on the 写真ギャラリー Torishiki
      ) (sushi Kurusu Taichi)

    2. Try Tabelog. It's a local review site of restaurants (you'll notice ninisix has posted links from this site).
      It's a good place to get other ideas if you don't want to rely on the Michelin Guide.

      Here is the link to "Japanese Food" in Tokyo on your budget (Y20,000 and under):

      Even if you don't understand any Japanese, you'll be able to get an idea of the rank, the prices, and the food (from the photos). They often also have links to the restaurant's websites near the bottom of the page.

      If you know a few words (like the characters for "yakitori" for example), you will be able to search and get more specific information.

      If you find something you like, you can ask for more info.

      I will say, though, that quite a few of the high-ranking ones are well-known, and known even to the Michelin inspectors. You may find yourself happening on a restaurant that may violate your non-Michelin criteria. If you don't speak any Japanese, you may also find that the Michelin restaurants are more accomodating, because many of them can take reservations in English.

      1. Been a few years but Pachon, a toulousian French cassoulet spot was wonderful start to finish and very reasonable

        1. Thanks very much for all the tips. Apologies for the late thanks. We had so many delicious meals during our trip thanks to the chow boards.

          For the Sunday special dinner we ending up going to Shichi Jyu Ni Kou (or 72 Kou)

          We opted for the 13000 yen course menu (middle choice) and sat at the counter. Our hotel booked it since we don't speak Japanese. It was one of the better meals I have had. The memory of some of those dishes still stays with me 9 months later, including a creamy tofu in moat of sesame sauce that I would gladly drink a tub of if someone offered it. We had several courses that alternated between refreshing and rich. We also had a clear soup with root vegetables, a beef course, sushi and another tofu course with a very soft sea urchin. Oh and the seaweed cone with sushi and fish eggs-yum!

          Another place that stood out was a ramen shop. We ate there twice. It was on the 7th floor of the Skytree Mall. The ramen is one style with the creamy pork based broth. One of the toppings you can order is a boiled egg that is tea-soaked I think. That combined with the sauce and shredded pork was heaven.