Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Urbanist’s Tokyo: Where to Eat


Mikawa Zezankyo  

Three Restaurants Everyone Clamors for
And where to go when you can’t get in.

CAN’T GET INTO THIS ONE?:
Yorozuya Okagesan
2-10 Yotsuya, Shinjuku; 03-3355-8100
“This izakaya [pub] pairs sashimi platters with carefully selected sakes,” says Etsuko Nakamura, who runs Tokyofoodcast.com. “And when the chef in the small open kitchen starts a big fire with straw to sear bonito, the whole place goes wild.”

TRY THIS ONE:
Ishii
2-15-10 Shinbashi, Minato; 03-3593-0141
“In an alley not far away is another izakaya specializing in fish; in the fall, order the sanma (mackerel pike), smoked, raw, grilled, or fried,” says Nakamura. You can tell the English-speaking chef, Ishii-san, “what you like and your budget. He’ll work with you.”

CAN’T GET INTO THIS ONE?:
Tapas Molecular Bar
Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo 38F; 03-3270-8188
“This eight-seat counter has a 21-course tasting menu that is “like a theatrical performance,” says Robb Satterwhite of Bento.com, “with test tubes and liquid nitrogen.” ¥14,000 a head, plus a 13 percent service charge.

TRY THIS ONE:
Sant Pau
Nihonbashi 1-6-1, Coredo Nihonbashi Annex 1/2F; 03-3517-5700
Alternatively, try course after course of the Catalan-cuisine tasting menu at Barcelona chef Carme Ruscalleda’s Tokyo branch, just five minutes away from Tapas Molecular. But don’t expect it to be any cheaper. At all.

CAN’T GET INTO THIS ONE?:
Mikawa Zezankyo
Fukuzumi 1-3-1, Koto-ku; 03-3643-8383
“Chef Saotome is a living treasure,” says Yukari Sakamoto, author of Food Sake Tokyo. “In 2009 he opened this temple to tempura where you watch him prepare each course”—like uni wrapped in shiso leaves. “If he is on vacation, he closes the shop.”

TRY THIS ONE:
Nihonbashi Tenmatsu
Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-8-2, Chuo-ku; 03-3241-5840
Not far away, next to the historic Nihonbashi Bridge, lies a tempura alternative that’s not as expensive and caters to a mix of businessmen and locals. Order the set meal for seasonal seafood and vegetables. Lunch from ¥2,310.



Sliding- Scale Sushi
Three choices for three budgets from Robbie Swinnerton, Japan Times food-and-restaurant columnist and Tokyo Food File blogger.

¥ Uogashi Nihon-ichi
It’s just as cheap as the ubiquitous kaiten conveyor-belt sushi places, but at this chair-free counter, you see the person making it. From ¥75 per piece at 25-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku; 03-5728-5451.

¥¥ Sushi Bun
The sushi-counter experience at fish market Tsukiji is an essential part of any foodie’s visit. And at less-hyped Sushi Bun, the anago with special sauce is killer. Omakase (chef’s choice): ¥3,675 at Chuo Shijo No.8, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku; 03-3541-3860.

¥¥¥ Sukiyabashi Jiro
Legendary. It’s in a basement, there are no breaks between courses, and you can only make bookings in Japanese—but the master is a true sushi obsessive. Omakase: ¥30,000 at Tsukamoto B1, 4-2-15, Ginza, Chuo-ku; 03-3535-3600.


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising