Japan, known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, also boasts a dynamic culinary scene. Its cuisine, deeply rooted in traditional practices and diverse local ingredients, is a delightful blend of flavours. Here are the top five restaurants that you must visit when in Japan.
- Sukiyabashi Jiro: Located in Tokyo, Sukiyabashi Jiro is a culinary gem. Chef Jiro Ono’s innovative menu showcases the best of sushi, with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s intimate setting and the extensive sake list add to the overall dining experience. The ‘Omakase’ menu, a chef’s selection of sushi, is a standout.
- Ryugin: Also in Tokyo, Ryugin offers a unique blend of traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine. The menu, curated by Chef Seiji Yamamoto, is a testament to his passion for fresh, local ingredients. The ‘Charcoal Grilled Ayu’ and the ‘Roppongi Pudding’ are must-tries.
- Kikunoi: Situated in Kyoto, Kikunoi offers a unique dining experience. The restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere and hearty dishes provide a welcoming setting. The menu features classic kaiseki dishes like ‘Grilled Sea Bream’ and ‘Sake-Steamed Abalone’, all prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
- Quintessence: Located in Tokyo, Quintessence is renowned for its blend of French and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant’s modern decor and warm hospitality provide a welcoming atmosphere. The menu features classic dishes like ‘Foie Gras with Truffle’ and ‘Sea Bass with Olive’, all prepared with a modern twist.
- Den: Situated in Tokyo, Den offers a celebration of traditional Japanese cuisine. The menu, curated by Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, features classic Japanese dishes, prepared with a modern twist. The ‘Dentucky Fried Chicken’ and the ‘Garden Salad’ are standouts.
These five restaurants encapsulate the culinary diversity and richness of Japan. From innovative establishments offering gourmet sushi to those offering a unique kaiseki experience, there’s something to satisfy every palate. So, on your next visit to Japan, make sure to embark on this gastronomic adventure.