The confluence of tradition and taste: Tokyo’s best restaurants

Gastronomy, combined with the hospitality and culture of Japan, takes Tokyo restaurants to a whole new level. Rich menus made with season-oriented products make Tokyo one of the world’s most important gastronomic destinations. From Den, Tokyo’s best restaurant, where traditional menus meet creativity, to Inua, which brings a Scandinavian breeze to Tokyo, we’ve rounded up Tokyo’s best restaurants in one title.

Den

Tokyo’s best restaurant three times in a row, Den is ranked 3rd on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa and his team provide that their customers leaving the restaurant with a smile on their faces by combining techniques and modern kaiseki, Japanese cuisine involving a series of small, intricate dishes, with creativity. You can feel the international touches on Hasegawa’s traditional and seasonal 8-course menu. Combining the flavour with classic Japanese hospitality at The Den, Hasegawa makes its customers feel like they’re part of the Den family.

Florilège

Florilège that has remained within the top ten of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for the last three years, entered the 2020 list at 7th place. Florilège, which means anthology in French, is the canvas of creative and modern French cuisine of chef Hiroyasu Kawate. Playing with warmth and texture, chef Kawate skillfully combines products from France with Japanese ingredients. The restaurant’s signature dish, carpaccio made from Miyazaki cows, and Japanese wines on the menu are among the must-try.

Narisawa

Narisawa, ranked 9th on the list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020, among the pioneers of Japanese cuisine with chef Yoshihiro Narisawa. With the experience of working with top chefs from Europe, South Africa and Asia, Narisawa combines traditional cooking with new techniques to create unique dishes. Celebrity chef Narisawa focuses on the balance between man and nature by adopting the philosophy of beneficial and gastronomic cuisine, which he calls’ Jinen’. Thanks to its importance to organic agriculture, customers are witnessing the perfect combination of fresh produce and technique.

Il Ristorante Luca Fantin

Chef Luca Fantin’s restaurant Il Ristorante Luca Fantin, who arrived in Tokyo in 2009, is ranked 17th on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. Celebrity chef Fantin’s creative, modern and seasonal cuisine is the perfect combination of Italian and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is located in the centre of Tokyo’s Ginza district and attracts visitors with its sophisticated atmosphere. Combining Japanese ingredients with Italian breezes, the menu offers its customers a different experience.

Nihonryori RyuGin

Seiji Yamamoto and the restaurant Nihonryori RyuGin which ranked 20th on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list, one of the most important figures in Japanese gastronomy. While Yamamoto was initially recognized for integrating avant-garde cooking techniques into his cuisine, he was always deeply committed to the classic kaiseki tradition. Celebrity chef Yamamoto’s 12 seasons-focused omakase are made with the freshest and the ripest products.

Sazenka

Combined with Chinese cuisine and Japanese sensibility, Sazenka is ranked 29th on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. Like Chef Tomoya Kawada’s one of the signature dishes Young Pigeon Cooked Two Ways, Kawada’s menu combines traditional Chinese cuisine with Japanese ingredients. ‘Sa’ in the name of Sazenka refers to tea which clings to the shared tea-drinking culture of the two countries and with ‘zen’, the deep meditation of the tea ceremony, Sazenka becomes one of the most delicious ports of the two cultures. In this elegant restaurant, located in the home of a former diplomat in Tokyo’s upscale Minami-Azabu district, has just 12 seats and two private rooms.

Ode

With its sleek but understated design, the Ode, which successful chef Yusuke Namai opened in 2017, ranks 35th on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. In the grey colour which covers the restaurant from the entrance door to the ceiling, from the ceiling to the kitchen, the successful chef Namai, brings together the visuality and entertainment with his dishes. Namai, who did not start cooking for a living until well into his 20s, reflects the influences of pop culture in his food through the influence of his youth.

Sushi Saito

Sushi Saito, one of Japan’s best sushi restaurants, is ranked 46th on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. Successful chef Takashi Saito finds the best product to create the best sushi balance as texture, warmth and flavour. Sushi Saito, a true sushi experience with seasonal produce at its modest counter, is among Tokyo’s best restaurants.

L’effervescence

L’effervescence, which is about harmonious flavours overlaid with philosophical thinking, ranked 48th on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. Successful chef Shinobu Namae is eligible to receive the Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2018 thanks to his emphasis on freshness, Nature, Environment and Natural Resources. The flavours of seasonal products with a harmony menu open the door to a different experience for customers.

Inua

Successful chef Thomas Frebel’ who spent a decade heading up research and development for René Redzepi’s Noma, named The World’s Best Restaurant four times, Inua that opened in 2018 ranked 49th place on the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia 2020 list. With its spacious design contrasting with Tokyo’s small dining halls, Inua takes the Scandinavian breeze to Tokyo. The dishes offered to customers by a content-driven and fermentation-rich tasting menu honour Japan’s seasonality.